How to Protect Yourself During Layoffs

How to Protect Yourself During Layoffs, Fired, laid off
How to Protect Yourself During Layoffs

Hopefully, you never have to be drug through the horrible process of layoffs, but you should be prepared because it might happen sometime in your career.

Layoffs happen for many reasons, mainly protecting the company from going out of business. Layoffs typically happen because the company has too many expenses, such as paying employees, and the business isn’t making enough income.

Layoffs are more likely to occur with companies who have low-profit margins because they can’t afford to stash away extra cash to protect themselves when finding new work is rough.

If your business is going through a rough patch and you got hit in the crossfire, this might be the chance you need for a greater opportunity. Here are some tips to help protect yourself during a time of uncertainty.

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Know the Signs

People who know about upcoming layoffs are the ones who stand a better chance at protecting themselves. You need to know the signs of a layoff so you can be prepared. A few signs of layoffs include:

  • You see someone getting laid off. This is one of the more obvious signs, but it doesn’t always have to mean layoffs are coming. It could just mean that someone was performing under expectations and got fired.
  • The word “Restructuring” has been said. Restructuring sometimes means that the company has been operating inefficiently and restructuring increase profits through a tune up. Restructuring can also mean the company needs to improve as a last ditch effort before layoffs occur.
  • Someone important says, “layoffs are coming.” Again, another obvious sign.
  • Your company merges. Merging happens for a lot of reasons, but what does that mean for you? Often when a corporation merges there is a lot of redundant positions that don’t need to be open.

These are just a few of the many signs of layoffs. Keep an eye on your senior management because they often know what’s going on in the company. You need to be a spy like Michael Weston from Burn Notice and gather up as much information as possible.

Work Hard

Once you know layoffs are coming, you should do what you already should be doing, working hard! You are now in direct competition with your coworkers, and the prize for winning is your job.

Working hard does not guarantee that you will keep your job, but it does help the odds. Sometimes companies just have to let their good hard working employees go. It’s a difficult situation because the company needs their hard working employees to survive, but if they keep them, they won’t survive the cost of keeping them around.

Pile Up Extra Cash

I hope you already have an emergency fund that has enough money in it to keep you going for 6 to 12 months. If you don’t have an emergency fund already set aside, it isn’t ideal, but it’s time to start.

Regardless of having an emergency fund, you should stockpile as much extra cash as you can because ultimately, you could lose your job. This is a very significant move to protect yourself especially if jobs are hard to find.

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Budget Accordingly

You should budget like you’ve already been laid off. This will help you stockpile even more cash and get you used to a more frugal lifestyle if you do get laid off.

Budgeting is your friend regardless of what your current situation is. Cut back on expenses that you don’t need until the time of uncertainty has passed. Preparing for the worst is your best strategy, regardless of if it comes true or not.

Update Your Resume/Apply for Jobs

You need to update your resume as soon as you know layoffs are a possibility. If a lot of people that have your same skill set are about to be laid off, then you already know you have competition in your job market that is about to increase.

Regardless of getting laid off or not, it’s time to start applying for new positions at other companies. It is always easier to get hired while you are currently employed. The best-case scenario you’ll get a job before layoffs even begin.

Starting to apply for new jobs while employed has its benefits. You have more leverage of getting a better offer with better pay because the other company has no idea you’re in a bad spot at your current company.

Getting a new job is a win-win for you because you can leave a sinking ship on a good note, potentially save someone else’s job, and you get a higher salary with a fresh start at a new company.

Related: How to Get Promoted

Layoffs are tough, but stay strong and stay positive. Do you have any tips for surviving layoffs? Post them in the comments below!