If you were laid off tomorrow, would you be prepared to find a new job?

UnsplashSuccess depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure. 
-Confucius

Whether you’ve been at your job two years or twenty, there is always the possibility of being let go. So, what steps can you take to be prepared?

1) Have an updated resume on hand at all times
 A layoff is a traumatic life event. It takes time to process the shock and emotions and start your search. If you have your resume complete, that means you are at least initially prepared for the job search journey. Not only that, if you happen to be a part of a mass layoff, you’ll be one step ahead of your competition. Need some help on starting or updating your resume? Check out this article.

2) Make it a priority to check in on LinkedIn a few times a week.
It doesn’t take much time to post a status update and like or comment on what your connections are up to. Recruiters often see a flurry of activity on LinkedIn from people who have just been let go. It makes sense that you spend more time on LinkedIn when you have the day to job search. BUT, connections are better made before you need them. Networking is a give and take, and desperation never comes off as appealing. Bonus points if you get or give recommendations before you need them.  Note – don’t go overboard with this one. When you’re actually updating your page, keep the privacy settings on so people can’t see what updates you’re making. You don’t want to make your current employer suspicious.

3) Scan the online job postings at least once a week
Make it a habit to know what’s out there. You’ll start to see hiring trends. Are there certain companies who seem to be  on the upswing? The job listings will reflect that. You’ll also see some companies post the same job within the same year. Is this a clue they experience high turnover? If you hadn’t been monitoring the job search sites on a frequent basis, you would never know that position had just recently been filled.

4)  Stay current on local business news 
It doesn’t take much time to scan the business section of the local paper (online or hard copy) or catch the local news to stay informed on what businesses are growing in your community.

5) Commit to one networking event a quarter
Every field/industry has meetings and other events. The event doesn’t have to be networking focused. A training or speaking event can also provide opportunities to meet people. Don’t like to network? Read this article for some networking tips.

6) Start thinking about who you would use for references
While submitting references is usually the last part of the job search process, there are certain applications that require them upfront. Tread carefully on this step. You don’t want to ask anyone from your current job yet. You could approach a boss from a prior position to be one of your references. The point of this step is just to get you thinking about who you could use if needed. This article gives additional advice on making the most of your references.

7) Be smart about that safety cushion
The common sentiment is to have 6 months of readily available cash for emergencies. A layoff clearly counts as an emergency. You may or may not get a severance package, and unemployment only goes so far. Yes, the discipline and sacrifice to have this monetary reserve is not easy. Child rearing expenses, car/home repairs and life necessities come first. Start by setting aside twenty dollars  a week. Small amounts add up over time. Here’s an article on creating a financial safety net if you need a little nudge in the right direction.

Being job search ready at all times does not really take that much additional time or effort. While you may be fortunate enough to never experience a layoff,  this proactive approach will give you peace of mind and the tools you need to land on your feet.

Photo credit: Unsplash

This post, by our Social Media Specialist, originally appeared on LinkedIn.

P.S. Looking for more career advice? Check out this post: How To Write A Better Resume: The Top 10 Tips From Our Recruiters.

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Oldcastle is North America’s largest manufacturer of building products and materials. With more than 2,000 locations throughout North America, we are in constant pursuit of the next generation of successful decision makers, leaders and problem solvers. Learn more about joining the Oldcastle team HERE.

Follow Oldcastle Careers on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Facebook for jobs and career advice. And, don’t forget to join our NEW Talent Community to receive a monthly e-mail newsletter with expert advice on the job search process.

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Filed under Careers, Interviewing, Job Search, job search advice, job search tips, LinkedIn Advice, resume, Resumes

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