On the bad news front, I had a final meeting with my outplacement counselor yesterday - she says that 2009 is going to pick up slowly, which I think is her optimistic way of saying that it will get worse before it gets better. Obviously, she knows this from her firm being hired to manage more layoffs. So hold onto your desks, working people, the scythe of layoffs is still swinging. My advice to you in these times:
- Be a contributor, not a manager. Managers always seem to be more expendable than those that produce.
- Act like a consultant . I've covered this in an earlier post: You, Inc.
- Prepare your family. Speaking from personal experience, there's nothing worse than coming home to your family with the unexpected news that you no longer have a job. Sidebar - this has happened to me twice in jobs where I didn't really expect it (although I should have). In the one job where I constantly felt like I would be laid off due to all the uncertainty surrounding a bankruptcy and a buy-out, I never got laid off. After all the dust settled, I left for a better job.
- Have a financial plan. One that involves something other than credit cards.
- Relax. If it's going to happen to you soon, it's already decided. Nothing you can do in the next few days or weeks will change that. And it's not the worst thing in the world that can happen to you or your family. There are other more important events that are far worse, like death of a loved one or serious illness. Have some perspective. Define yourself by who you are, not what you do.
Sorry to sound so grim. I hope for the best for all the employed people - I really don't need your competition in trying to find a job. I promise my next post will be more uplifting.