It seems like every time we turn around we’re either hearing or reading about someone getting laid off from their job. The most unfortunate thing about many of these layoffs is that they’re happening to people that have worked at the same job for many years and are nearing retirement but not quite ready to retire. However, layoff is never a good thing. It really doesn’t matter if you’ve been given notice of an impending layoff or your company lays you off without any notice.
Believe it or not, there are companies that are this ruthless and give you a moment’s notice. If you’re working for a company that’s historically handled layoffs like this, you may want to prepare yourself in case you will eventually be hit with a layoff. If you are working for a company that has the integrity to give you some notice, there are things you can do on these last days of work.
- Ask for letters of reference or recommendation from employers “higher up the ladder”. Don’t think it will be easier to get them at a later date. The easiest time is when you’re still in the building and with the companies. These letters may be very beneficial towards helping you to find other meaningful employment.
- Do some research on employment termination rights to ensure that your company followed the law to the letter. Learn what you can do if your rights weren’t respected. Don’t be rude or threatening with your former employer – just learn your rights.
- Make sure you’ve calculated exactly how much the company owes you in regular pay, vacation, holiday, severance and find out when you can expect to receive this pay. If you will be receiving a severance pay, find out what the law dictates regarding the deadline of when you should receive it by.
- Ask to see your employee personnel records and keep in mind that your employer may let you see them but may not give them to you or let you photocopy them. Laws vary by state so check into what the laws are in your state. It may be very important in your future to know what’s in your employee personnel file.
- Find out all the documentation your employer is required by law to give you upon termination and make sure you get it all. If there is documentation you’ll be required to sign, find out about this as well.
- If the company has a sister or parent company, you may wish to discuss the possibility of working for one of them.
- Say goodbye to work colleagues if you have the opportunity. You may also want to send them an email along with your email, letting them know you’d appreciate them considering you for positions they may become aware of through their contacts.
- If there is anything personal on your computer, get it off.
- Sign any documentation the company may require but only after you’ve received everything you’re entitled to receive.
- Leave a good impression, as difficult as this may be. You may be hurt, worried and upset but don’t burn any bridges that you may need in the future for references.