10 Strategies To Prepare For A Possible Layoff


In the current landscape, layoffs continue to be a pervasive issue, especially within the technology sector, leaving employees unsettled. Reports indicate that around 170 tech companies have recently laid off over 40,000 workers, based on data from Layoffs. FYI. The aftermath of job cuts not only affects the individuals directly impacted but also has a broader ripple effect. Those who have survived layoffs often grapple with a mix of emotions, ranging from relief to anxiety and guilt, and may find themselves wondering about the possibility of being next in line. However, instead of enduring the distressing uncertainty, there are proactive strategies that can help individuals prepare for a potential layoff, providing a sense of readiness for any unexpected events.  

1.) Remain focused

Try not to turn your layoff anxiety into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Focus on the work and ignore office gossip. Also, be cognizant of your inner dialogue so that you prevent paranoia from setting in. If you do sense change on the horizon, don’t retreat inward. Instead, foster relationships internally so you're more likely to be aware of a layoff before it happens.

2.) Prepare financially

According to experts, a good rule of thumb is to set aside three to six months of living expenses. You might even decide to put away more in savings—especially if you are in a volatile industry like technology or finance. Also, avoid unnecessary large purchases. Securing additional savings now will give you peace of mind should you need to find a new job.

3.) Research accrued benefits

Track down the details regarding your accrued benefits, including sick days and vacation time. Find out what happens to that time if you are let go involuntarily. Also, take advantage of your health insurance by filling prescriptions and making necessary appointments. If you have a flexible spending account, try using those funds before losing them in a layoff. Finally, learn more about your employer’s severance package (if applicable) so you can plan ahead.

4.) Secure copies of critical items

Don’t wait for a layoff announcement before securing copies of performance reviews and work samples. First, confirm what items you legally have access to. Templates and handwritten notes can be helpful for future reference if they don't contain sensitive company data. It's also a good idea to download your contact list and keep track of any other connections on LinkedIn. Just be sure that the email associated with your LinkedIn profile is your personal account, not your company email.

5.) Network inside and outside your industry

Networking is about building relationships over the long term. So don't wait until you're left jobless before you reach out to new and existing contacts. It's also beneficial to contact individuals outside your current profession. That way, you have access to a broader network with more diverse perspectives.

6.) Update your résumé and LinkedIn profile

You should always keep your résumé and LinkedIn profile updated—especially if layoffs are looming. Some easy ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile include:

  • Updating the skills section
  • Including an attention-grabbing headline
  • Securing recommendations from managers and co-workers
  • Creating a summary that showcases your personality
  • Adding a professional headshot and background photo

7.) Launch a job search

Even if you aren’t certain of a layoff, applying for external roles is always prudent. Initiating a job search only benefits you in the long run. It allows you to practice your networking and interviewing skills while gaining confidence. You may even consider expanding your search to include part-time or freelance opportunities.

8.) Create new income streams

Another way to prepare for a layoff is to create new income streams. Some examples include public speaking, starting a blog, or launching a podcast. You may even decide to generate passive income by investing in dividend stocks or rental properties. Do you have a hobby or side hustle? If you’ve considered turning it into a full-time business, now may be the perfect opportunity.

9.) Consider a career change

The ideal time for a career change is often post-layoff. For one thing, many companies offer a severance package. If you already have savings, those funds provide a bit more runway to take the plunge. Start by researching your new career. Also, reflect on your transferrable skills and any gaps that exist. Then, create a plan to upskill, whether that means getting certifications or enrolling in online courses. If you use this time wisely, you can pivot your career in a new and exciting direction.

10.) Stay positive

Try not to let your layoff concerns negatively impact your well-being. If they do, seek support from friends and family. You may also need to lean on a professional therapist or career coach to help you navigate this turbulent period.

No one is immune to job cuts—even top performers. By reframing layoffs into an opportunity for growth, you can turn a potential setback into the ultimate career boost.

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