If you knew you were being laid off in two weeks, what would you do? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Nela Canovic, productivity hacker, writer, and Silicon Valley entrepreneur, on Quora:

Here are 5 things you can do if you know you're getting laid off:

1) Resist getting emotional about it.

Layoffs are more common than you think. Think of this time in your career as an opportunity to build up your resilience to changes in the economy and to be more flexible in managing your career path. Step one: avoid blame. Whether it's blaming your manager, other team members, or yourself for not performing better, chances are you'll be wasting precious time. Why bother? You're better off accepting the situation and focusing on something positive you will gain from it. Acknowledge that you still have two whole weeks at your disposal to prepare for making the transition.

2) Make the most of the time that remains.

Be smarter with the time you have left in your current role:

  • First, write your entire job description in detail. This will be helpful for when you update your resume and prepare for your job search. List and describe all the projects you're working on, your skill set and how you're applying it, all your deliverables (past and present), and quantified results (number of new clients you've acquired, $ amount you've saved by implementing a new tool, amount of time saved on a project due to process improvement you introduced to the team).
  • Next, ask your manager for feedback on your performance. It may not be something you want to do given the circumstances, but it can be valuable for learning what to avoid or which additional skill you can develop that can help your career. In many cases the reasons behind layoffs aren't due to employee performance but due to budget cuts or office politics. It very well might not have anything to do with you.
  • Finally, if you're on good terms with your manager and coworkers, ask to use them as a reference during your job search. When you get to the final round of interviews for your next job, in most cases you'll be asked to share up to 3 references. Be sure that you list people who know your work well and who you can trust to share your knowledge, expertise, and skills set with a potential employer.

3) Take stock of your finances.

  • Make an assessment of your options after you've been laid off. Ask yourself:
    • Do you have savings that will cover a few months' worth of living expenses?
    • Can you apply for unemployment benefits?
    • Are you able to move in with a family member or a roommate until you get a new job?
    • Are there any unnecessary expenses you could cut back on until you're more financially stable?
    • Are you fine with getting a part-time job that can help pay the bills while you are applying for a full-time role?
  • Write down all your options and estimate how much money you'll need in the next few months. The sooner you know how you stand financially, the sooner you can make a plan about what you need to do next.

4) Start your job search.

It's the perfect time to start your job search while you're still employed. And it doesn't have to take up a lot of your time right now. Make a promise to dedicate only an hour or two this week to strategize what you'd like to do next regarding your career.

  • Write down which new job you want: Is it the same role you've had before? Is it a different role where you could also use your skills? Would you like to work in a smaller company or a bigger one? What would be a description of the role you'd like (responsibilities, skill set, goals, deliverables)? Put everything down on paper.
  • Revamp your resume. Highlight the skills you've developed in your last job, create a concise summary at the top of the first page, and use keywords throughout your resume that will get recruiters' attention. Save your resume in an MS Word or Google doc format (so you can edit it when you need to) as well as a pdf (so it looks professional).
  • Start your job search. LinkedIn and Indeed are excellent sites to get started. If you haven't already, create a profile on each site and upload your resume so that it is ready when you apply for jobs.
  • Narrow your search. This is a good time to focus on the companies that are interesting to you. Instead of applying for dozens of jobs that only match the title you want to have, look up companies that promote the work ethic you admire, that are doing well financially, and that foster a corporate culture you'd feel comfortable in. Try to find out if there is anyone in your network who already works there, and ask them for an insider's point of view. Look up what other employees are saying about the company on Glassdoor.

5) Plan a daily routine for the days after you leave your job.

  • There are several benefits to structuring your day: you make the transition from being employed to unemployed much easier, you can maximize each day to work on creating a better future for yourself, and you may even feel calmer knowing in advance what your day is going to look like.
  • How can you plan a daily routine?
    • Plan on getting up early each day, just like you're used to right now. Make the most of your mornings by doing a short workout (start with 15 minutes), having breakfast, then working on your job search early when your brain is well rested.
    • Don't forget about socializing in the afternoons: you can reach out to a friend, go out for a cup of coffee, ride your bike or take a walk.
    • Dedicate your evenings for doing something you enjoy, such as reading a book, watching a film, writing, painting, or working on developing a skill you've always wanted to focus on but didn't have time to do.

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Published on: Jul 26, 2016