Tips when facing a layoff
In the current climate, it seems that almost every day there is news of people losing their jobs. if you are facing a job layoff here are some tips to help
It seems that almost every day there is news of layoffs. At one time a lay-off was temporary inactivity in response to a drop in the market or a falling-off in demand. You would be re-hired when things picked up. Today, it is essentially another word for being made redundant.
I have been involved in making people redundant since my early career. I have overseen the closure of huge industrial plants impacting hundreds of workers, to the closure of small offices where only a few were involved. Whatever the number, it is never easy.
There is no good way to tell someone their job will no longer exist. Today, some of the methodologies are particularly callous, when the first inkling people get is when they can’t log onto the server to their own email accounts. One way Zoom calls, Slack messages, and emails have all been used to break the bad news to employees.
Worth a read: Even The Mom Project gets lay offs wrong
Here are some tips when facing a lay off
1. Stay up to date
We are living in uncertain times and no job is safe. Make sure you set up news alerts for trends in your sector and your organisation in particular. Watch out for any rumblings of bad commercial news, mergers, downsizing, head count reduction or falling off of market size. The tech sector is very vulnerable at the moment after a significant ramping up last year. .
2. Be prepared
Make sure your CV and LinkedIn profile are up to date. Maintain network contacts consistently, so you don’t have to reach out in a panic when you need something from a connection. I have likened this to driving defensiely. We know that people have car accidents and we prepare to deal with them. It’s the same the workplace. Kids playing on pavements. Wobbly cyclists. A nut case cutting in to get one car ahead.
So we should apply the same logic to our jobs.
3. Stay calm
There are jobs out there and good talent is always in demand, even in a downturn. Panicking just ends in wasted energy.
4. Process your emotions
Most people experience a whole range of emotions from anger, sadness, bitterness, and grief. Let the grieving cycle take its course and try not to lose energy on things you can’t control and focus on what you can.
5. Carry out a career audit
Now is the time to do a real self-assessment of what you would like to do in the next phase of your professional life. Make a note of your strengths, transferable skills and development needs. Do you want to stay in the same field or make a career pivot? Explore both options if you are not sure.
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6. Negotiate a severance package
Find out what is on offer from your about-to-be ex-employer and ask for outplacement or career coaching as part of the deal. If you have any one-off lump sum payments, check out your tax exposure from a financial advisor a service that the company will usually provide.
7. Get professional support
If you are struggling with processing any elements and this feeling of helplessness or depression goes on beyond a few weeks, get help. This might be a mental health professional, a counselor or a career coach. You may need financial advice from your bank to help manage your bills but it is not necessary to go through this sort of experience on your own.
8. Reframe the experience
Frequently when these things happen, especially if we are blindsided, we feel as though the bottom has fallen out of our world. Sometimes negative events can turn out as blessings in disguise. Find a mentor, someone who can share their experiences to help you navigate the ambiguity and uncertainty of the situation.
If you are strong maybe you also have time to mentor others.
It may not seem like it but this too will pass. Whatever the outcome you will have learned some lessons which will serve you well in the future. Try to stay positive so that when you go for job interviews (which you WILL) that optimism will come shining through.