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Can You Survive a Layoff? Find Out Now!

With unemployment reaching levels not seen for decades, this isn't a time to find yourself suddenly job-hunting. If your company is having a layoff -- or might have one -- you need to know what to look for, and what to do, so that you can land on top. Here's a quick quiz to test your "layoff IQ." If you get all four answers right, then you'll probably land on top, no matter what proverbial substance hits the proverbial fan.

CLICK for the first question »

Question #1: Your CEO sends out a memo saying "There is no truth to the rumors that there will be a layoff." What this means is (choose one):
CORRECT!
It is one the basic rules of corporate politics that "no rumor is true until it has been official denied." The fact that the CEO is bothering to attempt to squelch the rumor is PROOF POSITIVE that the rumors are entirely accurate.

The reason the CEO is doing this is because he wants to keep control of a potentially volatile situation and prevent an unnecessary exodus of top talent, which might become worried if the news came out too soon. In layoffs, as in war, the truth is always the first casualty.

INCORRECT!
Uh oh. I hope you've got your resume ready, because you're about to blindsided...
Question #2: After the layoffs have been announced, your manager takes you aside and tells you that, whatever else happens, your job is safe and you needn't worry. What this most likely means is (choose one):
CORRECT!
Your boss is already sorting out the people whom she plans to cut and those she plans to keep. She's probably not telling EVERYONE the same thing, because then you'd probably all compare notes and figure out that she's handing everyone a line.

So the most likely explanation for her remarks is that she thinks you're valuable enough to keep around for the time being. However, layoffs have a habit of metastasizing, so your job (and you) may be on the block, and it could happen sooner than you think!

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INCORRECT!
Your manager may have something completely different in mind...

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Question #3: You've been given the opportunity to transfer to another department in the same company. You want to land somewhere that you'll be safe and protected during the layoffs. Your best bet is (choose one):

CORRECT!
Layoffs always require plenty of HR people to handle the difficulties of the transition. As a result, in most layoffs, HR is generally less affected than other groups.

The other groups in a company... not so much.

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INCORRECT!
Gosh! You went to all the bother to transfer departments, and you're still going to get the axe...

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Question #4: You've got the opportunity to transfer into a division of your company that works in a different industry. Your best bet is (choose one):

CORRECT!
According to the New York Times, the field of healthcare has remained strong during the recession. And because the so-called "healthcare reform" does nothing to change the for-profit, fee-for-service business model, there's little chance of industry-wide downsizing.

CLICK to get your final score »

INCORRECT!
Bad move. Haven't been reading the news lately? That industry is in the dumper.

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FINAL SCORING:
So, how did you do? Did you get all of them right? Or did you miss a few?

Here's a poll to record your survival status: