7 Things to Do Now In Case You’re Laid Off

It’s Friday the 13th and layoffs are in the air – Amazon, Meta, Salesforce, Morgan Stanley, Ford, McDonald’s, AMC, Buzzfeed and DoorDash have all recently announced staff reductions. And let’s not even talk about the shit show going on over at Twitter. While you can’t prevent your position from being eliminated, you can prepare and be ready to move quickly if it happens. Here are seven steps you should start working on right away.

Change Logins

If you use your work email address to log in to any websites, change it now. This is especially important on social media. I have friends who still have LinkedIn profiles up from five years ago that they’ve lost access to because their email was shut down. But it also applies to things like utility bills, streaming services, newsletters and subscriptions. You’ll save yourself a lot of headaches if you change these to a personal email login now.

Save Your Stuff

Every company policy I’ve seen forbids employees from saving personal things to their work computer, but everyone does it. Don’t risk losing your photos, resumes, your kid’s school project, lists of passwords or anything else you may have saved. Order an external hard drive from Amazon like this one, which plugs into your computer via USB port so you can easily drag personal files over. Once you’re done, delete them from your work computer. (Also, make sure it’s only personal files and you’re following your company’s information security policies.)

Update Your Resume

This seems obvious, but it’s something most people put off. Need ideas for what to include? I suggest grabbing a copy of your last few reviews and looking through your saved emails and project list for ideas. Search Indeed for jobs you might be interested in to see what kind of skills they’re looking for. Focus on what you’ve accomplished and how you drove results.

If you aren’t sure how to format it or what to include, check out this post by greatresumesfast.com. Or Google it. Seriously, there are so many resources and tips, this is a lame excuse not to update your resume.

Update LinkedIn

Once you have your resume updated, head straight to LinkedIn to put the same information on there. If you want to see an example, check out my profile, which is pretty thorough. Also, a few things you absolutely cannot skip:

  • Profile Image – Something recent and professional
  • Background Photo – Avoid anything with copy on it, as it may not show up well in all formats
  • Headline – Makes it easier for people to grasp who you are quickly

And if you are not on LinkedIn, shame on you. My teenager even has a LinkedIn account. Get on that right away and fill it out completely, then start connecting with everyone you know or have ever worked with. It’s a very valuable career tool.

Network

If you fear your position could be eliminated, start networking now. Reach out to former bosses, clients and coworkers just to check in and see how they’re doing. Connect with them on social media and comment on their posts. Send an email or even call. That way you won’t seem as desperate when you contact a previous colleague to see if they’re hiring.

Show Off Your Expertise

Start promoting yourself now by posting on LinkedIn and other social media about your skills, talents and work. Did your company receive news coverage or an award for a project you were involved in? Post it and talk about how you contributed. Have you contributed to a big ad campaign that just launched? Post about it. Don’t wait to start showcasing your talents.

Grab Portfolio Pieces

If you’re in a creative field, you need examples of your amazing work. Some companies shut laid off employees out of their work computers immediately, so you may not have time to go back in. If you’re in PR, start a doc with links to all the news coverage you’ve placed along with stats on the volume. If you’re a writer or graphic designer, grab examples of your work that are already public. If you’re a retail merchandiser, take pictures of your displays. And, of course, save these to your external hard drive or personal computer. Just don’t take anything confidential or proprietary or you could wind up in more trouble than just being laid off.

I know it’s super stressful when you’re concerned about job security. But you will feel so much better if you follow these steps now. And if the worst happens and you lose your position, you’ll be poised to jump on the job search quickly. Even if your position isn’t at risk, you should follow these steps anyway. So if your dream job falls in your lap, you’ll be prepared to apply!

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