Layoffs are unfortunately a part of any professional career, but they don’t always have to inspire fear and trigger stress. By practicing proactive career planning, workers in any field can be prepared to land on their feet and find their next career opportunity without missing a beat. Planning for a layoff can also enable career professionals to plan extended time off for a long vacation, to complete a side project, or to pursue additional training or education.

Planning your career over time is an important step to keep your work life moving in a positive direction despite changing economic circumstances.

This guide describes the steps professionals can take to prepare for a layoff to reduce stress and better manage their career regardless of their current employment status.

Key Takeaways

  • Why is it important to prepare for a layoff?
  • How to prepare for a possible layoff
  • Learn important keys to navigating a layoff

Why is it Important to Prepare for a Layoff?

Proactive career planning makes employees who experience a potential job loss more resilient. Planning makes the layoff process less stressful—and possibly even a positive experience. Being prepared reduces the stress of a job loss overall because you know what to do, where to go, and what to expect. It’s empowering to know you’re ready at any time to move your career in a positive direction.

Preparing for a possible layoff also enables you the freedom to relax and review job postings in your field, gather the information you need, and create new job documents without the added stress of being unemployed. Preparing for a layoff is simple but does require work to get the most out of your efforts.

How to Prepare for a Layoff

  • Update your resume and create a cover letter template. Additionally, write up a skills file that contains all the tools, responsibilities, and tasks you currently perform. It’s a handy reference to use for preparing for interviews and even updating your resume or responding to job openings.
  • Create a LinkedIn profile. Once you have a profile, make sure the information is accurate and honest, just as you would in a resume. Be sure to add all the information you feel comfortable sharing, including hobbies and other interests.
  • Update your portfolio in hard copy form or online. Make sure you focus on the past 10 years of work and organize it in a way that’s easy for viewers to read through quickly.
  • Start looking through job descriptions in your field. Consider also creating an email account solely for job responses. Go to sites like Indeed, Monster, Dice, and others to search for current job postings for your position.
  • Create a job alert that goes to your new email at your preferred frequency. Job alerts tell you whenever a new job in your field has been posted and can be sorted by location, job type, and a variety of other filters.
  • Start applying for jobs that meet your needs or interests. Even if you’re not ready to leave just yet, having an interview to practice never hurts especially the longer it’s been since your last interview or job change.

Make the most of your next opportunity by planning ahead for a layoff. Proactive career planning enables workers to make the most of career opportunities at any time.