Posted by Brian McCullough
This is the conclusion of a five part post on How To Save Your Job. You can see an index of the other entries here.
The Zen Technique
All this week we’ve been examining various ways to keep yourself employed in the face of impending layoffs. We’ve discussed the signs that let you know layoffs are coming. We’ve talked about the various strategies you can employ to shelter your position from downsizing and also shore up your reputation so you are more likely to be a survivor. Finally, we’ve discussed the exit strategies you can employ to make sure you land on your feet.
You’ve done all you can and now fate is in the wind. The truth is, a lot of times the whole process of downsizing is just random. But now is not the time to lose your cool or abandon the realistic approach that has gotten you this far. How do you deal with downsizing when it stops being polite and starts getting real?
- First of all, just accept it like a professional. No anger, tears or recrimination. Don’t take this as an opportunity to tell people what you really think of them. Take this as an opportunity to get as much support and assistance as you can. The attitude and energy with which you leave your old job can transfer very positively and help you find your next job.
- Ask for references or recommendations. Heck, ask for advice. You’ll be surprised how willing people will be to help.
- Try to get a copy of your personnel file.
- Request a “laid off, not fired” letter from HR. This is just a simple letter on company letterhead that confirms your job was terminated because of a larger restructuring and not because of you or your record of performance.
- Protect your retirement account. Check your options and try to roll the money into your next employer’s program or into an IRA. The company might offer you a straight check. You might be tempted to take this if your money situation is tight, but beware, you might owe taxes if you do so.
- Try negotiating your severance package. You never know, you could get a slightly better deal. Buying yourself an extra month or two of salary can make a world of difference.
- Check on the status of your Health Insurance. Consider signing up for COBRA.
- If you’re concerned about any personal belongings or property, take the time to quietly remove them from the office. Be careful not to take any of the company’s property.