Your pre-layoff checklist: 5 simple steps to help you prepare

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George Mazzella Headshot
George C. Mazzella
Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, The Suite
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Since February, layoff announcements have dominated social media feeds and news reports.

Even industry titans, like Airbnb (who just raised $1B in new funding in order to weather the coming storm), were forced to let go of thousands of employees in response to the economic pressure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of these layoffs came as no surprise, while others have left the public completely dumbfounded.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that there’s no such thing as job security. So here’s what you need to do in order to be prepared should you find yourself amongst one of the 30 million people currently unemployed in America.

1) Update your resume:

Perhaps an obvious one, but something countless people put off until the last minute. You don’t want to be detailing your latest role right after you get the bad news. Have your resume ready to go so you can spend the time after it happens processing your feelings and game planning for the future.

2) Save your colleagues’ personal contact information:

Something we always forget to do in the age of Slack, but critical for staying up to date and connected after it happens. When layoffs occur, they happen quickly, so best to take care of this ahead of time. This will also help when reaching out for references.

3) Remove anything personal from all work devices:

We would advise you to never keep personal information on your work devices, but we get it, who hasn’t done some online shopping at work before? Do NOT delete anything work related as that would likely breach your employment contract, but your company does not need access to pictures of your cat or your credit card details.

4) Have a gameplan in place:

Start networking. Make a list of your contacts and target companies to go to first during your job hunt and keep it updated with recent trends. (Need help with this? Check out our guide on setting up a successful job search.) We’re entering one of the most competitive job markets of the last 50 years, you’ll need every advantage you can get.

5) Prepare yourself mentally:

Being laid off is one of the hardest things you’ll face in your professional life and it’s never too early to start getting yourself in the right mindset.

First, realize this was completely out of your control. Second, realize this was completely out of your control.

We tend to blame ourselves when these things happen, but in this moment it’s important to remind yourself how many other people are going through the exact same thing you are and all for reasons out of their control.

No matter how it happens or how much you prepare, getting laid off sucks. Plain and simple. But we hope that this guide makes your life a little bit easier should the day ever come.

If you’re looking for more job search guidance check out our blog , or for support, sign up for The Suite!

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George Mazzella Headshot
George C. Mazzella
Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, The Suite

George is the CEO & Co-Founder of The Suite. He founded The Suite in order to fundamentally change the way executives manage their careers.  Prior to founding The Suite in 2019, George spent several years in the executive recruiting space where he was fortunate enough to advise some of the world's leading VC & PE backed businesses on talent.

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