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How to prepare in case you are laid off

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  • Half of US employers are planning layoffs. Already, giants like Amazon and Meta have downsized.
  • It helps to be prepared – for “career cushion” – so that you are not caught off guard if you lose your job.
  • Start by updating your LinkedIn profile, networking more creatively, and thinking about your goals.

It can be terrifying to watch colleagues in your industry take the axe, wondering if you’ll be next.

Half of 722 U.S. executives surveyed by PwC in August said their employers were downsizing. Already, top employers, including Amazon, Walmart, Meta, Peloton and JP Morgan, have laid off some of their staff.

Knowing that you’re ready for whatever comes next can help alleviate some of that dread. LinkedIn calls it “career cushioning,” which, according to Blair Heitmann, a career expert at the company, describes “a cushioning for whatever comes next in the economy and in the job market.”

“Dampening” in a romantic context refers to keeping potential partners on the back burner in case your current relationship falls apart.

Career depreciation is getting a lot of attention lately, probably partly because it’s a catchy term akin to “quietly quitting” and partly because it’s helpful to know you have some control over your career trajectory.

There are a few key ways to make sure you’re prepared – for a recession, for layoffs, or for anything else that could affect your career success. They are all quite simple.

Update your social media profiles

Heitmann said the first — and potentially easiest — thing to do is update your LinkedIn profile. You can also update your presence on other social media platforms while you’re there – to “demonstrate the breadth of your expertise”. She recommended making sure your profile reflects your latest work experience and skills, so recruiters can see that you would be a good candidate for certain positions.

It’s helpful to have copies of recent performance reviews, client testimonials, and “anything you could use as fodder to help update your LinkedIn profile and resume,” says Amanda Augustine. , career expert at TopResume, to Insider.

Accelerate your networking efforts

It’s the wisdom most professionals know but don’t want to hear: it’s easier to ask someone a favor when you’ve stayed in touch, and maybe even helped, than when you’ve just arrived out of nowhere. .

Heitmann shared relatively passive ways to do this. For example, you can post about where your industry is headed on LinkedIn or comment on something a co-worker has shared. “Your network and your relationships are two-way,” she said.

think about what you want

It’s always helpful to think about what you hope to accomplish in your career, knowing that those ambitions can change. “Even if you love your job and are happy, it’s always a good time to take a step back,” Heitmann said. If you lose your job, it won’t be the first time you wonder what you really want to do all day.

Once you’ve identified some goals, you can begin reverse engineering your success by identifying the skills and experiences you’ll need to get there. The authors of “The New Rules of Work” advise browsing job postings all the time to get an idea of ​​the qualifications you’ll need to land your next job.

In the past, Heitmann said, she noted her own plan for taking the next step in her career. “It always helped me to really think about how to prepare,” Heitmann said. “Write it down and make a game plan.”

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