Nobody likes to think about layoffs. However, it can pay – both literally and figuratively – to be aware of when they might be coming and prepare for them. Signs that a job loss might be on the horizon at your company may range from falling sales and closed-door meetings to decreased workloads and the arrival of a new management team to shake things up. If you think there’s a chance that layoffs might be coming, keep the following in mind to make sure you come out of them in as strong a position as possible.
– Make sure you keep working. When workloads are down, it may be tempting to take it easy, but managers will notice if you do. Even if your normal workload dries up, find new projects to take on and new ways to make yourself valuable to the company. Doing so may keep your name off the layoff list, and it will definitely help to keep you sharp.
– When it comes to office gossip, listen rather than talk. You don’t want to be the one spreading rumors about layoffs at the office. Keeping in touch with the grapevine can help you to figure out what’s going on around you.
– Check out your company’s policies. Many large firms have policies that govern how they let workers go. If your company has such a policy, reviewing it will let you know what to expect. You may or may not receive a severance package. If you do, it may be negotiable, particularly if the company is failing to adhere to its own policies.
– Prepare for your job search. Get in touch with people in your network who might be able to help you to find new work, and update your resume to include recent projects and accomplishments while they’re still fresh in your memory. You should also do some initial planning, such as identifying what you’re looking for in a position, so that if you do get laid off, you can hit the ground running.