In the ideal world you work hard, get promoted and stay happily employed at one company for the rest of your life. If only things were actually this simple. You don’t get to work in the ideal world so reality is that you can lose your job at any time. Those who have experienced this kind of job loss understand these basics truths.
1. Everything inside your cubicle can fit into one box. Previously laid off workers refers to this as the ‘one box rule.’ You only want to make one trip from your former place of employment to the trunk of your car. Return trips for your belongings only prolong the awkwardness and must be avoided at all costs.
2. Impromptu meetings with upper level management send you into a panic.
3. Your resume is updated at all times. You just never know when you might need to apply for a new job.
4. When your boss asks if you are planning to stay with the company you respond with, “Of course! Unless you know something that I don’t know!”
5. When you see layoffs occurring in your office, you come up with a reason to have to go home for the day. If you can’t be found, you can’t be laid off. Or at least they might change their minds overnight.
6. You always respond to recruiters even if you have no interest in leaving your current job. If your work status changes it’s good to keep contacts in the industry.
7. You continuously delete personal emails and pictures off your work computer so there’s no trace of you if you are asked to leave.
8. You have every piece of work equipment with you at all times so you can return these items if asked. You never keep any work items at your house. Keeping items at home only equates to a return trip to your former office and more awkwardness.
9. You hold on to all your work clothes from your previous jobs just in case your next place of employment is more formal or casual than your current office.
10. You’ve kept up to date on unemployment laws and know exactly how much your state is going to pay you weekly.
11. You’ve carefully read the cancellation policy of every gym membership, cable subscription and lease that you sign.
12. You know exactly what activities and expenses you’ll cut out of your life if you are laid off again.
13. You keep in contact with your references because you never know when you might need them to vouch for you again.
14. You have some money stashed away ‘just in case’ you are laid off again.
15. You never take anything for granted because you know someone else could be sitting at your desk tomorrow.