How To Prepare If You Suspect You’ll Be Losing Your Job
While your grandparents may have stayed in the same job for forty years, that scenario is becoming less and less common in the working world. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average worker changes jobs an average of 12 times over the course of their career—sometimes by choice and sometimes not.
While job security is ideal, it’s important to always be prepared in the case of a layoff or termination from your position. This means networking, having your finances in order, and remembering that you will stay afloat during this financially difficult time. Here are the top four things you should do if you suspect you’re on the proverbial chopping block…
Keep An Eye On Job Boards
Even if you’re fairly certain your job is safe, it never hurts to keep your eyes open for your next opportunity. Perhaps that means keeping an eye on LinkedIn, chatting up an old colleague about a position at their company, or simply updating your resume and portfolio. You don’t need to jump ship tomorrow, but being prepared means staying one step ahead of the game, and never letting a great opportunity pass you by.
Start Cleaning Your Desk Area
Without making it too obvious, it may be helpful to start casually reorganizing your workstation and taking anything of value home with you. Just a few things per day will make the process subtler, and you can brush it off by saying that you wanted a cleaner desk. If you’re suddenly laid off one day, you can just grab your jacket and go, without having to worry about logistics like packing up your desk.
Review Your Employment Contract
Many employment contracts have a clause that restricts your activity after termination or layoff. These include confidentiality, protection of intellectual property, noncompete and non-solicitation of personnel or client.
Since legal jargon can be complicated, you may want to reach out to an attorney (or someone with relevant experience) to review your contract and give you advice on the best ways to proceed should your position be eliminated. While lawyers aren’t cheap, this method could end up saving you lots of time and money in the future.
Save Your Money
While you may or may not be eligible for unemployment insurance after being terminated, you should build up a savings cushion to get you through a period of unemployment. Sadly, the bills never stop, even when your job does. Do what you can to cut back on expenses, pick up some freelance work on the side, or reach out to a family member or friend for financial assistance.