6 Actions I Took to Prepare for a Possible Lay Off

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I have been anticipating lay-offs in my department for several months now.  I work for Chicago Public Schools, so our financial difficulties are widely publicized.  The latest round of administrative lay-offs were scheduled for Friday, January 22, 2016.

One good thing about knowing what’s coming is being able to prepare.  I took the following actions:

1.Used Google to research what types of questions I should ask and what rights I have as a laid off employee.  I found some great tips here and here.

2. Took most personal items home days before the potential announcement. There is often a time limit on how long you can remain in the building after receiving notice.  I find it best to be prepared, so that you can return from the meeting, take a few minutes to say farewell to coworkers, send an email and leave.

3. Drafted a farewell message to direct co-workers and those in other departments. Being laid-off can be an emotional experience. So, it is best to have something prepared ahead of time if you can.

4. Prepared to turn-over company issued equipment.  This includes laptops, cell phones or any other items you will need to return.  You will likely be given the option to schedule a time to return the materials at a later date.  Some people find it very difficult to return to the office after they have been laid-off. If you think that may be the case for you, leave the equipment at the office a few days before.

5. Grabbed all my personal data immediately: Ideally, you have little to no personal data on your work computer but if you do, grab it ASAP. Remove all personal files – physical or digital – from your office devices.

Do this before boxing up the plants and calling up everyone to give them the news. Do not delete work files that can be used for transition. Some people feel removing anything they contributed to the organization is a sort of pay-back but in actuality it is unprofessional and in very bad form. You do less damage to the organization and cause stress to those left behind trying to figure out what you did or did not do. It creates ill will with former co-workers who you may want to reference in the future.

6. Got my head in the right place: Your mindset is going to be everything – your survival, your key to success and your ability to adapt to change. No self-pity allowed.

I prepared for the day by going to sleep early and sleeping as best I could. Having a high protein breakfast and taking my vitamin supplements.  Essentially, I did whatever I could to shore myself up physically and emotionally.

Fortunately, I was not laid-off but I was prepared for the possibility.

Other Resources:

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Categories: Career, Life Experience, Self-Awareness, Work

Tags: , , , ,

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