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Ten things you should do before layoff

December 1st, 2008 · 5 Comments

Are you employed but concerned about your job security? You’re not alone. And you should be concerned. According to Barron’s Tech Trader Daily, As Tech Job Cuts Mount, Layoff Rumors Pervade The Valley. And CEOs told Chicago Mayor They Plan Huge Layoff in November, December.

I wish I have the crystal ball to tell folks who will get laid off, and who will be safe. 🙂 However, regardless of your employer, position, background and experience, you should be prepared that you might be laid off. It never hurts to prepare for worst-case scenario.

Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.

Below is my list of 10 things you should do before layoff:

  1. Update your resume now. Have a generic cover letter ready. You will need to customize the cover letter for each job. However,  you should have the "raw materials" ready so that you can quickly put together a customized cover letter.
  2. Update your LinkedIn and Facebook profile now — treat them as your resume. On LinkedIn, you should have at least 5 positive references. Make sure the references address difference areas of your skills/abilities/competencies/personalities/leadership/etc.
  3. Assuming you have 1 day left in your company, what are the three things you wish you have learned but you haven’t gotten a chance to learn? — come in early, stay late, and make sure you learn as much as you can from your current job.
  4. Given your current employer, your experience, background and skill set, which 10 companies will be dying to hire you today? You might not be excited about working for these companies. The job might be exactly the same as what you’re doing today. But, that’s okay. Write down the 10 companies. These are your "backups" — in worst case scenario, you want to focus on these companies since you will have a huge competitive advantage over other job applicants.
  5. Make a list of 10 companies that you are most interested in working for.
  6. Make a list of 10 start-ups that recently get funding (e.g. within the past 6 months) that you you’ll be interested in working for. Don’t ignore start-ups during recession — if they have a good management team and have enough funding, they could weather the storm better than larger companies. You just need to find the right one.
  7. Did you get any job in the past with the help from a 3rd-party recruiter? Do you have any recruiter friends? Get in touch with them. Send them a copy of your updated resume, and tell them to keep an eye for you. Forming a network of headhunter friends is one of the best ways to build a "safety net" for yourself in case that you need look for a job.
  8. Do a personal finance check up. The key is to know your cash burn rate in case you get laid off. How much cash do you need each month? This will include your mortgage/rent, utilities bills, phone, car payment, cable, grocery, credit payment, child care, etc. Also, make sure you add CORBRA payment to continue health care coverage. This could be a significant cost. Read and implement Beat Recession Advice #2: Cut your expenses, save money and conserve cash. 
  9. Make a list of 100+ people who can help you get a job. If you haven’t done a good job to keep in touch with your family, friends and colleagues, re-connect with them. Holiday greeting is a great way to reconnect. Networking is crucial for getting a job during recession. Make sure you have a network ready to help you during difficult time.
  10. Read Seven Things You should do immediately after layoff — a post from last week. As a reader commented, these are also good tips for life before a layoff.

Tags: Beat Recession · Recruiting & Job Hunting

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Citra Indah // Feb 25, 2009 at 4:58 am

    Thank for sharing these tips. but in my opinion, getting as much as friend / link should be on the top of list

  • 2 Cheap Textbooks // Feb 26, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Great tips. I think the most important thing you need to look into is your financial status. I would suggest Keep at least three months of backup with you in these hard times. So, if anything goes wrong, you can at least get a sufficient time to concentrate on searching a job instead of worrying about your financial status.

  • 3 reviews // Mar 5, 2009 at 4:47 am

    Thank for the posting of 10 things to do. However, in my experience, point number 9 or networking is the best method. especially in the small world such as oil gas industries

  • 4 Sue Ricketts // Jun 6, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Great story. Are you interested in any submissions from Canada? I am a financial planner who works with people here to make sure that they don't lose their group benefits when they become unemployed.

  • 5 Sue Ricketts // Jun 6, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Great story. Are you interested in any submissions from Canada? I am a financial planner who works with people here to make sure that they don't lose their group benefits when they become unemployed.

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