Laid Off: 8 items to take if you know you are being laid off

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Jan 08

A layoff can swiftly eliminate access to all of your company systems and support structures. Yet, the information contained in those systems can be critically important in your planning and execution in finding a new position.

Consequently, it is important to have the information you need sitting on your home computer.

Note: this information is not company information nor anything to do with trade secrets. Company property is company property and I am not advocating taking company information nor break any business code of conduct.

Here are eight of the critical information pieces you should have:

  • Your resume. Usually, if you have done a good job in managing your career, you will have your resume on your work laptop so that you can apply for internal positions and keeping it updated as you have additional accomplishments. However, your work computer can’t be the only place you are keeping your resume; make sure you keep a current copy on the home computer.
  • Your reviews. Your reviews, especially any self-reviews, should also be on your computer at home. The self-reviews will often cover specific accomplishments that can be translated into accomplishments on your resume or web site.
  • Your contacts. The people you work with who remain at the company can be an important source of job information for you. Consequently, you should have your work contacts information available to you if you are going to be laid off.
  • Your financial URL’s and passwords. Companies usually outsource their 401(k) and pension information to places like Charles Schwab or Fidelity. When accessed through your company’s web site and you are employed, you’re fine. But as soon as your access to your company’s systems is taken away, so does the pass through to the external information. Make sure you have the direct URL for where your 401(k) and/or pension information is located.
  • Your employee service center number. Because companies outsource their HR function, or most of it, having access back into the company through the service center is critical when you have no access to company systems.
  • Any documentation related to your situation and interactions with the company. For example, if there were health issues and you took a leave of absence — even if in the past — you should have all of that documentation in case issues arise after being laid off.
  • Your employment verification process. Some companies have an 800 number with a company code to verify employment. Others have a process where a potential new employer can verify that you were employed. Having this number and/or process will quickly enable your prospective employer to verify what is needed.
  • Your manager’s contact information. If your manager is still there…

What other items would be great to have? Most people know they are going to be laid off at least a couple of hours before the big event occurs. What else should get added to this checklist?


About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.