How To Prepare to Survive a Layoff

A common refrain today is the effect of the recession on jobs in the country. Thousands of people have been the victims of the downturn the economy has taken in the last couple of years. While many people have already received their pink slips, those who still have their jobs cannot afford to be smug and complacent, since the concept of job security seems to have flown out of the window. The subject of this article is measures every individual can take to prepare and survive a layoff, should s/he face this unfortunate situation. These measures can also be adopted by those who've already been laid off or been made redundant.

Step 1

Stay updated on new job opportunities. Even if you still hold a job, don't stop looking through the local classifieds, various job sites on the Internet, or approaching recruitment consultancies or hiring agencies. Stay updated on the latest developments in the job market specific to your industry or segment.

Step 2

Upgrade your skills. Learning should be a continuous process, as you evolve in your job and go through several roles. Most people tend to settle in one job and seldom make any efforts to upgrade their skills or seek new knowledge. In the current scenario, it is imperative to have great flexibility of skills and knowledge, this will allow you to work across a variety of segments, rather than just sticking to one as you may be currently. Should you be laid off or made redundant, you will be able to make a career switch if need be, aided by your versatility and your learning. Participate in both on-the-job and off-the job training programs, go back to school to pick up additional qualifications, if necessary, this will help you progress in your current job or move to a new job at a higher level. In a poor economy, those who are well-equipped to handle changes are those who will also survive layoffs and redundancies.

Step 3

Regularly update your resume. This one is a no-brainer; it is essential to keep your CV updated and fresh, irrespective of whether you've changed jobs or not. A CV should be refreshed every 6-12 months at least, also important is the content which goes into the CV. Make it a point to highlight your achievements, whether on the job or off it, also emphasize events where you've handled your job responsibilities well in the face of adversities or emergencies. Also, highlight specific qualities which make you an asset to any organization that you work for.

Step 4

Save for a ‘rainy day'. While you are employed, it is important to put aside money for times when you may not hold a job at all. Should you be laid-off, this money in the bank, will give you some breathing space while you look for another job.

Step 5

Think out-of-the-box. Once you lose a job, don't hesitate to take up whatever job comes your way. Jobs are very hard to find these days and to paraphrase an old saying, "a job in hand is worth two in the bush"! Take up the job even if it is part-time or of a lower level than your old job. This will help you bring in some extra money at a point when you would have been getting none.

Step 6

Think positively. When you are laid-off, it is acceptable that you will feel strong emotions - despair, regrets, anger, etc. What is important is to get over these negative emotions and look forward. With time and effort, you will be able to find another job, as long as you think positively and into the future.

The steps discussed above are measures which will surely help you survive a layoff and also give a direction to those who've already been laid off. Patience and perseverance are the qualities which will see you through tough times.


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Thanks for the encouraging advice.

By Anonymous