How to Beat Layoffs and Stay Ahead of the Curve

How to Beat Layoffs and Stay Ahead of the Curve

Unexpected layoffs can turn your world topsy-turvy. It can also play havoc with your self-esteem, making you doubt your abilities and feel nothing but scorn for the company you dedicatedly put in extra hours.


Nevertheless, layoffs are inevitable and can happen to anyone. Even the “Employee of the Month” is not immune to a layoff. So, the only way you can stay sane in the midst of hiring freezes and mass layoffs is to be fully prepared for the worst. Continue reading to find out how you can sniff an impending layoff and stay several steps ahead of the curve.


  • Pay Attention to Hiring Freezes

Not all hiring freezes suggest there is a layoff on the horizon. Companies can halt their hiring plans due to several reasons. However, if continuous requests for more team members are being brushed aside without a second thought, there probably is a budget constraint being enforced in the organization and a significant business downturn that your company should be worried about. 


  • Future Looks Bleak

Every organization thrives on its goals for the next couple of years, without which there is no growth and obviously no need for human resources. If you usually doze off during meetings, it is about time you sit up and listen to the agenda and forecasts being presented during official discussions. If you are unable to clearly understand the overall strategy your company has planned for the next quarter or year, casually ask your immediate supervisor about any additional responsibilities you should be looking forward to that would help your company in its future growth. If you don’t get a clear-cut answer, be warned of a layoff in the immediate future.


  • Procrastination to the Core

If new initiatives no longer receive the wide-eyed look it deserves, and new project launches are being postponed for eternity, there could be a valid reason your company has decided to focus only on those services/products that are guaranteed to bring in revenue. While some essential budgets will be cut to the bone, less money will be pumped into new areas of business. This need not always be a sign that a layoff may be announced soon. But it is always better to watch your back. 


  • External Consultants Make an Entry

If every third person you casually meet and say “hello” to in the office is an external consultant hired by your company, it is one of the first tell-tale signs of an impending layoff. Organizations, especially large-sized ones, often hire external consultants under the pretext of optimizing processes or re-designing the business. One of the major tasks being assigned to these consultants is to help the company decide how many employees need to be laid off without the company crumbling under pressure.


Well, these are just signs you need to be aware of in order to shield yourself from an unexpected layoff. At any point in time, you should be ready to deal with any unexpected changes in your work including the possibility of being laid off. Take a look at the steps you can follow to beat layoffs.


Invest in Personal Improvement

Based on the latest Workplace Learning Report conducted by LinkedIn Learning Solutions, 69 percent of professionals claim that continuous learning is their company's top priority. Irrespective of the fact that your company provides regular in-house training or not, you need to personally invest in upskilling yourself. Identify the skill gaps you may be having and enroll in online training sessions that serve to address those gaps. 


Build Meaningful Relationships

Being in the company of influential individuals outside of your workplace could be a key element that connects you with the perfect job opportunity in the future. If records are to be believed, around 60 to 80 percent of jobs are sourced through personal connections. Even while you are employed, invest your time and efforts to create a network of influential people in your industry, alumni, community and organizations you're affiliated with. Continuously develop and nurture a meaningful alliance with diverse individuals who are aligned with your professional goals. Make sure to meet them regularly to keep abreast of the fluctuations and ebbs in the marketplace. It is also beneficial to have a few of these individuals act as coaches and mentors for you.


Enhance Your Transferable Skills

Throughout our professional lives, we gain transferable skills that can be incorporated into different professional fields. In fact, some of your most valuable skills and strengths can be connected to different career options. While already being employed, make sure you have transferable skills that are in demand and marketable as well. To further enhance your transferable skills in a real-world context or cultivate new ones, you could engage as a volunteer in a non-profit or similar organization. The skills you gain will go a long way in making you layoff-proof.


Give Your Professional Portfolio an Overhaul

Many of us wait till we are laid off to create a LinkedIn account or wipe the dust off our resumes. And it is this unpreparedness that spells our doom. When a layoff takes employees by surprise, even seasoned professionals successfully employed for years, end up feeling unsure of the steps they should be taking to enter the job market. While things are going well and you're still employed, it is always a great idea to talk to a professional career coach or seek the help of a resume writer to highlight your professional experience and skill set. 


If you have never been laid off, perhaps you might know someone in your network who might benefit from these tips to beat layoffs and stay ahead of the curve, just in case an impending reduction is in force.


HiCounselor has forged technical advances to transform the hiring landscape for job seekers and recruiters alike. Our career accelerator program provides job seekers with coaching and mentorship from industry leaders employed at FAANG companies while recruiters ally with HiCounselor to empower their hiring strategy and hone in on the best candidates. Learn more about HiCounselor here and reach out to us on LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.