Sometimes terminations can take you by surprise, but more often than not, the signs you’re about to get the boot are usually there. Unfortunately, even when we recognize the signs, the fear of an impending termination can be paralyzing, and instead of putting things in order for the inevitable, we’re left terribly unprepared. If you suspect layoffs are on the way or your company is planning to terminate you sooner rather than later, here are six actions you should take immediately to protect yourself.
Pad your savings account
First and foremost, it’s a good idea to begin padding your emergency savings account. While you know termination is coming, you don’t know exactly how soon it’s coming. It can take a while to land a new job and unemployment benefits can take weeks to kick in. You don’t want to be left in an unfortunate position where you are unable to pay your bills so save as much as possible.
Download a copy of the employee handbook
If you’re like most, you probably haven’t read your company’s employee handbook from cover to cover. Since you suspect that you will be let go, it’s a good idea to download a copy of the handbook to your personal computer and read up on your company’s severance policies. Unless you’re being let go for some form of misconduct, you’ll probably be entitled to unemployment benefits.
Update your resume
Don’t wait until you’ve been fired to start dusting off your resume. Devote a little bit of time each night to making the necessary updates. Depending on how long you’ve been in your current position, tweaking your resume can be a little daunting, so give yourself time.
Begin your job search
Job hunting can be a slow burn so you don’t want to wait until you’ve been terminated to begin your search. Additionally, it’s usually easier to get a job when you already have one. As soon as you have suspicions that you will be let go, start searching the job boards and your professional network to see what’s out there then apply, apply, apply. It can be exhausting to conduct a job search while you’re employed full time, but you’ll thank yourself for making the sacrifice later.
Save important contacts and notable projects
Once you’re terminated you won’t have time to go through your computer to send yourself anything you’ve worked on or any other files you may want to add to your professional portfolio so begin working on that now. If there are any important contacts you’d like to hold onto after your time with the company has ended, you should save them to a personal device in advance.
Slowly clean out your desk, but be discreet
There’s something about cleaning out your desk after you’ve been terminated that feels especially humiliating. It feels as though you’re the center of a public spectacle as your former coworkers look on with a mixture of sympathy and amusement. To avoid the walk of shame, begin to slowly clear your desk now. You can avoid drawing attention to yourself by only taking home one item per day and only removing the personal effects that you wouldn’t want to leave behind.