The Volatile Workplace: How Not to Be Caught Unawares in a Layoff

Jobs have never been as unsteady as they are in these days of economic turbulence and uncertainty. No matter how secure your job seems it is always better to never take chances and go with the assumption that you may wake up one day and either find yourself accepting a sack letter or discover that the company is laying off.

Thousands of people get laid off every month across the country mostly due to no fault of theirs as organisations struggle to remain in business and shore up profits. It is even more pronounced in the banking and financial services industry where it affects hundreds of people at a time.

Getting prepared for any eventuality of a lay off means you should be aware of all the possible reasons you could get laid off. You could be laid off even when the organisation is doing well and your work is stellar. In other words you could get laid off as a result of office politics.

This article is not to tell you how to prevent getting laid off. Aside from doing your job extremely well and licking ass there is virtually not much more you can do. It’s basically written to make you learn to be aware of pending lay-offs way before they happen, so you plan your exit on time. It’s always better to be prepared for the worst and then when the worst fails to happen you can rejoice.

The Signs a Lay-off Might be in the Horizon

While you should actually regard your work as something that could end anyday there are times however when it starts to look a little more likely that it could happen. You need to be aware of the signs; they are probably so many (if you look hard enough) but we’ll stick with these few.

Your Previously Strict Supervisor Suddenly No Longer Cares What You Do

This is one of the subtle ways people are given a hint that their work no longer matters much to the management yet very few understand the hint.

Your Workload Decreases Significantly

This is somehow related to the above. If your duties are halved and taken away from you you should be worried. Your boss is no Santa Claus! It simply means someone is taking up your job gradually or you are no longer as important as you used to believe.

Your Core Work Duties are Outsourced

This is a potential ‘guilty’ sentence delivered on you. It will not be long before you are shown the door if the company starts paying freelancers or outsiders to do your job.

Your Boss/Manager Starts to Avoid You or Can No Longer Look You in the Eye
When a man loses a dear relative and knows nothing yet about it when every other person does you know how awkwardly things begin to appear. You know a potential bad news is on the way when your boss can no longer even look you in the eye. And maybe you notice a little sign of pity in the way he acts with you? It could be real bad news.

Preparing for a Lay- off

To be prepared you have to remain proactive even when in a job that looks tight.

Do your periodic review and upgrade of your resume: Add new skills and experience milestones you garner.

Keep Your Network Active: For many people when they get a job they stop oiling and expanding their network until they lose the job. Keep in touch with key people in your field and network with an occassional phone call or email. Make time to attend important industry events and strike up friendships. Keep your information mine active so you can easily get information on available jobs when you need it.

Pick Up New Skills: If you are ambitious about advancing in your career path then you should plan to enhance your skills no matter whether your job is save or mot. With improved skills and expertise you can command higher value in the labour market and should a lay-off occur these will help you quickly get another similar or better job.

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