I guess anybody can be surprised by a layoff. But really in times like these only the completely ignorant would think that there job is layoff-proof.
Actually the people who don't get laid-off are probably the ones that understand that anyone is dispensable. These people know that while the rumor mill isn't usually 100% correct, there is often some truth in what's whispered behind the cubicle. They also make it there business to know at least a little about the company's performance.
But I was a bit surprised today to read PsychCentral's post by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. naming 7 Ways to Cope with a Layoff. And so if the rumors are twirling and there's hard talk about profits. I propose that you do steps 4,5 and 6 before the cut happens.
4. Take Stock in Your Finances and Budget
If you aren't working toward ridding yourself of debt and living within your means you're just putting your head in the sand. And that includes paying attention to that failing 401(k) and protecting your nest egg.
5. Take Care of Insurance
Without a doubt the biggest bummer about being unemployed is the loss of health insurance, especially if you have a family. COBRA isn't a solution either. It's extremely expensive. Start researching options and paying attention to your junk mail. If you find a plan you like keep it in your back pocket...just in case.
6. Hit the Classifieds
Everyone knows that the best time to look for a job is when you aren't looking. There's a lot less pressure and if you get interviewed you won't emit desperation.
IF, and I really do not wish this on anyone, you should be downsized then definitely take a look at the other 4 steps (Keep Your Emotions in Check, Get the Information, Regroup and Reframe, Don’t Give Up Hope). But taking care of 4, 5, and 6 will make these other steps a heck of a lot easier.