Advice to Help You Prepare for a Layoff

There are a lot of rumors bouncing around my workplace these days and the signs on the wall all lead to pink slips. So what’s a girl to do? Do you jump ship prior to the pink slip or hold out to see what comes your way? A number of employees have taken their life in their hands and started looking for positions elsewhere. A number have already left and quite a few others are considering the move. Some are holding on for dear life and others, like myself, are waiting it out in the hopes of a severance package.

There are rumors of layoffs but no one in the trenches knows for sure which departments or employees might be cut. This is, of course, the way it always happens in organizations, but I wonder how many employees are considering their alternatives and planning for the the possibilities of being let go. I’m not particularly worried about my position, but I figure it never hurts to think ahead. I’ve been poking around the Internet and have found a few tidbits of wise information I thought I’d share.

  1. If you think you might be laid off take advantage of your medical benefits while you still have them. Have routine check-ups and yearly dental visits completed before your insurance runs out.
  2. Similarly, if you have a flexible spending account, (FSA), use all the money prior to your lay off. Once you leave you generally aren’t allowed access to that money.
  3. Immediately sign up with COBRA if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. A new medical carrier can exclude you from coverage for a pre-existing condition for 6 months to a year if you can’t show that you’ve had continuous coverage. Also elect COBRA if you are planning on traveling overseas.
  4. Clean out clutter and make a little extra cash by selling unnecessary items in your home. Hold a yard sale or use eBay.
  5. Ask for a letter of recommendation if your layoff was the result of downsizing and not an indication of poor performance.
  6. Exercise stock options. Employers typically provide a limited time period, after which your options will expire.
  7. Lastly a lot of websites I found recommend looking on the bright side. Many individuals who are laid off aren’t particularly happy in their jobs anyway. Once forced to leave a job you don’t like, you might actually find a new job that provides greater satisfaction.

1 thought on “Advice to Help You Prepare for a Layoff”

  1. I’m not so sure about exercising stock options. That will depend on your strike price, how many options you have, how much you believe in your company (ex company), etc. You also have the options of exercising part of your options.


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