Catherine's Career Corner

August 6th, 2013
Impending Layoff Notice at Work? 7 Ways to Get Prepared











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Any impending layoff notice at work ranks among one of the highest in stress-causing situations. It can have a profound effect on anyone’s emotional well-being. The best way to handle the situation is to be prepared. Explore 7 ways to get prepared for an impending layoff notice at work.

Impending Layoff Notice at Work CatherinesCareerCorner

By Catherine Adenle

With any impending layoff notice at work, usually, there is a typical emotional cycle that most people experience during any serious and life altering change. This cycle includes denial, anger, frustration, and eventually adaptation. Whilst it is normal to feel all of these emotions, it’s also important to derive ways of dealing with the change in order to minimise the feeling of hopelessness. The most pragmatic way to deal with layoff notice at work is to get prepared. It’s important to be smart and quickly get prepared for a better opportunity.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, “During the January 2001 through December 2003 period, 5.3 million workers were displaced from jobs they held for at least 3 years. More than one-third of these jobs were within manufacturing. Although there were a number of reasons, call it downsizing, right-sizing or re-engineering, it all equates to the same thing: job loss.

The Bureau of Labour Statistics also says the average number of “spells of unemployment” for late-born boomers (born between 1957 and 1964) from age 18 to 38 is 4.8.

Most shocking of all is that within this study a little more than 4 out of 10 people were notified in advance of their being laid off. That means 60 percent were let go without warning.

The truth is, even if you currently feel secure in your  job, here’s a sobering thought – because of forces beyond your control, you could be hit with an unexpected layoff notice at work at almost any moment.

See 12 Steps for Dealing with Redundancy

Dealing with Layoff Notice at Work

Many people closely identify themselves by what they do for a living. Consequently, when the job is taken away, they can easily lose track of who they are. They can easily let a range of emotional issues surface and engulf them. Unfortunately, it’s easy for us all to panic as news of impending layoffs notice at work fly around in our offices. Anger, fear and confusion can cloud our final days. However, these final days are better spent preserving one’s professional reputation and contacting possible future employers.

So, aim to banish any bridge-burning attitude or negative self talk, instead, get prepared by taking these 7 steps as laid out below. Being proactive and pragmatic can alleviate most paralysing emotional issues and get you on the right track to a new beginning.

These are a number of practical ways to prepare for an impending layoff notice at work:

1.       Get informed, know the facts and your entitlements

  • Familiarise yourself with your company’s policies and benefits for laid off staff
  • Know the date of the impending layoff notice and time
  • Make use of all employee assistance support programs
  • Visit your local unemployment office
  • Know how to register for job seekers’ allowance
  • Take advantage of all relevant certificated courses on offer
  • Know how much money you are entitled to from your employer
  • Inform your partner and family, you will need their support
  • Make use of any outplacement initiatives

See Employee Rights when Your Job is Terminated

Lay off Rights

See Lay-offs and Short Time Working

2.       Get bold, carve out a ‘YOU Inc’ brand and prepare to market it before layoff notice at work.

  • Know what you want to be known for
  • Know how to express yourself in a connected society where local is now global
  • Plan your personal brand like a business leader
  • Use social media tools to manage your own reputation, both online and in real life
  • Know what is special about you
  • Document what you can offer any employer
  • List your attributes and accomplishments
  • Be prepared to work for yourself or an employer
  • Apply this brand concept as a mind-set for any unexpected career eventualities
  • Spruce up your skills and showcase them well
  • Think before you post anything on the web

See 6 Ways to Effectively Brand Yourself

See the First Step to Building Your Personal Brand

See Build a Personal Brand, Not Just a Career

See Know Your Skills, They Are Your Prime Selling Points

3.       Get prepared, have your core CV ready:

  • Remove irrelevant information from your CV
  • Add new skills to your CV
  • Add new achievements
  • Add any career related milestones
  • Tweak to suit each job you apply for
  •  Make your CV super sharp and effective

See How to Write a Winning CV

See Free CV/Resume Example Template

See Your CV Deserves a Trip to the Gym: Know How?

See 101 Sample Resumes

4.       Be savvy, get your finances in order as soon as there is a layoff notice at work

  • Know your bare bone budget
  • Determine how long your financial resources will last and make a plan
  • Cut back on unnecessary spending and live within your means
  • Determine areas to cut your expenses and be strict
  • Delay any planned holiday or vacation
  • Use your credit card with great caution
  • Start saving some more money immediately
  • Take an evening or a weekend job
  • Sell off any unused items that you may have
  • Speak to a financial adviser

See Beat Recession Advice #2: Cut your expenses, save money and conserve cash

See Redundancy Pay (UK)

See Financial Help and advice (UK)

5.      Get friendly, network like there’s no tomorrow

  • Attend events, networking opportunities are everywhere
  • Connect with people; you never know who can help
  • Utilise Social Media, especially LinkedIn
  • Update your LinkedIn profile, and ask your manager and colleagues for recommendations
  • Follow the organizations where you’d like to work
  • Follow SMEs on Google+ and Twitter
  • Let your contacts know your situation, but don’t be pesty
  • Get out and meet more professionals
  • Find a professional mentor
  • Attend professional association meetings and conferences
  • Maintain and update your address book

See Social Media and the Hiring Process

See Network Your Way to a Job

Become a Superstar Networker

6.       Get organised once they’ve given you a layoff notice at work, apply for jobs while still employed

  • When you hear of any impending layoff notice at work, waste no time, start to apply for jobs
  • Have a daily  job search strategy routine that you follow
  • Register with a recruitment agency
  • Post your CV on job sites
  • Set up job alerts on job sites to keep abreast of the job market
  • Go to the corporate web site of the company you’re interested in, and search for job openings
  • Make a list of companies that you are interested in working for
  • Go to job sites online; browse and search for job opportunities
  • Have a master list of copied and pasted job descriptions, preferably a Word Document. This will let you keep track of every opportunity
  • Decide if you can relocate
  • Contact former employers

See Need a Job? See 30 Sure-Fire Tips

See Top 100 Blog Articles That Every Job Seeker Should Read

See How to Find a New Job

7.       Get fired up and prepare for job interviews

  •  Get hold of frequently asked job interview questions and answers
  • Prepare a list of all the questions you could be asked
  • Add well targeted answers to the questions
  • Practice the answers until they roll off your tongue effortlessly
  • Ask a mentor or colleague to do a mock interview for you
  • Go over feedback notes and make improvements
  • Get ready to ace any job interview

See Interview Questions and Answers

See Ace Your Job Interview

See 12 Stress Bursting Tips for Job Interviews

See Smash the Interview and Get Hired

See How To Ace The 50 Most Common Interview Questions

The best way to look at a job loss is to consider the positive implications of the situation rather than focus on the loss itself. Take the time to make some great changes in your life. When you know of an impending layoff at work, decide to learn new skills, switch careers or industries or perhaps consider relocating. Look forward to a new beginning and your next opportunity. Frankly, you never know what doors this turn of events may open for you.

How else can one prepare for an impending layoff notice at work? Let’s hear from you, add your comments below.

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Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers.

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