What Should You Do?
So you've seen the signs listed, as well as some others, and you are now convinced that your job is in jeopardy. First of all, do not panic. The above signs are important to look out for, but don't jump to conclusions if say, only your pay and hours are reduced. The important thing, now that you have seen the signs that you may lose your job, is to plan on what you will do about them.
The first thing is financial — are you able to go without a job for months? Or years? Our economic crisis has proven that some people were not prepared when their companies went under or when they and thousands of others were given pink slips. Make sure that you have enough within your pocket to live on in the case that you can't find anything for a while.
The second thing is to get support. Looking for a job is hard enough; looking for one during an economic downturn is probably worse. Let your friends and family know that you are looking and certainly, if they know of places that are hiring, have them tell you. Losing your job is stressful all around, not just financially, but mentally and emotionally. The longer it takes to find one, the more stress you have; it is not uncommon for depression to set in. Talk to someone — friends, family, loved ones. If you get to the point where things look hopeless, seek a professional. Don't be afraid to seek help.
There is a bright side: many people who were laid off found new careers, either by going back to school or by pursuing hobbies that turned in to businesses. Perhaps you enjoyed writing or website building or computer work - these are all great ways to bring in some extra money. Freelancing has become a lifeline for some people, bringing in extra income, as well as pursuing pastimes that had been once regarded as favorite hobbies. Even the most profitable of businesses had to start somewhere, right? Perhaps being let go was in your favor.
Above all, try not to let being without an office job hurt you too much. With the advancement of computers, cell phones, etc., there are now more opportunities than ever. Maybe this downtime is telling you to go back to school, to pursue that bachelor or masters that you had always wanted; perhaps it is time to sit down with the ideas for that coffee and ice cream shop you had wanted to start.
The times are tough, no doubt, however turning a bad situation into a win-win situation is all the better when you've prepared and can think clearly on the matter.