Working Strategies: A pre-layoff checklist
What should you do when you suspect a layoff is imminent? A lot of advice focuses on working harder to keep your job. While that is not a bad idea, I have a feeling it may be too little, too late.
Working Strategies by Amy Lindgren
- Survey work arrangement and identify what access you would lose. If your workplace uses key cards, you will not be able to enter the building. Your passwords will likely be disabled and you will not be able to use your computer or voice mail at the office. That means no access to your e-mail address book and contact information.
- Itemize your company-issued equipment. What would you need to return?
- Review your company-sponsored benefits. Health insurance is the big item; other things to look at include disability and life insurance, professional subscriptions and memberships, and health club memberships.
- Stop using your work computer to store personal documents. Print or e-mail to your personal account the items that matter to you. Remember that the work you’ve completed for the company does not belong to you. On the other hand, unless it’s highly confidential, your work does belong in your portfolio, so go ahead and capture representative samples of your projects.
- Stop using your work-issued cell phone to store contact information. Duplicate your info into something more permanent, such as an address book.
- Where feasible, disentangle yourself from company benefits.
- Rethink company-based investments.
Act as if layoff is imminent
- De-personalize your work space. Take home the things that really matter to you.
- Scrub your files. Consider what might be on your company-issued laptop or work computer that really shouldn’t be there, then take it off.
- Collect your co-workers’ non-company contact information. Remember that they may get laid off, too.
- Make use of company programs while you can. Does your workplace offer tuition reimbursement or conference registration? You need those things. Now. However busy you think you are, don’t miss the opportunity to upgrade your skills or broaden your knowledge in your field. Those are your stepping stones to the next job.
Amy Lindgren owns Prototype Career Service, a career consulting firm. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 626 Armstrong Ave., St. Paul, MN 55102.