Losing your job can be an incredibly stressful experience; however, in this day and age, it is something that seems to be happening all the time. If you are in a job that you know, or maybe even guess, is insecure, then you should start to think about what you can do to prepare – you never know how long you could be without a job. Here are some ways that you can prepare for a layoff and loss of employment.
Ensure that your resume is up-to-date
Work on your resume and ensure that it is up-to-date with information about your current job, any training you have completed and anything else that may be useful when applying for new jobs. Talk to your boss about references and if you don’t think that you will receive a particularly good one, then think about who else in the company would be better to ask. If you update your resume at work, make sure that you have a copy of it at home – you don’t want to suddenly realise that you don’t have it after you have already left.
Start applying for other jobs
It is obviously best if you still have a job when you apply for others. Being laid off is obviously not your fault, but if you are still working, the chances are you will be more relaxed and will not come across as desperate. It may seem tempting to wait until you’ve had a bit of a break before looking for new jobs, but the longer the time that you have to look, the sooner you are likely to find a job.
Make savings where you can
Hopefully you will already have some savings. However, whether you do or not, you should immediately do two things – pay off as many outstanding bills as possible and start to put some money aside each week, even if it means having to cut back on treats. Once you are unemployed, you will still have bills coming in and, even if your benefits are reasonable, you will almost certainly struggle, so any extra money will come in very handy.
Find out your rights
As soon as you can, start to find out what you are entitled to if you are laid off – is the severance pay negotiatble? Check out how to apply for unemployment benefit, and if you are entitled to any other benefits, such as housing and childcare. If you have health insurance through work, find out what will happen to that – this is particularly important if you live in a country that doesn’t provide state healthcare. Tot up what you can expect to receive so that you have an idea of where you will stand financially.
Make a good impression
You may be tempted to slack off work, or even sabotage things if you are really angry. Control yourself, because that will hurt no-one but you. Carry on doing a good job and make sure everything, even your personal records, is in as good a state as it can be. Leaving a good impression should get you a good reference and you never know, there may be a job opening for you in the future, either with the firm that laid you off or through another member of staff who has moved elsewhere.
Look into courses
At the same time as applying for other jobs, you should start to look into courses that you can take to build up your resume. If you have been looking into promotion, but are lacking a qualification, then find out about local courses, or even long-distance ones. You may be entitled to free courses, or a discount. Computer courses, in particular, are useful – that way you keep up with the latest developments.
Look after your health
This includes both your physical and mental health. You may feel the urge to eat, drink and drown your sorrows, but try to ensure that your diet is healthy and that you get some exercise. Unemployment can lead to serious depression in some people and then moving on to a new job will be all the more difficult. And of course, if you live in a country that has no state healthcare, you will need to ensure that healthcare costs are kept to a minimum once your insurance runs out.
You will probably feel like hiding yourself away until it is all over, but don’t. Network as much as possible. Keep in touch with friends and broaden your social circle, letting everyone know that you are looking for work. Remember that many people are in the same position as you and it is nothing to be ashamed of. You never know when you may hear of a potential job. And of course, the support that you receive from friends and family is important to your mental health.
If you follow these suggestions as soon as you hear about a potential lay-off, then you should have plenty of time to prepare yourself and can hopefully reduce the amount of stress you have to face.