While the Covid-19 pandemic might be in the rearview mirror by most accounts, we all remember how uncertain and unsteady everything felt back in March and April 2020 and for months after. It was a scary time and, for many people, they wondered whether they would have a job to go back to when restrictions were lifted.
The sad truth is, downsizing, layoffs and other factors that cause people to lose their jobs can happen at any time. Ask anyone who’s been on the receiving end of that bad news and it can really throw your whole life for a loop. Oftentimes, it happens without warning or advanced notice, making things feel even worse.
But there are some things you can do to prepare for losing your job, while hoping it doesn’t happen to you.
Here are a few things to consider to prepare for the worst, even if your company is doing great right now.
- Keep your resume updated. Before there’s anything to worry about, like trying to find a new job quickly after losing your old one, it’s a good idea to make sure your resume contains pertinent details about your current job. Keep a list of all the tasks you’re responsible for, your title, the skills you use on the job most often, and any achievements or big wins for which you are responsible. You might not remember these in such deep detail in the future; by taking a little time now to build your resume up, you’ll have available the kind of information that might help you find a new job faster should the time come.
- Focus on the facts. If there are rumors and rumblings at your company that layoffs might be imminent, do your best to pay attention only to what you know to be true. People like to talk and share gossip; it gives the impression of connectivity to people in positions of authority and might even be a false sense of security that isn’t deserved. Instead, come in each day and do the best job you can, listening to your manager or supervisor and doing the best you can to keep yourself motivated.
- Create a rainy day fund. It’s a good idea in general to build up savings for unforeseen circumstances, whether that be a car repair, illness, unexpected bill, emergency or, in this case, loss of a job. Make a budget, even a quick one, to get a sense of where your money is being spent and how you can work to pay down your debt. Set aside some money every month, or every paycheck if possible, to help build up financial reserves that will help you stay afloat if your job is cut. You might be eligible for unemployment benefits, but typically that does not replace the full amount of your salary and a little extra money will really come in handy.
- Build up your network. Whether you’re hearing whispers that layoffs are coming or maybe you just don’t want to stick around to find out, it never hurts to reach out to your friends, family, colleagues and connections from previous jobs to see if any good opportunities are available. Maybe you want to stay within the same industry; do you know anyone who works at a competing company and might have information on a good lead? That old saying about “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” might come in handy! This is also a good time to freshen up your information on professional networking pages like LinkedIn, where recruiters and companies alike often look for qualified job candidates.
- If you know you’re being laid off, there’s plenty you can do. If word comes down that you’ll be out of a job, and you have some time to prepare for it, there are a few things you can do to help yourself out. Try to negotiate your severance package, factoring in things like seniority, any remaining vacation or sick time for which you can be paid out, securing a letter of recommendation, signing up for health insurance coverage, etc. Some companies might offer career counseling or the opportunity to help you find another job with a sister company; it’s worth asking your HR team what benefits or opportunities might be available for you to utilize before having to leave.
No one wants to lose their job. It’s a frightening, nerve-wracking experience, but the truth is, many people go through this at some point in their lives. It’s not your fault! Take some time to catch your breath and realize the sky isn’t falling, and then you can start the process of finding a new job.
Luckily, you don’t have to search alone! Davis Staffing is standing by ready to help you find a great opportunity, one that will utilize your skills and background and maybe even advance your career. If you’re not sure what you’d like to do next, Davis Staffing also works with companies looking for part-time and temporary employees, so you can earn a paycheck while sorting out your future. When you’re ready to get started, call Davis Staffing!