Employee action required in anticipation of a Layoff

‘Downsize’, ‘Workforce Optimization’, “Layoff” are no longer terms that sound strange to the average Indian employee. Although this corporate phenomenon hitherto has only been associated with the West, Indians are slowly coming to terms with its harsh reality albeit in a different way.

As an individual nothing in life shakes you up as much as a sudden loss of job. One can equate the trauma of being laid off, to that of losing parent or a limb. A bank employee can fear losing his job each working hour. Some say that the unfortunate event of being laid off can turn out to be a golden opportunity in disguise. It is a chance to stop, catch your breath and figure out what you want to do with your life However in India, only a handful of the working population is blessed with the financial power to tide through this unexpected vacation and devote time and energy in self exploration. For a majority, it is thought of how to get the next pay cheque and the nightmare of how to pay the next home loan installment which looms large.

For a laid off employee, along with the stress of job hunting during tough times there is also the added emotional baggage of coming to terms with the fact that you have been asked to leave. Take comfort in the fact that there are many like you who have been laid off during these typically tough times and there was nothing personal that made you lose your job. A back office worker at a publication house who has been given the pink slip last month and has just started working as a collection agent for a credit card company.

So what are the steps that one needs to take to tide through the crisis? How does one deal with so much in so less time?

First thing first:

Tend to your finances: While you are still working, work towards having three to six months worth of living expenses in reserve. Draw up a plan to manage your household expenses and reduce your spending on extraneous luxuries like eating out or visiting multiplexes. Also avoid using credit cards since interest rates on these are really high.

Looking for a new beginning:

Tap your contacts.
The ideal way to start your job search is to formulate an effective strategy. Fall back on your network and let the world know that you are free and looking for job openings. Never feel shy to send a communication to all your friends, peers, former colleagues and relatives telling them about your situation and you may be surprised with the help you get. Contact a headhunter that specializes in your industry and get on the web to expand your search.

Ensure that you have been paid what you were entitled to. You need to ensure that you have collected all your dues from your ex-employer. Sign and submit all documents in time to ensure that your final settlement papers clear all that you deserved from the company. If your company is offering to pay a severance pay, read through the fine print and negotiate if you have the right to do so.

When layoff rumors start circulating, it is time to make your self indispensable. Here are some tips:

(1) Meet your supervisors: Let them know what you’re working on and get feedback on how you are doing. The idea is to convey your value to the organization.
(2) Step up your networking: This should happen both inside and outside your company.
(3) Update your resume: Prepare more than one version. That way you can tailor it to suit the job you’ve applied for.

And Finally: Stay calm losing a job does not mean you have lost all hope in life! Being patient and having the right attitude will ensure that you pass these tumultuous times with ease. Do not become a loner. Stay surrounded by friends and loved ones. Be physically fit and do not indulge in booze or smoke. In these times it is very easy to fall prey to addictions steer clear from them. Even if it takes a few months, you will surely bounce back if you have courage and the confidence to do so. Remember after a spell of dark rainy days, the sun does shine.