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Advice on what to do if you think you might be laid off


January can be a big month for layoffs.


Amazon plans to cut about 18,000 corporate jobs. And the software giant Salesforce says it's laying off about 8,000 employees. That's about 10% of its workforce.

FADEL: Michelle Singletary is a personal finance columnist for The Washington Post.

MICHELLE SINGLETARY: You know, you never know when layoffs are going to hit, and so you want to be very into what's happening in your industry.

FADEL: She's got advice on what you can do if you think job losses are coming.

SINGLETARY: The first thing you want to do is go back to your budget and start cutting now. The benefit is if you don't get laid off, you're in a great position, and if you do, you've already started those cuts.

BROWN: Singletary says you should also look for ways to reduce loan payments.

SINGLETARY: During really tough times, lenders will give you a break, but you must - you must - be in communication with them. So the moment you know you're in trouble, call. Call your credit card company. Call the auto lender. Call your mortgager. Call the rental office.

BROWN: You can also get money by filing for unemployment.

SINGLETARY: All the public service social safety nets, you should apply for.

FADEL: And do it as soon as you can because it can take weeks for those benefits to kick in.

BROWN: Financial planner Tammy Lally advises those who get a layoff notice to take care of any medical needs before their last day on the job.

TAMMY LALLY: Take advantage of your health insurance, meaning, you know, like, if you haven't had an annual physical, get one.

BROWN: And when it comes to finding another job?

SARAH RODEHORST: Start with your resume and LinkedIn. That's, like, job search 101. But beyond that - network, network, network.

FADEL: Sarah Rodehorst is the co-founder of Onwards HR, which helps companies carry out layoffs. She says you should let people know you're back on the market.

RODEHORST: One of the fastest way to find your next job is to post that you just were laid off by a really well-known company, tech company, and your skills are sought after. We've talked to recruiters, and they are specifically searching on LinkedIn for people who are doing those posts and especially how they handle and present themselves.

BROWN: Losing a job can be tough, but Rodehorst says it probably won't last for long.

RODEHORST: It may feel like the sky is falling, but it is temporary. And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, actually 66% of workers find new employment in fewer than 15 weeks.

BROWN: Hopeful words for those at risk of a layoff. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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