Sometimes, all it takes is an unfortunate turn of events for a company to go from thriving to struggling. And once that happens, layoffs are often inevitable.
Of course, the greatest victims of layoffs are none other than the folks whose jobs are eliminated. But being a layoff survivor, so to speak, isn't exactly easy. After all, how are you supposed to go about your business as usual when each day brings another dose of bad news?
If your company is going through layoffs, it's important to remain cool and levelheaded in the face of all that upheaval. Here are a few tricks that will help you do just that.
1. Focus on your day-to-day tasks
It's easy enough to get distracted when your office is filled with closed-door meetings and rumors continuously abound. But you can ease some of your mental anguish by focusing your efforts on the things you need to get done each day. So dive into that research report, and hammer out your upcoming presentation as best as you can. The more time you spend thinking about your actual job, the less you'll spend worrying about losing it.
2. Take on more work strategically
The downside of working for a company going through layoffs is getting more work dumped on you as folks depart. The upside, however, is getting a real opportunity to buy yourself some job security. If you aim to take on new tasks that are crucial to your company's operations, you'll become more valuable, and your employer will have a harder time letting you go. So rather than wait for other people's work to land in your lap, volunteer for key tasks as they open up.
3. Boost your savings
The biggest problem with getting laid off is losing your income and not knowing when you'll begin collecting a steady paycheck again. To help alleviate that concern, make an effort to sock away as much money as possible once your company starts letting people go. To achieve that goal, you'll probably need to cut back on expenses or take on a side job to drum up some extra cash. But the more of a cushion you build, the less worrisome your loss of a paycheck will be. Incidentally, getting a second gig could be just the thing to buy yourself some additional peace of mind. This way, you know you have work to fall back on if you end up becoming a layoff victim yourself.
4. Network -- but only outside business hours
When your company is going through layoffs and your role is precarious at best, the last thing you want to do is get caught tackling outside tasks during working hours. But when you're not at your desk, you should make a point of reaching out to your various contacts and associates and seeing what openings might be available at their companies. If you manage to gather a number of leads, you'll have options if the worst-case scenario at your company comes to be, so be sure to network as aggressively as you can.
Dealing with layoffs is never easy, so be kind to yourself during that period. Maybe you'll end up hanging onto your job, or maybe you won't. Just remember that there's a world of opportunity out there, and if your company has become a sinking ship, getting let go may not be such a bad thing after all.