Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Top Five Ways to Prepare for Layoffs

Paralegals are not recession-proof, and the recent layoffs at firms across the United States, even at firms that made a profit, only drive that point home. When the writing is on the wall, and it's only a matter of time until the dreaded pink slip lands on your desk, it helps to be prepared. (And as paralegals, we know all about being prepared.)

  1. Update your resume. Right now, before the axe falls, because the last thing you are going to want to do is hunker down at your computer and try to think of your accomplishments.
  2. Clean up your office. This doesn't mean walk out today with a big box of all your stuff, but do start bringing your non-essential items home: books you're not using, the extra pair of shoes under your desk. If anyone asks, you're streamlining to get ready for the next big project.
  3. Get a USB thumb drive. Back up anything personal that's on your work computer, and if you need to work on personal matters at the office, save it to the thumb drive. You may not have access to the computer system after you're let go.
  4. Update your professional address book. After the axe falls and you've regrouped, you're going to want to contact everyone in it.
  5. Create a post-layoff budget. Know how long you can be out of work for before your savings run out, and see where you can cut costs. This isn't something you're going to want to do after the layoff.

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