The economy with all its ups and downs can affect your company—and your continued employment. If you’ve ever lived through a company layoff, you know how it can shake you to your very foundation. It’s been said that over half of us get our sense of identity from our jobs. When job loss happens, it can hurt.
How do you know if your company is struggling and is contemplating layoffs? Experts say there are warning signs to watch for that should trigger the updating of your résumé and your profile. Some warning signs include:
- Hiring freeze: When interviews and offers in the works are put on hold, be alert.
- Scheduled projects hold: Watch how your manager communicates the reason, more than the why.
- Spending freeze: This can be a big red flag when it includes ordinary items like meeting snacks.
- Managing behind closed doors: When you see managers spending extra time behind closed doors—possibly with HR—for urgent meetings, you may wish to be more urgent about putting feelers out there.
- Long-range is forgotten: When there’s no more discussion of long-range planning and future projects, your future may lie elsewhere.
What to do when you’ve been laid-off
Once you’ve experienced the shock, anger, frustration and occasionally relief, after you’ve been let go, what next? The key, according to experts, is to get yourself moving as fast as possible. Some survival tips:
- Be open with your family: They will be anxious about what the future holds too. Have an open discussion about the situation.
- Cut expenses: You can use the family discussion to get their buy-in on reducing expenditures.
- Build networking lists: It’s often who you know, so begin creating lists of people to reach out to. Also, create a list of companies that you want to look at. Experts suggest a goal of 100 people and 50 companies for your list.
- Your agenda for success: Like a work meeting, put together your daily agenda of specific steps that will help move you towards your goal. Maybe it’s coffee with a business associate, or maybe it’s a networking event, or even volunteering with a cause you are passionate about. Take daily steps.
- Stay on-task: You may have to say no to the “since you’re going to be home” tasks. Stay diligent.
- Prepare for a marathon: Job searching can take longer than you may expect. Create a healthy balance of eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep and avoiding bad habits.
Financial stress and bankruptcy
When the job search drags on and the bills continue, life can begin to feel overwhelming. The constant collection calls and past-due notices can lead to financial stress. Maybe you’re not eating or maybe you’re overeating, but anxiety can threaten both your health and your relationships. One of the more common reasons that people file for bankruptcy is the loss of their job. Discussing your unique situation and your options with an experienced bankruptcy attorney can lead you to a sound and informed decision. Whether it’s foreclosure prevention or simply a fresh start, debt relief can be just the relief needed.