How To Handle Layoffs Like A Pro in 2023


Since the beginning of 2023, there has been a rise in the number of layoffs across America with over 500 companies laying off more than 0.1 million employees across the continent. From small and mid-sized organizations to tech giants like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Accenture, and more, companies are laying off a high percentage of their employees as a precautionary measure to deal with the recession that is going to hit America and Europe in the next few months.

While recession is a substantial reason for layoffs, here are some of the other common reasons why a company would consider laying off its employees:

  1. Cost-cutting: Managing finances and cost-cutting within an organization are one of the most common and primary reasons to release employees
  2. Mergers and Acquisitions: Redundancies in job roles when two organizations merge are also one of the prime reasons for reducing staff
  3. Restructuring: A company looking to restructure its operations for enhanced efficiency may need to eliminate certain positions or departments leading to layoffs
  4. Decline in demand: Reduced demand and high competition for certain products and services can lead to the downsizing of employees within that organization
  5. Automation and Technology: With AI and other advanced technology taking over tasks through automation, certain roles become obsolete eliminating the need for certain job roles

So, what can you do to lower your chances of being laid off by your organization?

5 Tips To Lower The Risk of Layoffs
  1. Be a valuable employee
    Ensure you put in the best of your efforts at your job. Choose to go the extra mile to help add value to the company, while also maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Be proactive, take initiative, and look for ways to contribute to the company’s success. If you can think of ways to improve processes, feel free to suggest them and do what is necessary to increase your team’s efficiency and speed
  2. Stay up-to-date with industry trends
    With the fast-paced changes in the market as well as technology, keeping yourself updated about industry trends can go a long way. It not only ensures a reduced risk of losing your job but also paves the way to a better job positioning in your organization. You can also identify potential threats to your job security and take the necessary precautionary measures
  3. Maintain a positive attitude
    While this may not seem like a great preventive step for layoffs, it certainly helps you stay motivated and also helps make an impression on your team and employers. A positive attitude enables you to be a good team player and build better relationships with your colleagues and higher authority, which has a significant impact on your job security
  4. Stay flexible
    Be open to challenges and new opportunities within the organization. Adaptability and flexibility are two key factors in gaining trust and making an impression on your managers and seniors. Taking up new challenges will make you a more valuable part of the organization
  5. Renew your skills
    Develop your skills, and keep up with the latest technologies and best practices in your field constantly. Upskilling will have a massive impact on the quality of your work and showcase your position as a valuable employee that your organization wouldn’t want to lose

While all of these measures cannot guarantee a permanent position within your organization, they certainly help improve your chances of retention. They help highlight your value in the company and minimize the risk of getting laid off.

In the unfortunate event that despite taking all the preventive measures, you are laid off, here are certain steps for you to take charge of the situation:

Stay calm and composed
Being laid off can be a difficult situation to land in but it is necessary to maintain composure so that the next steps can be executed effectively. It is important to exit the company while being on good terms with your employer and manager as this could give you the benefit of a good reference and future chances of re-employment.

Understand your rights and benefits
Keep your offer letters, contracts, and other official documents handy. Once fired, go through these documents thoroughly and look for the benefits that you are entitled to. These could include unused vacation time, severance pay, and other unemployment benefits and laws.

Update your resume and online profiles
This step is a no-brainer. Update your resume and online professional profiles like LinkedIn and ensure your recent job experience is accounted for. Make sure to use all the features of LinkedIn to let recruiters and potential employers know that you are open to new jobs.

Network and job search
Reach out to your professional network through LinkedIn, email, and even on phone to let them know that you are looking for a new job. Attending networking events, job fairs, and career forums while also searching online will accelerate your process of job hunting.

Take care of yourself
Losing a job can take a toll on not just your finances but also on your mental health. It is important to stay strong and take care of yourself through this difficult period. Motivate yourself, exercise regularly, and if required seek support from friends and family.

While layoffs can be challenging, they also present new opportunities for you to explore your talents and skills. It could even help you land a job that is better tuned to your skills and experience. Stay positive and never lose focus on your goals. Start saving an emergency fund and have a backup plan to prepare for unexpected layoffs over the next few months. You will eventually find a new job that is a good fit for you.