Things to think about in a lay-off
December 3, 2012 12:57 PM Subscribe
I have a feeling that I am going to be laid off at my review next week. Since I suspect that this is coming, I would appreciate any suggestions on what I should say at the review and also, what the next steps I should take are, particularly things that I may not think of or overlook during the somewhat emotional time. Further details on my particular situation inside...
I am a senior associate in Biglaw in the US. I am an at-will employee. Our annual reviews are next week and I suspect/fear that I will be told during mine to look for other opportunities. My firm, like many others, tends to "push out the door" senior associates who are not on the partner track. (I am not interested in becoming a partner at this firm, and I do not have the hours to credibly argue that I would like to.) When an associate is pushed out the door at my firm, the associate is typically given 3 months to wrap up or shift their deals to other associates and to look for a job while still employed, without the expectation that much work will be done. Thus, I would expect to stay on the firm's payroll until mid-March. That may be enough time to find another job, but it may not. I have been looking at other jobs (I am hoping to change jobs in 2013, though ideally it would be later in the year, and on my own terms) but have not spent a lot of time yet on the job search. I also believe I would be eligible for unemployment (which is one of the questions that I would confirm if this happens).
Financially, I would be okay - a delay in finding a new job would set my savings/debt repayment back but I could live on my savings for 6 months without much of a problem and without considering unemployment benefits or taking a non-legal job.
I am mostly worried that even though I suspect this is coming, I will freeze up in the moment and fail to ask certain important questions or protect myself. I would like to have a list of what I should think about so that at the meeting or in the days afterwards, I have a framework to work from. For example, I would ask HR about Cobra benefits and about 401k roll-over. If anyone has been in this position or has any thoughts, I would appreciate them. Thank you.