Recent weeks have brought the dreaded news that another recession could be on its way in western countries. For business owners, that means tighter margins, and for workers, it means greater insecurity. Widespread unemployment may seem like ancient history after years of low statistics, but unfortunately, some people are likely to receive bad news about their position soon. Regardless of whether you feel you are a permanent piece of furniture at your organization or would welcome a new start, Chris Williams has ten steps to ensure you stay positive and productive should the worst happen:
1. Process your feelings
“The very first thing I highly suggest you do is to take some time to process what just happened,” the host of the Grow Your Side Business podcast said. “Most people would like to go ahead and start looking for something else. The problem is you haven’t taken time to allow the emotions to set in.”
2. Ask about your final paycheck
This step sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of ex-employees who don’t chase outstanding earnings. Ask your employer how, what, and when you’ll be getting paid, and you will be able to plan your financial situation accordingly.
3. Consider temporary or freelance work
You may have been in your previous job for so long that you’ve forgotten there is more to life than permanent employment. This newfound freedom could be an opportunity to explore the benefits of less structured, more flexible work using the skills you already have. Even if you eventually find another job, maintain your solo venture as a backup or second income.
4. Check your health insurance
“I would get on the phone immediately and make sure you ask the most important questions like ‘how long am I covered if I don’t have a job?’” Williams outlined. “The one thing you don’t want to be without is insurance.”
5. Get recommendation letters
Don’t just shuffle back into your old boss’ office and ask for a favor. Consider your peers and other people you have collaborated with as potential referees. Who knows? You could end up working for the competitor across the street.
6. Plan your job search
When you got your first job, you may have walked into a building and handed someone a paper résumé. That’s not the case anymore. Review your online network, leverage your platform and consider using LinkedIn to access a vast community of potential employers.
7. Update your online profiles
If you haven’t gathered yet, it’s all online now, baby. And no social media platform is safe. Companies will commonly look at everything from Facebook profiles to Instagram accounts to figure out who you are. So make it employer-friendly and consistent.
8. Leverage social media
“Normally, we are liking cat videos, reposting funny videos, or are just on there for visual entertainment,” Williams illustrated. “But if you’re going to overcome this layoff, the best thing you can do is leverage social media with a different lens. I would make sure that I am talking about [the layoff] and using Instagram, Facebook, and even TikTok to show off my skill sets.”
9. Identify your current skills
Instead of describing your ‘transferable skills’ in a vague paragraph, think about what your ex-employer actually paid you to do. List those abilities, consider who might need them, and leverage them. If you’re doing it right, it should influence who you network with in the future.
10. Invest in yourself
Self-development is the buzzword in entrepreneurial circles for a reason. If the preceding steps haven’t led you to your next opportunity, you may need to spend some spare cash on coaching. A coach could help you develop a more in-demand skill set or, better still, a new side business.
In short, none of us want to be at the other end of the phone when Mr. Layoff comes calling. But the truth is you can use that same device to reconstruct your working life from scratch, whether that means starting a new business or utilizing social media to publicize and enhance your skills. There’s a life on the other side of unemployment, and it may just be better than your last one.