Career Advice

Prepare Yourself Against Layoffs

by CareerFitter

When we see companies and news reporting about recessions, company downsizing, and layoffs, don't get anxious yet.   

In times of uncertainty, large corporations and companies seek to downsize in preparation for an economic downturn. Downsizing is when a company removes more than one individual in order to save the company money. This removal is not based on the employee's performance, but rather on the need to cut down on costs. Even though a company's reasoning is financial your behavior, performance, and office demeanor will be significantly considered.  

There are jobs that are more recession-proof careers than others.  You should consider these first.

It is crucial to prepare yourself ahead of time to be irreplaceable and to increase your odds of keeping your job.

What Not To Do:

What Not To Do

  • Do not panic and remain collected. Your employer and managers are feeling financial stress and it is unwise to contribute to that stress. Keep this in mind, if you get laid off you may also potentially receive benefits and unemployment compensation.
  • Go above and beyond their expectations.  Show up to meetings early.  Do more than they ask.  Be present, prepared, and contribute in all meetings with your superiors. Now is not the time to skip the meetings that are optional.  Your presence will set you apart from the others who don’t show up.
  • Don’t ask for promotions during this time even if you really deserve it. Chances are promotions will not be given anytime soon and your request could put you at the top of the cut list.
  • Don’t partake in workplace gossip. This could portray you as non-trustworthy and it almost always gets back to the employer. Remember, your goal is to stay off the negative radar.


Be positive and confident

How to make yourself invaluable:

  • Be enjoyable, positive, and confident. Bringing positivity to the workplace helps others to remain calm and the boss will appreciate your presence.  The more they like you the harder it is for them to let you go.  Also, it is common for supervisors, who are being forced to make the cuts, to ask others in the department "Who on the team do YOU value?".  
  • Be the solution to the company's problems. Observe areas in the business that are struggling and strategize helpful solutions. Offer to take on tasks that others are rejecting.
  • Develop a "hard skill". This is a skill that is specialized and takes time to develop.  "Soft skills" are good.  But hard skills make you more irreplaceable.   Look for opportunities to display your hard skill. Look for chances to utilize your skills in ways that prioritize the company's needs and make them more money.
  • Showcase your accomplishments. Stay humble in this endeavor and try to let your results do your talking.  Be resourceful and try to subtly direct your superior's attention to your accomplishments.  If you can't be subtle, be direct. But by all means, let them know what you are doing.
  • Take time to network. Your colleagues might end up going to another job and are often asked by their new company "who else would you recommend we bring over?".


Multiple streams of income

Try to Create An Alliance With a Coworker

An alliance is an agreement you have with a trusted colleague in which you both agree to be the other's "wingman" and bring truths about your qualities and accomplishments to your superiors.  It's important this is a confidential agreement and that they are trustworthy.  But when it works, it's powerful because a third-party endorsement of your qualities and accomplishments can be very effective and make you stand out.  

Agree on accountability with your wingman.  You must both report to each other when you had the chance to subtly talk about each other's good qualities to the boss.

Agree to be honest about each other's qualities and accomplishments.   Over-embellishing as a wingman will create suspicion and mistrust in your boss.

Start to Diversify

In the midst of a recession, it is best to prepare for the worst.  Start saving money and try to build another stream of income. You may not have control over the circumstances, but by following the above suggestions you will increase your chances of not being affected by the recession.

Find the careers that naturally fit your work personality and research their future growth potential.  Take a career assessment test to quickly give you insight into your best careers and have career research at your fingertips.  Careers that are compatible with your workplace personality give you a natural edge over others because we all excel faster in the careers that fit us best.


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