Saturday, January 9, 2016

If You Were Laid Off This Monday You Would...

"Dreamers dream dreams
Children joke and play
But the wise make plans
to survive another day"

 - - - - - 

What would you do if you were laid off next Monday? Most folks would apply for and collect unemployment, look for a job and settle for the first one that came along to pay most of the bills off. Others would begin personal downsizing by dumping their apartment, moving into a cheaper rooming arrangement with the intent of saving money and starting over again. Many don't have a clue what to do and neglect to plan ahead, allowing things to fall where they may.  These hope life never changes and while away their free time playing computer games and such until... you know the rest of the story.

If you were laid off next Monday what would you do? Would you...

1. Email an interoffice rant filled with all the latest downsizing conspiracy theory gossip or... 
send a "thankful to have worked here" message with a gracious farewell, citing several points of commendation regarding the professionalism of specific administrators.

2. Ask HR to help with employment transition or... 
frantically ask HR "Hey, what did administration do, pull names out of a hat!".

3. Carefully negotiate a fair severance package or... 
grab the reception desk PA mic and sing "I'll Be Seeing You" 

4. Compile a workload transition todo list for remaining staff or... 
mix salt packets in with the sugar packets at the coffee kiosk
or... throw confetti over the partitions shouting "Free at last, free at last", or... sabotage the snack machine and kick over the water cooler while storming out the facility under heavy security escort.

5. Insist on knowing who made the final decision to lay you off so you can tell them "I never liked you either!" or... 
immediately request recommendation letters from administration and referrals from senior staff.

That said, now is the time to carefully think ahead. Consider the following questions: 

  • How would each member of your family be impacted by your reaction to layoff?
  • Do you have enough savings to keep your house or apartment for the next four to six months?
  • What lifestyle changes need to be made to achieve this?
  • How can you reduce your living expenses today?
  • How would the lack of preparation affect your self esteem? 

My Lay Off Story

I faced that situation three times 18 years ago. The first time I was layed off I had no funds to fall back on. Life was rough and my health suffered. Then I found gainful employment. I started doing small favors for senior staff with some of my free time. I also started a small side business. I maintained good relations with everyone in the workplace and even helped some start a second income stream, find adequate housing and achieve higher status in the workplace. I took note of who would serve as ideal referrals and kept contact information in my files. I even worked on an impressive online resume to reveal my full set of skills for in-house self-promotion. As a result I was promoted several times.

 A few years later, unexpectedly, I was laid off again. This time I was ready. I had a well documented referral file, favors that would yield a return when needed. A lot more experience. A well established web business that was bringing in over 3k a month and an impressive online resume. I had so much confidence in my abilities and potential that I aced my interviews and landed a great secular job before exiting the current job. When my second income exceeded my new employment check I negotiated voluntary departure on good terms and have been happily self-employed ever since. 

 Many are so busy working 9-10 hours a day 6 days a week that they forget to plan ahead in this way. Others hope life never changes and some entertain the notion that nothing will ever change. Remember this, life is all about change. We are changing with each passing minute. Life is the business of change. 

 Necessitate Negotiate Navigate

The most important business deal we will ever conduct is that of necessitating, negotiating and navigating the transition of employment. A good business plan is essential. That means having a good survival strategy, growth strategy and, when it comes to being laid off, a good exit strategy. The key to business survival is not to put all your eggs in one basket.  To successfully plan ahead for the inevitable requires doing at the most ideal time, while you are working, free of anxiety and can think straight. Later is too late. Now is the time. So what is your business plan? Do you have an exit strategy in place. Do you have a second income stream? If the answer is no, make this year's resolution to get one. Most important take some time on your next 5 lunch breaks to get it done.

 "Dreamers dream dreams
Children joke and play
But the wise make plans
to survive another day"

- Mark Askew

Mark Askew is Founder of Fimark Home Online and Fimark's Winning Business Plans.  - - - - -

Start your second income stream. Download winning business plans with low or no overhead.  An entire archive of proven business plans that work. Instant Download here.