A few close friends have gotten the boot, and many Canadian Companies are ready to engage in a mass (a fond HR term) "restructure." The uncertainty and tension at workplaces is palatable. People are walking around like zombies, wondering who is next.
Being the consummate professional that I am, I have come up with a few to do’s in the event of an impending lay off:
Clean out your office- It is simply amazing how many shoes one accumulates under one’s desk after five years. I was happy to re-discover a pair of red leather pumps…
Clean out your laptop- Put all your personal items in a special folder, and save to a thumb drive, then leave instructions with trusted work friends, to delete the folder in the event that you are walked out….same goes for your personal email
Take home any non essentials- i.e. your emergency sewing kits, perfumes, and generally anything you would be sorry to never see again
Create a contact list of all essential contacts, think who of these would be in a position to assist me in finding another job or be a great reference?
Lay Low: Don’t be the iijet that chooses such a time to have conversations with their boss about not being ‘busy’ enough. Keep your head down, spread paper on your desk, do what you need to, to look as busy as ever. I recommend watching a few Seinfeld episodes in preparation.
Prepare yourself: There is nothing worse than having the unexpected happen to you. Often during times of mass re-structuring people go about justifying their positions to themselves. Instead, imagine what the ‘pink slip’ talk will be like, and picture your ideal reaction.
Know Thy Rights: Figure out what you’re entitled to under the Employment Standard’s acts. Understand how Employment Insurance works.
Have a Back Up Plan: Now more than ever understand your financial situation. How long could you survive? What are you alternative income sources? Who can you rely on to get you through this tough time?
Dust off that Resume: Give your resume a facelift. Make sure its up to date. Create a network of close friends you could ask to help you find a new job. Linked In is a great site for connecting with employers.
Rejoice at the Gift of Time: Yes Money is a challenge, but if you had the gift of time, what would you do differently? Would you travel? Would you go visit family? Would you visit friends? Would you build a new shed? Would you paint your house?
Most of all believe in the phrase ‘This too Shall Pass.’