Few of us have guaranteed employment for life. When you're let go, your employer doesn't always given you a chance to retrieve your stuff. Consider having a clear exit plan.
Photo by gadgetdude
The Muse reminds us we don't always have time to collect our physical and digital belongings when we get the pink slip:
I've seen people be "restructured out of positions" — with instructions to vacate the premises on the same day. Not exactly ideal if you have two years' worth of files, documents, work samples, and photos saved to your work computer.
So, make a point to, quarterly, collect anything you'd want (and are allowed by your employment policies) to keep — work samples, important contacts saved in your work phone, processes or documents you've created — and back them up on a personal computer.
When I was fired from a job early on in my career, human resources took a month to get me some of my stuff back. If I had been backing up emails and documents on a quarterly basis (and cleaning my desk) I wouldn't have had as much of a problem.
Check the link for other tips on how to prepare yourself in advance for losing your job.
Do You Have a Career Emergency Plan? [The Muse]