Since the announcement and the subsequent cancellation of the Unilever take-over plan by Kraft Heinz, it is likely that massive lay-offs will soon be performed at Unilever. After all, with 15% operating profit margin at Unilever, vs. 23% of Kraft, there is a lot of fat to cut, analysts say.

This is particularly worrying if you are currently working at Unilever, but, if you are working in companies or sectors that in the last years have struggled to grow, you should be, if not worried, at least ready for some bumpy air too. Indeed, when companies don’t grow, they like to increase earnings by cutting costs.

Therefore, the key question for us all is: do you have a plan B?

A plan B is a contingency plan you can activate should you get into trouble (i.e. been laid off). It should consist of a clear idea of what to do after your current role is over and how to get there.

Unless you want to retire, you probably have 3 main options: 1) more of the same, that is the same job in a similar company 2) a similar job in a very different company or a different job in a similar company 3) be an entrepreneur or a self-employed professional.

So, a few questions for you if your plan B is number 1):

  1. Have you got back in touch with key head hunters recently? Do they know you are looking to move?
  2. Did you inject new energy in your network?
  3. Chances are you will need to be more flexible to maximise chances of landing a job quickly. So, what are the are you ready to give up in your next move? Salary? Status? Location?

If you are more in number 2) and 3) key questions are:

  1. Have you identified key companies, sectors you’d like to work for/in?
  2. Do you need training to learn new skills to be able to be employable in these companies/sectors?
  3. How will you get organised during you transition? Which support do you need financially, psychologically?

Hopefully we won’t need it, but let’s get ready nonetheless and remember: “Better to be prepared that improvising”.