When a layoff is looming, your anxiety rises, and fear can take over. However, instead of giving in to fear, it's crucial to take a proactive approach and prepare for possible uncertainties ahead. Here's a strategic guide to help you plan and/or navigate through the storm:
1. Stay Calm and Plan Ahead: It's natural to feel anxious, but don't freak out and let fear take control. Even if you are anticipating a layoff might be in your future, remind yourself, “this has not happened.” Why worry yourself about what “might” happen? What good will that do? Stay vigilant without succumbing to panic, worry, and stress. It’s not good for your well-being.
2. Be Smart and Strategic: Develop a plan to safeguard your mental well-being and financial stability. If you are fairly certain that your job will be impacted, consider discreetly taking personal items home, preparing for a potential departure. Talk to someone close to you, a spouse, significant other, parent or grandparent, or someone who you feel completely comfortable opening up to about your thoughts and concerns. This may help you “get it off your chest” and clear your head so you can focus on life, work and putting one foot in front of the other.
If you aren’t already doing this, update your direct deposit to allocate funds to a savings account, aiming to set aside for 3-6 months of expenses. Cut non-essential expenses and identify items that can be put on hold or canceled: coffee or smoothie run, streaming services, food delivery, etc. You will find that it’s a little bit easier to think about these things now rather than sorting through it should the layoff become a reality.
3. Professional Preparedness: As part of your strategy, create a checklist of professional items. Update your resume, update or make a list with achievements and projects, refresh your LinkedIn profile, and maintain open communication with your network. Reach out positively to connections, expressing your openness to opportunities without dwelling on layoff fears. Ensure your professional documents are in order and use any downtime to enhance your marketability.
Remember, maintaining a level-head is key to working through your fears. While a layoff may shake your current circumstances, it doesn't diminish your capabilities, knowledge, or experience. You are not defined solely by your job; you possess the resilience to overcome challenges. Stay confident, focus on what you can control, and believe that new opportunities await. In the big picture of your career, a layoff may be just a temporary storm – you have the strength to get through the bumps in the road and find a new, possibly even better, professional opportunity.
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