According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employers carried out 1,434 mass layoff actions in January 2012 that affected 129,920 employees. This number is slightly up from December 2011. If your company is the next to lay off employees, are you ready? It reminds me of way we prepare for potential natural disasters. Even though a low percentage of people that are affected, most prepare when they know that something is going to happen. Do you think a layoff could be as devastating as a hurricane? It can be for hundreds of thousands of people, but it does not have to be if you are prepared. Let’s get ready!
1.) Reduce your expenses, decrease debt, and increase your savings. If you have not done so already, start an emergency savings fund. Personal finance experts, such as Suze Orman, recommend a savings fund of eight months of livings costs to be properly prepared.
2.) Increase your positive visibility within your company to safeguard against unemployment. Many times the strongest contributors will survive a downsizing. Keep performing at your best and be sure your contributions are noticed. It’s not just the big sales, sometimes it is the little things. I found some practical tips on Todd Smith’s (author of Little Things Matter) website.
3.) Start a brag file. Take a few seconds out of your busy day to jot notes of your career successes. Include measured results when you can. Later when you are preparing your resume, these details may be difficult to remember.
4.) Keep your resume current. Work with a professional or conduct research so your resume meets the standards for a 2012 job search. It’s a competitive market and a “B” resume won’t get the interview.
5.) Network, network, and network. Need I say more? The top way to get a job is still through networking, both online and in the real world.
6.) Get social. Social media is increasingly important. Social media continues to transform the way candidates and employers source and connect with each other. If you are not using social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, get on board. If you are active on any forms of social media, make sure it is aligned with the brand you wish to project.
In the event that you do get the proverbial pink slip, you will be six steps ahead of the others. That’s not enough. You will need to hit the ground running. I had a savvy client call me from his cell phone in the company lobby. He was unemployed less than an hour and he had already started to work on his job search campaign. Needless to say, I got a call from him 42 days later that he landed a new job with a 5% increase over his former salary. It’s no accident. His preparation and diligence paid off.