A lot of people are afraid of the pink slip. And why wouldn’t they be? After all, losing the job means financial instability. While no one wants to lose their job, you should always be prepared for a layoff because it can happen to anyone, especially when the economy takes a downturn. Luckily, there are a number of ways to be prepared.

Layoff Warning Signs

Layoff warning signs are easy to see. When the economy is in a bad shape, only a handful of lucky employees survive a layoff. Below are a few warning signs you should watch out for:

Hiring Freezes

If your company suddenly decides to stop hiring, reduce internships, or delays new employee starting dates, then you should be worried. It is always best to start updating your resume and be prepared to look for other jobs.

Rumors of Layoffs

Grapevine within any office is great at letting you know of any new gossip that arises. Not all information received through the grapevine is accurate, but it is always good to be aware and be prepared.

Workload Shifting

This restructuring or shifting of workloads or teams might indicate job cutting. And if the management asks you to train other employees regarding your job, then you might just be getting laid off. So watch out!

Hiring Consultants

Your company might hire external consultants for restructuring, streamlining processes, redefining strategic direction, and increasing overall efficiency. While this restructuring can be beneficial for the organization, it can be a difficult period for the employees who might face the bad news of a pending layoff.

Watch out for Competitors

See what the competitors with similar clients and practices are doing. If they are firing employees or experiencing financial difficulties, then chances are that your firm might be experiencing that too.

Eliminating Perks and other Benefits

If a company takes steps to eliminate or redesign certain perks and benefits, it might indicate trouble. This can include taking away memberships of different clubs, restructuring car policies and benefit plans, and other such things.

Secret Meetings behind Closed Doors

If the upper management decides to have frequent secret meetings and reduce the amount of face to face interactions with employees or answer their questions about finances and layoffs, it could indicate that something is wrong.

Cost Cutting

If the upper management takes steps to cut extra costs, or asks employees to suggest ways they can cut overall company costs, this could mean a potential layoff. A company can also start reducing expenses of training, travel, and other bottom-line expenses.

What to Expect

Know that a layoff is a hard time for everyone. The news consumes you emotionally and you might be dwelling over it for a long time. The emotions are completely healthy, but you must also work towards dealing with the issue, instead of just sitting at home and not doing anything. The best thing you can do to deal with a layoff is to constantly talk to other people about it in a healthy and positive way, be it your past co-workers, you family, or your friends. You never know, they might be the ones to help you get your next job because talking helps expand your own mind and get information from other people.

Preparing for a Layoff

Always be prepared for a layoff, especially when you start seeing the warning signs. Know what benefits you are entitled to if you get laid off, and then file for unemployment insurance when you get terminated. Preparing beforehand for a potential layoff can benefit the employee emotionally and prepare them to start looking for another job quicker. Consider the following steps which will help you emotionally and physically in case of a layoff:

  • Update your resume continuously.
  • Stay socially active and network with people around you. They might just come in handy later on.
  • Learn new skills and improve yourself.
  • Take time out to pamper yourself and indulge yourself in a hobby. You should be emotionally sound.
  • Think of a career change while you’re still employed.

Mistakes to Avoid After Getting Laid Off

Being laid off can cause some negative emotions such as anger or depression. This is completely natural, but you cannot let these negative emotions get the better of you. You need to think rationally and not succumb to your emotions. Avoid the following mistakes at all costs:

  • Saying bad things about your previous employer who laid you off.
  • Not letting your family know about your layoff.
  • Starting your job search immediately after just because you want to land another job quickly. Not taking time out to focus on what you truly want to do and what your true potential is.
  • Thinking badly of yourself and building a negative perception about everything around you. Not focusing on the positive outcome that this could have on you like seeking a job that you might love doing.
  • Becoming dependent solely on the internet and not talking to people outside your home.

Turn the Layoff into a Success

Being laid off might just be a blessing in disguise. You might think negatively of it for a little while or feel that you didn’t deserve it, but you never know. You might just be getting something better in the future. Always take a layoff as a lesson learnt and focus on the positives that you did achieve out of your previous job like the new skills that you’ve acquired or your accomplishments.

You can utilize the time that you have to yourself after your layoff to plan better for your next job. List down the things that you might want to do and focus on what you might be good at. Planning beforehand can ensure a more fulfilling future path for you.

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