Two weeks ago, I was laid off from my job after almost two years with the company. I learned a lot from the experience, namely that I am not invincible. Naive as it may sound, I never expected to be laid off, especially at age 23.
Living in fear of a lay off is not beneficial, but being aware that it could happen to you at any time will likely encourage you to take the following precautions, which will leave you prepared in the event of you do get laid off.
Keep your resume up-to-date. When I was laid off, I spent nearly the entire next day updating and formatting my resume. Save yourself the hassle and keep your resume updated throughout the years. Did you hit a major goal at work or save the company a large amount of money? Write it down!
Have a coworker on your side at all times. What could be worse than being laid off from a company, only to realize that none of your coworkers are willing to vouch for you or write you a recommendation? Remember to keep at least one coworker in your court at all times so that you can depend on them if you are laid off. Even better, have someone you trust endorse you on LinkedIn so that you already have the words in writing.
Network at other companies. It's always a good idea to have contacts at companies that you would love to work for. You never know when you might want to target them for job help. Follow them on Twitter, connect with them on LinkedIn, and attend the events that they host.
Keep your networks up-to-date. Periodically scan LinkedIn to see if there are individuals that you know who you are not yet connected to. Send regular updates to your mentors so that you don't have to contact them out of the blue if you are laid off.
Save, save, save. Even with severance pay, you may find yourself in a tight financial spot after a lay off. The best way to thwart this possible scenario is to prepare ahead of time by putting aside money each month for emergency expenses.
Practice side skills. Whether it's on the job or in your free time, always look for opportunities to expand your skill set. No experience with Google Analytics? Set up an account on your blog and poke around on it. Interested in ultimately working in a position that might require CSS? Teach yourself how to code on W3Schools. Want to travel for your next job? Pick up Rosetta Stone and start learning Spanish. Check out Skillshare.com for online and in-person skill-based classes or see if your local coworking space or library offers these resources.
Getting laid off is never a wholly positive experience, but you can spin it into an experience that you can grow from.
Cristina Roman is a Raleigh lover, a business owner, and a former Junior Recruiting Coordinator. She is obsessed with volunteerism, Twitter and Starbucks, and loves tennis, gluten-free cooking and professional development. Cristina likes to think of herself as professional with a goofy streak. She blogs about just about everything over at Scintillating Simplicity. Find it here: http://www.cmroman.com/