Staying at a company long term used to be more common than it is today. Company restructuring used to be less common. Now, layoffs happen on a more regular basis and sometimes company do layoffs in the thousands all at once. It can be scary. The important thing is if you were subject to a layoff, would you be prepared? Getting let go from your job can be devastating, however it can be worse if you don’t have a plan. Layoffs in many instances, have nothing to do with performance so you really have little control over the situation.
Subtle Indicators Layoffs Are Coming
If you look for the signs, there are indicators if layoffs are coming. You may have heard there’s a hiring freeze. People are leaving the company and their positions are not being replaced. People are asking a lot of very specific questions drilling down about what you do. You may be asked to starting writing up procedures for some of the important aspects of your job out of the blue. Your manager may be talking about cutting back on the budget or they be questioning your expenses a little more closely. Some of these things do happen at companies even if there are no layoffs coming. The important thing to notice are the changes in behavior that can be indicators of things to come.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Only a small group of people are initially filled in of a potential merger or acquisition during the early stages of the due diligence period. That basically means when they start digging into the company finances, identify potential risks, look to see if the company has outstanding legal issues etc.. More people are brought into the loop when they need those individuals to pull data or analyze information and that’s generally on an as needed basis. Once the communications start coming out regarding an upcoming merger or acquisition, if you are not already prepared then get prepared. There are lots of people on both sides performing similar jobs so you may not know where you stand for a while.
How To Be Prepared
For as long as I have been working, I always had my resume up to date. I wanted to be prepared at a moment’s notice just in case. Especially in this today’s job market, you want to have a plan for if you become affected by layoffs. An updated resume is an absolute must at all times. You may not have interviewed for a long time. Some career coaches offer interview preparation services. Focus on what you have control over. Early preparation will go a long way in helping you more effectively deal with what comes your way. You will be ready with a plan of action. Perhaps passively looking for opportunities early on is something to consider. It may help you feel less anxious and more confident about the direction of your career.
If you are seeing the signs of potential layoffs, don’t ignore them. Although you may not be affected, it’s important to always be ready just in case. Waiting until something actually happens will create a greater level of stress. Being prepared for layoffs gives you a greater sense of control over your career prospects.