How To Prepare For
A Possible Pink Slip
Sometimes it's a change in attitude from your boss, or perhaps the writing's on the wall given the company layoffs over the past few months. However you can sense it, don't just wait to be let go. Be proactive, and get yourself sorted so you're ready for when it happens.
Remove personal items from your office
You'll likely be permitted to pack up personal effects from your desk, but if you use your work email for personal emails too, you may not have time to delete them, so tackle this task right away. Be sure to delete anything negative you've written about the company or your boss. As for your treasured coffee mug and vacation souvenirs decorating your space, tuck them away to bring home. Of course, remember to be discreet; don't be so obvious as to pack up and carry out boxes at the end of the day.
Take work-related contacts and work samples
If there are colleagues you would like to stay in touch with — they may be helpful for finding your next job, after all — be sure to jot down their contact info or to take home your rolodex (only if it doesn't belong to the company, of course). If samples of projects you've worked on exist that you'd like to keep a copy of (again, if not considered company property), start taking home files of your work that'll help you in your job search.
Prepare for the meeting itself
Get yourself mentally ready for the meeting where your boss and someone from human resources informs you that you've been let go. The more you can envision it (or maybe even rehearse it), the better you'll be able to handle it smoothly and professionally. Consider what you'd like to have clarity on (when your benefits will stop, the timing of your final paycheque, etc.), and keep a mental list. Consider what severance package (if you are entitled to one) you would be happy with, and prepare to negotiate for it.