Layoff-Proof Your Life
What To Do
Keep your resume current.
- Look for Signs
There are many ways to figure out whether layoffs are imminent, according to Jordon Levin, Psy.D., a faculty member and coordinator of the Career Assessment and Guidance Program at the Adler School of Professional Psychology, in Chicago. "The preeminent sign is a steep drop in your company's profits," he says. Other signs to look for are organizational shifts, outside consultants brought in to evaluate staff performance or being asked to hand in a written job description.
- Update Your Resume
Even if you're not anticipating a layoff, it pays to have your resume ready to go. Also, "Build a separate portfolio of your best work," recommends J. Damian Birkel, executive director and founder of Professionals In Transition, Inc., a support group based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. "Be sure to document how this work improved sales or efficiency, increased profits, and so on -- results that are measurable and quantifiable."
Attend job fairs and conferences, join professional associations and make a point of meeting regularly with former colleagues. Don't be afraid to think outside the box, either. "Make a list of everybody you know -- right down to your dentist," says Joyce Weiss, M.A., a corporate speaker based in West Bloomfield, Michigan. "Then let them know you're looking to change jobs."
- Assess Your Finances
Experts advise having enough money put away to cover three to six months of living expenses. "If you don't," says Liz Claman, co-anchor of Today's Business on CNBC, "figure out what you can cut out of your budget so you can save now."
- Think of a New Field You'd Like to Explore
Losing a job can be the perfect opportunity to go after a long-held dream. Start now by investigating careers that interest you and the skills they require.
- Look Into Other Sources of Income
Having a part-time line of work -- be it at-home word processing, selling real estate, crafting or dog walking -- will give you a financial cushion in case of a layoff.
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