12 Creative and Productive Things To Do When Your Company is About Laying You Off!
Many of us get into a frozen state of denial when we think our jobs are in jeopardy. If you’re starting to get strange feelings that your job
could be in danger, you’re probably right. Now is the time to start
thinking of ways to improve your situation, no matter what the outcome
might be. Don’t delay!
Start taking action steps now from this section to keep yourself from needless worry:
If you’re expecting a lay-off, get all your accomplishments together in a
sort of portfolio scrapbook. If your skills are creative, get examples of
your work like advertising you’ve created, websites you’ve created, or
other projects you’ve been a part of. This will be a great tool to bring with
you on your job interviews.
If you’ve not been laid off yet, but you suspect you might, start
streamlining your expenses now.
Cancel all expenses that are not necessary, such as memberships or
subscriptions. Some of these could be magazines you never read,
newspapers that sit in your driveway unopened, or cable channels you
never watch. Funnel the extra money you gain into a savings account.
Lynne: My father used to call this account his “going to town money.”
Get your budget in shape if you’re scared of a lay-off. Sit down with your
checking account ledgers for the past year and make up an annual
budget. This will take you several hours, but it will be worth it for your
sense of security. This exercise will also help those who are afraid to look
at their monthly expenses. You need to know who gets a piece of your
paycheck before your paycheck stops. You’ll discover creative ways to cut
expenses and plan better.
Evaluate your budget for the past 6 months using your checkbook
registers, receipts, and monthly statements.
Label a notebook with different categories. Organize your past spending
habits into categories.
Evaluate your spending habits based on needs and wants. Don’t kick
yourself over wasteful habits in the past – just decide to change them
from now on.
The pressure on you from your family with this subject can sometimes be
very great at times you are trying to get everyone to cooperate with
Keep your eye out for local job fairs in your town (or in a town you might
consider moving to). These can sometimes be very beneficial for those
who show up dressed well, give a great sales pitch on their skills, and
have a resume in hand. Boost your confidence before you go, with some
inspiring audio tapes.
If thinking of making a career change or of striking out as a consultant,
don’t just look at listings of jobs on the Internet in your town. Look at
other major city job listings for other career ideas. You can find some
very interesting job descriptions in other cities to give you new career
Have sit-down family meetings in which you all talk openly. Asking your
family for help in finding ways to cut back and save money will help
them feel useful and involved. This sit-down before being laid off will also
keep them from feeling shock when it really does happen.
Invite suggestions from them, welcoming any inputs with positive
feedback and without criticism. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the
suggestions you’ll get, even from the tiniest tot.
Keep in mind that young children don’t really understand about being
laid off. They only feel that food gets paid for and houses are provided for
by some invisible “force” that parents propel. Don’t expect them to
completely understand or empathize. Different children have different
ways of dealing with situations like this.
Explain everything in a positive, encouraging way. Explain what is
happening/or happened to your job. Avoid bitter, angry, resentful
approaches to the subject. Treat everyone in the family with equal
respect and understanding. Allow them to explain how the loss of your
job makes them feel. (Don’t be surprised if younger children don’t know
what they feel)
Allow them to express fear or any other emotion. Explain in a positive
way that you’ll probably be around a lot more now. Explain that money
won’t be as plentiful as it has been, but that you believe the family will
be fine until you find more work. Ask them for their help saving wherever
they can. Ask them to think of ways they can save money themselves.
Most children and spouses will feel good about this.
Try to avoid money arguments with your spouse during this time. It’s
hurtful and makes staying positive very difficult.
Lynne: My father was fired when I was about 11 years old. I was a little
different from my brothers, as I felt a huge burden when he told us. I
grieved with him. It was a devastating day I’ll never forget, when my
father sat us down at breakfast to break the news. I handled it a little
differently with my own daughter because she was a different kind of
child than I was.
If you’re an IT professional or other business-service provider, read the
magazine called “The Talent Economy.” You’ll get great ideas about
keeping your skills sharp and learn about ways to find consulting
engagements in your field.
Visit http://www.talenteconomymag.com or write to: The Talent
Economy, 24 Union Avenue, Suite 29, Framingham, MA. 01702.
Work on a skill you’ve always wanted to learn, but either haven’t had the
time or haven’t taken the time to learn.
Use resources in the library or on the Internet.
Look for places online or in your local library where you can take
tutorials or learn something more about your craft or desired new career.
Look at your area community colleges for adult education classes in a
subject in your field at a very low cost.
They can either be classes in your career of choice, or they can be
something you’ve always wanted to learn – such as personal finances,
some kind of art class, or personal development skills.
Make a list of everything you’ve ever thought about doing as a career,
even as far back as when you were a child.
It helps to write things down, and consider this list carefully during
reflection times. Is there some truth about yourself you’ve been ignoring
for many years? Are you in the wrong field? Have you been working at a
miserable job because you felt like you were stuck or had to?