Each day recently brings more gloom with news of our souring economy. Just about every sector — from airlines to telecommunications to healthcare — is contracting. Many sources say we should brace for more. We all agree the end of the year is a less than ideal time to get such daunting news — especially for workers who haven’t been in the job market for awhile — Gerri Willis, personal finance editor at CNN offers those preparing for a layoff some useful tips:
1. Get prepared: Get some savings together. If you don’t have six months worth of savings – enough to cover your mortgage/rent, food, energy and transportation – GET IT. In this environment, when there is more competition and fewer jobs available, it may take even more time for you to find a job. It’s worth it to stop contributing to your 401k and sock the money into an savings account if you currently have no savings and you are reasonably certain you are about to be laid off.
2. Use up your health benefits: Get the annual checkup, specialty exams, shots, in short, everything, because you don’t know what sort of insurance coverage you might have once you are jobless. The only thing that you can count on is that coverage will cost you more. Use up any money in a health savings account or transportation savings account. This money disappears at the end of the calendar year – anyway – so be sure to use up any money in these accounts – this is your dough, don’t leave it on the table. And now is the time to start reading up on COBRA coverage.
3. Be proactive: All is not lost. It may be that you aren’t going to get laid off, or that your employer is currently putting together the list of folks who are about to be axed. For that reason, you’ll want to continue to push your star higher at work. Get yourself assigned to critical company projects. Find ways for the company to save money. Reestablish connections with people in different parts of the company.
In addition here are some suggestions Glassdoor has to offer that people can do now as they start to plan their transition to getting in the job market:
4. Take a breath: You’re in good company as thousands of other people are in the same boat. If this caught you off guard, take some time to absorb the situation and evaluate your short-term financial situation
5. Evaluate your options: Many people have been considering career changes for years and sometimes we find opportunity in adversity. Maybe now’s the time to take that step or consider applying your skills in a new sector.
6. Research sectors and companies: There are a number of sources out there. Glassdoor has more than 115,000 company reviews from employees and company salary reports at 17,000 companies in nearly 40 industries throughout the world. Learn from the advice and insights from others in your workplace and industry.
8. Set up informational interviews: This is the perfect time to go through your contacts, LinkedIn network, follow up with recruiters, and other professional affiliations. Spend time talking with people you know and people you want to know.
9. Make a plan: Take a look at the landscape and put some thought into when you want to kick start your job hunt. Spend this time with your family and focus on the horizon by setting some milestones.
10. Be patient: These are uncertain times so landing a job may take awhile but it’s not impossible. Just don’t get discouraged.
Stay tuned as Glassdoor will soon be launching a guest blogger series that will begin with our board member Rusty Rueff, who led HR departments at PepsiCo and Electronic Arts before becoming CEO of SNOCAP. Rusty, co-author of ‘Talent Force,’ will share his expertise, insight and provide tips for employees and employers to navigate through this tumultuous time.