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What you can do to prepare for layoffs?

Question: I have concerns regarding potential layoffs within my organization. What measures can I take to prepare myself in case I am affected?

While layoffs can be a challenging and stressful experience, there are steps you can take to mitigate their impact and facilitate a smoother transition. Being proactive and preparing for potential layoffs is advisable at all times. It is crucial to have a plan in place in case you are impacted by a layoff, to ensure a smooth transition. Taking action today to prepare for potential layoffs is essential to avoid being caught off guard. In the following sections, I will provide specific recommendations in detail and actions you can take to prepare yourself for a potential layoff.

What you can do to prepare for layoffs?

Have a plan

Losing a job can be a challenging and stressful experience, but having a plan in place can help you feel more in control and prepared for the future. It is recommended to strategize what actions you would take in the event of a layoff, such as exploring job opportunities, freelancing, or launching your own enterprise. Developing a plan can instill a sense of confidence and readiness for the future.

Keep an eye out for warning signs

It is recommended to stay vigilant for indications of potential financial difficulties within your organization, including but not limited to unmet revenue goals and substantial decreases in sales or customer base. Additionally, it is advisable to keep an eye out for any rumors or media coverage concerning your company’s financial status.

Save and document your accomplishments

Interestingly, the most commonly shared advice is to preserve the details of your achievements. This is because you may lose access to these details in the future, and it is highly likely that your future interviewers will inquire about your accomplishments. Therefore, this task provides a high return on investment.

To accomplish this task, simply create a new document and begin compiling a list of instances where you have made a significant impact in your current role. It is recommended that you include relevant metrics, screenshots, timelines, and stories to effectively convey the narrative of your successes.

It is highly advisable to commence this task while the details are still fresh in your memory and accessible. Avoid overthinking and start documenting your accomplishments today.

Build and freshen up your network

As we all know, building and maintaining professional relationships is a crucial aspect of career success. While it may seem daunting, investing in networking can open doors and lead to valuable opportunities. In fact, networking becomes even more important during times of unemployment. Therefore, it’s important to prioritize networking efforts, even if it may not be the most enjoyable task.

What you can do to prepare for layoffs?

How to go about doing this:

  1. Who are your 5 most talented friends and former colleagues who work at other interesting companies? Casually ping them to see how things are going.
  2. Start participating in a community
  3. Participate in a hackathon
  4. Go to a local meetup or talk on a subject you’re excited about
  5. Reply to that one recruiter who reached out to you a while back, and ask them about the market these days

Establishing and cultivating a robust network of professional contacts, including former colleagues, mentors, and industry peers, is imperative to your career success. It is important to acknowledge that within your network, there may be a valuable job opportunity that aligns with your career goals.

To ensure that you are leveraging your network effectively, it is prudent to engage in proactive networking. This involves attending industry events, joining professional organizations, and establishing meaningful connections on LinkedIn. In addition, maintaining regular communication with colleagues, industry contacts, and former co-workers can provide you with valuable job leads and recommendations if you find yourself in need of a new job.

Keep your resume, portfolio and LinkedIn profile up to date

In today’s job market, resumes continue to hold significant value, and taking the time to craft a well-structured one can have a positive impact on your overall career prospects. Additionally, it is advisable to update your LinkedIn profile to ensure that it accurately reflects your skills, experience, and professional accomplishments. By undertaking these tasks, you can enhance your candidacy for employment opportunities and position yourself for success in your career.

Resumes still matter, and going through the exercise will help you with these other items. Update your LinkedIn profile while you’re at it.

How to go about doing this:

  1. Capture your accomplishments
  2. Put together a V1 resume.
  3. Ask your successful friends/colleagues for feedback
  4. Share it in an online community that you’re (hopefully) involved in, and ask for feedback
  5. Explore resume review services like this one

Maintaining an updated resume and LinkedIn profile is crucial in today’s job market. Even if you are not currently job searching, having these documents readily available can streamline the application process if you are suddenly laid off. It is important to regularly update your resume with your latest accomplishments and skills to ensure that it accurately reflects your qualifications. Likewise, your LinkedIn profile should also be kept current and showcase your professional experience in a clear and concise manner. Additionally, keeping an updated portfolio that highlights your best work can further enhance your online presence and increase your chances of being noticed by potential employers.

Keep your skills and knowledge up to date

It is recommended that you consider enrolling in courses or attending workshops to enhance your skills and knowledge. This proactive approach will position you as a more competitive job candidate, should you need to seek employment opportunities. Keeping your skills and knowledge up-to-date in your field and industry is a significant advantage as it makes you a valuable asset to any employer. Furthermore, it will distinguish you from other job seekers and increase your chances of securing your desired role.

Develop new skills

Acquiring new skills and certifications can significantly enhance your marketability to potential employers. One way to achieve this is by enrolling in online courses or attending industry conferences to expand your knowledge base. This approach can help you remain competitive in your field and demonstrate your commitment to ongoing professional development.

Seek advice

During times of uncertainty, seeking advice and guidance from trusted colleagues, mentors, or career coaches can be beneficial. Their expertise and support can help you navigate challenging situations and better prepare for what lies ahead. It is recommended that you seek their guidance if you are unsure about how to proceed or how to adequately prepare yourself for upcoming challenges.

Research the job market

It is advisable to monitor job vacancies and conduct thorough research on the current job market to gain insights into the skills and experience that are most sought after. By doing so, you will be better equipped to position yourself strategically and increase your chances of securing potential employment opportunities.

