How To Tell If You’re About To Be Laid Off

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if your job is in danger. While losing your job is obviously bad news, it can help to know how to tell if you’re going to be laid off in order to start your new job search early. Being able to identify the subtle signs can allow you more time to tailor your resume to fit the new role that you’ll be applying for and gain an upper hand on the competition.

Signs that layoffs are coming can sometimes be glaringly obvious

As we know, getting laid off is not always your fault. You might’ve even recently had a positive performance review and met all of your targets but your organisation suddenly starts the process of going through a merger or acquisition in which your roles is no longer required.

If you’ve found yourself in that position in the past weeks and months, this piece is for you. 

We’re going to talk about some of the best strategies you can implement in your life to remain proactive on your search for new employment, as the economy begins to chug along once again in its post-pandemic recovery. Regardless of the context in which you’re reading this, some of these points are essential to retain for the rest of your professional career, and are sure to return a healthy dividend on your investment of time, resources and energy. 

Before we jump in, just a reminder that this piece is aimed specifically at those that are being forced out the door, and that the decision is all but made from the managers. If you’re still in the job, of course, you should do everything in your power to demonstrate the value you can offer to the organisation, and have frank conversations with your managers. 

If the decision looks set, these are the things you should be preparing as you hunt for new employment. 

Update Your CV 

If you’ve been in a job for long enough, it’s likely that your CV has a gaping hole in the middle. Even if your CV appears to be up to date, there’s always improvements to be made. While it might seem unethical to be working on your CV while working for an organisation, there’s nothing unethical about preparing yourself for sudden events, particularly global events like the recent pandemic. Those with up-to-date CVs and relevant references have a better chance of being called for an interview when applying for a new position, so consider investing even a small amount of your time to update your CV. 

Learn a New Skill 

The pandemic, with all its negatives, has fast-tracked the adoption of remote learning and online courses. There’s a wealth of resources available to you to sharpen your skills, a huge number of which are completely free to partake in online. Adding these credentials to your CV will make you a more attractive candidate, and it will also psychologically buoy your spirits as you learn new things, and keep your brain’s grey matter active. 

Network, Network and Leverage Social Networks

Quite often in life, the difference between success and failure can be measured by who you know, and not what you know. While we don’t advocate this as a means for recruiting the best people in your organisation, it’s proven time and again that those that are effective at networking themselves and advertising their skills and passions are often atop the list of interview call-backs. If you haven’t already, create a profile on LinkedIn and upload a recent CV, and begin building your online network with current and previous employers, colleagues and prospective employers. Find out what they’re reading, find out what high-level organisations preach, and connect with people you’re interested in finding more about. Share content, relevant photos or credentials you possess, and don’t be afraid to advertise yourself to the world wide web; you never know what connections you might make that can materialise in a job, or invaluable pieces of advice. Those that leave this until they’re fresh out of a job often have a profile that lacks depth and engaging content, so consider investing a bit more of your time on LinkedIn and advertise yourself shamelessly. 

Clean Your House

Something mentioned in a piece on Forbes on this topic mentioned the importance of cleaning your house. This is a concept introduced by Jordan B Peterson, who talks about the psychological benefits of setting your house in order, and removing any of the chaos from your place of safety. If you’re operating from home while looking for a new job, this is a particularly important point to keep active, organised and motivated, which has positive flow-on effects for your job search. 

Prepare a ‘Rainy Day’ Fund 

While it may well be too late for this point to be applicable, it’s a solid financial rule for life that is never too late to learn. Establishing a safety net to cover your essential overheads like rent or mortgage payments, food budgets and expenses related to any children you have is an essential part of relieving the immediate stress in the aftermath of being laid off. You’ll have the added luxury of time when it comes to searching for your next job, so you’re not pushed into something below your level of expertise or invest your time into something you’re not passionate about because of inescapable financial obligations. 

Remember the Big Picture

No doubt, there’s few things more stressful in life than a sudden and shock lay off. These life events, however, can be pivotal moments that push you toward bigger, better things that you might not have looked for otherwise. It’s with that in mind that you should remember to take a step back, gather some perspective, and remind yourself that you are a capable, confident and committed person that will not only meet the needs of your next employer, you’ll exceed them. 

Having said that, I’ll wrap this piece up, and see you in the next one. 

Kobi Simmat, Director & CEO of the Best Practice Group. 

If you’ve found yourself recently unemployed and you’re interested in finding out more about our recruiting arm – Best Practice Talent – click here. 

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