How to take control to minimize layoff damages

When You're Facing a Layoff


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editor's note: This page is a step-by-step process to help you prepare for or survive a layoff. Please don't just read it quickly and think that you know the topic. It's important to consider your circumstances and make the necessary changes. Naturally, we hope that none of our visitors suffer a layoff. But, we're also wise enough to recognize that's not likely. So we offer these steps to help you survive a challenging time.

1. Don't deny the truth. You could be facing a layoff. Denying the danger to your income will not make the problem go away. Facing the truth gives you a better chance to be prepared for whatever the future may hold.

2. Find out how vulnerable to a layoff you really are. This simple, scientific quiz will give you a good estimate of how safe your job is for the next year. If your score indicates there could be risk for a layoff you'll want to take the more detailed version of the quiz.

3. Make yourself too valuable to layoff. As companies go through layoffs those employees that remain need to be capable of handling more than one job. Look for opportunities to learn new tasks at work.

4. Take classes to learn new skills. Many fields are developing new ways of doing things. Unless you continue your eduction you'll be left behind. It may mean taking some classes from your professional organization. Or a trade school. Or you might even need to take some college classes. Even if the new skills don't help you avoid a layoff, they'll make it easier to find the next job.

5. Evaluate how hard it would be to survive a layoff financially. Will you be eligible for unemployment? How much would you get and for how long? You'll find links to the state pages covering unemployment here and here.

6. Refuse to take on new debt. Now is not the time to buy a new car or take an expensive vacation. Even if you could afford the payments today, they'll become a problem if you lose your paycheck.

7. Stockpile non-perishables. Fill your pantry before a layoff. You'll find more information about stocking your pantry here.

8. Pay off debts. Especially credit card debt. Squeeze your expenses or find new sources of income. Use that money to pay down your debts. Check your credit cards to make sure that you're the lowest interest rates possible. That will make it easier to pay them off. Use this tool to compare your rate to others.

9. Build a savings cushion. Having a few dollars stashed away is important when you're facing a layoff. Start a savings program today.

"Remember that there is life after a layoff."

10. Evaluate how hard it will be to find a new job if you're the victim of a layoff. Are there employers looking for your skills? Or will you find it necessary to changing your career path? One of the best ways of finding out is to review job boards. Some of the largest are Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com.

11. Prepare a resume. The best time to prepare a resume is before you're a layoff victim. A good resource for advice on writing your resume can be found here.

12. Seek a new job now before you you get caught in a layoff. Use your network to find out about job opportunities. It's always easier to find a job when you already have one.

13. Medical Insurance during a layoff. You'll need to make choices as to what type of medical insurance you need. No one answer is best for all situations. You can read more about it here.

14. Remember that there is life after a layoff. Many people even turn a negative into a positive. You can read about some of them in this USA Today article.

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