Take advantage of company resources

In the event of a potential layoff, it is recommended to utilize any career counseling, resume writing services, or job search assistance offered by your organization. These resources can assist you in preparing for a smooth transition to a new job and ensure that you are well-equipped for the job market. It is advisable to take advantage of these services to ease the process of a potential job loss.

Manage your finances to add some cushion to your savings account

It is important to consider the possibility of not receiving any paychecks in the upcoming month. It is recommended that you assess your monthly expenses and determine how much financial security you have. While it is advisable to have an emergency fund, if you are aware of impending layoffs, it is crucial to scrutinize your budget and identify areas where you can reduce expenses. This will enable you to withstand any financial difficulties that may arise in the event of a job loss.

What you can do to prepare for layoffs?

How to go about doing this:

  • Cancel unnecessary subscription services and memberships
  • Track your spending and/or create a budget using apps like Copilot, You Need A Budget, and Simplifi
  • Try an automatic savings app, like Digit, Chime, or Qapital
  • Put money into a high-yield savings account
  • Learn about about FIRE (financial independence, retire early)

Reduce your expenses and save money

In order to prepare for the possibility of job loss, it is recommended to reduce unnecessary expenditures and establish an emergency fund. In the event of a layoff, having savings can alleviate financial pressure while seeking new employment opportunities. It is advisable to accumulate an emergency fund that can cover living expenses for a few months, serving as a financial cushion in the event of job loss. If job security is a concern, it is prudent to initiate a savings plan to cover three to six months of living expenses.

Explore additional sources of income (e.g. a side hustle)

One of the best ways to prepare for potential layoffs is to explore additional sources of income. A side hustle can be a great way to supplement your income and cover important expenses in the event of a layoff. Side hustles can come in many forms, such as a freelance gig, becoming a tutor, or selling products you make. Doing your research and finding the best fit for your lifestyle can help you become comfortable with a strategy before it is needed.

Save your favorite people’s contact info

When preparing for the possibility of layoffs, one of the most important steps you can take is to save the contact info of your favorite people. Keeping tabs on colleagues and friends who have been laid off can be incredibly beneficial if you find yourself in the same situation. Not only can they offer advice and support, but they can be a valuable network when it comes to looking for new job opportunities.

It is wise to save contact information for all of your favorite colleagues and supervisors, in case you need to reach out to them in the future. This way, you are able to maintain the relationships you have built, regardless of the company’s current stability.

Don’t let work define you

As the possibility of layoffs looms, it is important to maintain a professional tone and a positive outlook. It is crucial to recognize that your job is just one component of your life and should not define your entire identity. Take a step back and evaluate the bigger picture. Remember that you have valuable skills and experiences beyond your current position.

It is also important to avoid letting work consume your thoughts and become your sole focus. Instead, prioritize other aspects of your life, including family, friends, hobbies, and personal interests. By reaffirming your values and engaging in healthy habits such as journaling, meditation, and exercise, you can build resilience and equip yourself to cope with difficult events in your life effectively.

Consider your options

Consider your options in the event of a layoff. Would you pursue employment in your current industry or explore a career change? Would you be amenable to freelance or contract work?

Consider your options in terms of seeking employment within the same industry or exploring new career paths. Contract or freelance work may also be worth considering. By having a comprehensive plan in place, you can mitigate the uncertainty of the situation and feel more in control. Should a job loss occur, it is crucial to conduct thorough research on unemployment benefits, health insurance, and other forms of support available to you. This knowledge will enable you to make informed decisions and exercise your rights during a challenging period.

What you can do to prepare for layoffs?

Evaluate Your Career Goals

During the period leading up to a layoff, it is advisable to take advantage of the opportunity to assess your career objectives and establish the type of employment or industry that you would like to pursue. By doing so, you will have a defined path to follow when seeking new employment.

Be proactive

It is advisable to maintain a proactive approach towards finding new job opportunities rather than waiting for a potential layoff. Regularly monitoring job boards and attending relevant networking events can be beneficial in this regard. It is recommended to prepare and apply for new job opportunities promptly upon receiving any indication of an impending layoff.

Stay positive

Experiencing a layoff can be emotionally challenging, but it’s crucial to maintain a positive outlook during this time. Take a moment to reflect on your accomplishments and strengths, and remind yourself that your skills and experience are valuable assets that will continue to be sought after. It’s essential to remain optimistic and focused on your objectives throughout this difficult period. Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends and family and seek out resources and support services if necessary. It’s important to remember that a layoff does not define your abilities or worth as an individual. Stay confident and positive as you press forward.

Stay informed

It is important to stay informed about news and rumors regarding your company’s financial stability, industry trends, and possible layoffs. If you have an open and professional relationship with your supervisor or HR department, consider approaching them directly and inquiring about any potential layoffs and the measures the company is taking to address any concerns. Additionally, keeping up-to-date with news and rumors surrounding your company’s financial health and industry trends can provide early warning signs of an impending layoff.


Remember, a layoff is not a reflection of your worth as an employee. It’s important to stay positive, take care of yourself, and remain focused on your long-term career goals.

In conclusion, it’s important to remember that layoffs can happen at any time, but being proactive can help ease the transition. By taking the necessary steps to prepare for a potential layoff, you can minimize the negative impact and increase your chances of finding new opportunities. Whether it’s updating your resume, networking, or reducing your expenses, taking action now can help you be more resilient in the face of uncertainty. By staying informed and being prepared, you can take charge of your career and navigate through any challenges that come your way.

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