You Got Fired Tomorrow – How to Prepare for the Unexpected

Got firedIn today’s work climate, it’s (unfortunately) not uncommon to be blindsided with a layoff. And that’s just one reason, according to Monster‘s career expert Vicki Salemi, that “you always need to be prepared for the worst to happen—and not in a paranoid type of way, but in a proactive, meaningful way.”

She adds, “it’s always a wise move to expect a layoff even if you don’t have any tangible reason to believe it could happen. Your company could get acquired overnight, your position could be eliminated—the possibilities are endless.”

So don’t wait for the worst to happen. Prepare yourself today for tomorrow, so that you’re ready to take on whatever may come. Here’s how.

1. Update your resume. Most of us don’t update our resume until absolutely necessary. (After all, it ranks very high on our most-tedious tasks lists, somewhere behind folding laundry and balancing our checkbooks.) But if you update your resume bit by bit, it’s not so bad. For example, “say you spearheaded a new project at work and received recognition for it,” says Salemi. “Make a point to add it to your resume. That way if something does happen, you won’t have a freak out moment because you haven’t updated your resume since you interviewed for your current employer.”

2. Brush up on your skill weaknesses. “Any opportunity where you can gradually eliminate any career and skill weaknesses is time and money well spent,” according to Dawn Rasmussen, certified résumé writer and president of Pathfinder Writing and Career Services. So let’s say you’re not the best interviewer—don’t wait until you need to schedule an interview to brush up on your interview skills. Practice (or get professional coaching) now. Same goes for any other skill for which you may be lacking. “A little behind-the-times on certain industry software?” asks Rasmussen. “Take a class. Considering a career shift? Join a relevant professional organization.”

3. Set up job alerts online. “Even if you have no reason to believe you’ll be let go tomorrow, it’s smart to keep a pulse on job opportunities,” recommends Salemi. It’s easy to set up alerts at sites like Monster and Indeed, and after that initial set up, you won’t have to do anything other than check the alerts that come directly to your inbox. “And hey, the best-case scenario: Whether or not you do get let go, you may discover an awesome new job to pursue,” Salemi adds.

4. Network—in person, and on LinkedIn. reach out to work acquaintances via social media and face-to-face connections, such as industry and alumni events. “Block time in your calendar to get out of your own company environment and see the bigger world,” recommends Dana Manciagli, career coach and author of Cut the Crap, Get a Job! A New Job Search Process for a New Era. And when your resume is newly updated (see suggestion No. 1), make sure your LinkedIn profile reflects your changes, too. “Naturally, change the privacy settings under ‘sharing profile edits’ so your network is not alerted every time you change something,” Manciagli says.

5. Pre-schedule meetings. Here’s the thing about being laid off (or worse): It shakes up your self-esteem. So, “if you wait to look for a job after being laid off, you’ll potentially be nervous, desperate, and give off a needy vibe,” warns Salemi. That’s why, she says, “it’s in your best interest to maintain relationships and meet people face-to-face to check in especially when you’re not actively looking. You’ll appear calmer and definitely more confident.” And, if you happen to be laid off a little later, you can reach out and continue that already-started conversation.

6. Know your worth. The gender wage gap is real. And that’s just one (very good) reason why you should know your worth right now—let alone in the face of a lay off. “You can get a pulse on the going salary range for your industry by speaking to a mentor, logging onto PayScale, or talking to former colleagues,” says Salemi. “You don’t have to get invasive and ask what they’re earning. Just ask about numbers for the industry, and explain that you’re just doing your due diligence so you don’t shortchange yourself at your next gig.”

7. Know your budget. Truth: “In the good times, people sometimes let go of their budgets and never regain control,” says Rasmussen. (We have credit card bills to prove this.) But, “knowing your financial position and what a budget would look like is important, which also means planning in the event of an unplanned job transition.” Financial experts have recommended stashing away between three and six months’ worth of savings. “Exerting budget control now can help you get through tough times,” explains Rasmussen.

If you’re faced with a layoff—or worse—your first step, Salemi says, “should be to take a deep breath and realize this too shall pass. There are a lot of unknowns—like when you’ll land your next job—but you need to fully process what has happened, accept it and then briskly move on to next steps.”

Source: www.glamour.com