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Preparing For a Possible Layoff

While it can be anxiety-producing to think about, company layoffs are inevitable in certain fields and industries. If it seems the company as a whole isn’t doing well, or you/your team isn’t hitting the metrics expected, your mind may be starting to drift to the possibility that your role will be the next one cut. If you’re feeling uneasy about the stability of your current position, there are some proactive measures and steps you can take now to feel more secure and prepared.


Get Your Finances in Order

If you’ve been living paycheck to paycheck, now is the time to reevaluate your finances and see if there are any ways you can start to save and put together a safety net. Most experts recommend having 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses saved up, so budget what your necessities are and take a pause on spending money on any extras or unnecessary purchases.


Put Feelers Out

Start to reach out to your network to see what roles they know of that you might be a good fit for. While you may not need a job urgently, proactively looking, and seeing what’s available in your field, will benefit you in the long run. This is also the time you should start to update your resume and LinkedIn profile so that if you are laid off, you can hit the ground running on the job search. Another strategy to consider is to reach out to a recruiter. Let them know your current situation and that you’re just starting to get a feel for the types of roles out there. You never know, you may land upon your dream job in the process.


Separate Your Personal and Professional Life

For remote or hybrid workers with company devices such as laptops, start to separate and delete any personal documents or photos you have saved on your work computer. In an article in The New York Times, they recommend, “Anything that you do on company equipment can be monitored and obtained by your employer. If you became involved in a legal issue, all of your data — including photos, browser history and personal messages — could become exposed in the discovery process. That’s why Mr. Fitzpatrick responds from his personal address when friends and family send emails to his professional email accounts. “You should absolutely never put any of your personal data in your work account,” he said. “You don’t own that data if it goes to your company account.” The simplest way to divorce personal data from work machines is to use only devices you own for personal matters. Buying your own computer is one solution — and there are plenty of options for less than $200, like Chromebooks or refurbished machines.”


Stay Focused

While it can be easy to start an emotional downward spiral of the worst-case scenario, don’t get ahead of yourself. While it’s good to be prepared, recognize that your job may in fact be stable and not at risk, so you should remain focused and continue to do your best work. In an article on Forbes, they write, “Try not to turn your layoff anxiety into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Focus on the work and ignore office gossip. Also, be cognizant of your inner dialogue so that you prevent paranoia from setting in. If you do sense change on the horizon, don’t retreat inward. Instead, foster relationships internally so you’re more likely to be aware of a layoff before it happens.”