Keeping your game face might save your job.
Rumors that your company is in peril have been running rampant around the office for weeks. Many employees are in panic mode. Your boss and HR have been unable to provide straightforward answers. Friends and family bombard you with questions about the company’s apparent demise. A few more weeks pass, still no word. You’re more nervous than ever and have accumulated enough angst to make you feel as though your head might explode.
Don’t abandon your day-to-day job responsibilities while you are still on the payroll. It is easier to find a job when you are employed BS the paycheck equips you with the advantage of not having to settle for the first thing that comes along. Even if the end is coming at you faster than a Nolan Ryan high-heater, just take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, and focus on a plan.
Quickly make contact with your HR liaison and confirm your exact amount of vacation and PTO (paid time off) due. This could be your only income upon separation if there are sudden layoffs without severances.
Although it’s certainly easier said than done, maintaining a positive attitude is important. Make every effort to avoid office gossip and garrulous chatter. If staff reductions are looming, your company could use this period of uncertainly as an opportunity to gauge the attitudes of you and your co-workers. If cutbacks are made, would you be one of the first to be called back? Do your best to demonstrate that you are a great team player without appearing desperate, or unsteady.
Place a great deal of effort shoring up your resume. It is a good idea to network with other industry contacts. Sometimes, your counterparts from the competition can become your most reliable resources for networking. Most people are willing to help now more than ever; they are keenly aware that they could soon be in your shoes.
Schedule time during the evenings to target viable prospects; you can use your lunch break for additional networking and follow-up. If you land interviews, use your remaining paid time off for that purpose.