In today’s economic climate, even the most stable of positions can be at risk. To prepare for a potential layoff, we look in the rearview mirror of the 2001 and 2008 layoff experiences and add in a few unique-to-2020 actions:
- Assume you lost your job today. Reduce expenses and shrink your budget to as small as you can make it. If a layoff comes, you’ll be ready. Until then, put the savings in a rainy day fund.
- Be ready to ask for healthcare benefit extensions. Do the calculations ahead of time and compare to healthcare.gov to know what options you have and what costs are associated with maintaining benefits.
- Listen to the PretendYoureFiredToday.com podcast. It’s 52 weeks of short episodes on steps to take to prepare for a layoff.
- Update your resume and LinkedIn profile while you still have access to your company’s performance data. Utilize achievement-based language so you are ready to outshine competitors when the time is right.
- Nurture and grow your virtual networks. Sign up for a personal Zoom account and online scheduling tool (i.e. TimeTrade, Acuity, etc.) for virtual networking opportunities. Set up one-on-one update chats, group social hours, professional association virtual meetups, and corporate and college alumni online get-togethers.
- Look where hiring is happening. Hiring happens in recessions, even at downsizing companies. Explore openings for how your skills can be transferred to another company. Don’t assume hiring is dead because we’re in a crisis. It’s simply different.
- Repurpose your skills if you cannot work in your current industry. If you are an IT leader in retail, for example, could your skills be used in another industry that is dependent on inventory management? Proactively look at the areas hiring, and evaluate how your skills could be leveraged in a new industry.
Be prepared for the worst, know these challenging times will pass, and use this time to rebuild to come out stronger during the recovery—because we will eventually recover. PM