Let’s get it right, nobody wants to be on the receiving end of the layoff email. The thought of it can send many of us into a frenzy and despite many companies still hiring in the tech industry, we cannot ignore the fact that in November we have already seen more layoffs than the last 3 months combined (source — Layoffs.fyi — Tech Layoff Tracker and Startup Layoff Lists)
The process of being laid off is an individual and emotional journey. Despite maybe being part of a crowd in your company, you will all respond differently depending on who you are as individuals and your personal situation.
Having not personally gone through a layoff but still looking to help, I sat down with those that have in my network and compiled their best advice to help you manoeuvre around this potentially traumatic experience.
If you find yourself on the wrong side of a layoff announcement, then I hope you find these tips useful.
Stop, reflect and catch your breath
It’s quite possible that you had no idea you were going to be laid off. You went to sleep the night before as normal only to find your access restricted in the morning. This catches you off guide and before you know it all sorts of emotions erupt within you.
This is natural.
However, before rushing to the first job opening you find, take a moment to yourself simply to stop, reflect and catch your own breath.
Going through your own emotional process will only serve you better when you do participate in interviews as you will be able to talk from a place of personal resolution about what happened (or so I have been told!).
Analyse your finances
When you feel a little more comfortable emotionally, turn your attention to your finances. Money is usually a large stressor in many of our lives, coupled with a rise in pretty much everything and your sudden movement into the world of unemployment it can quickly feel a little too much.
If you haven’t thought about it already, look to get a better understanding of what support you can get from your local government as well as a full overview of your monthly outgoings as a household.
Consider your own runway based on your savings and action if you need to make any cutbacks.
Understand your visa (if applicable)
At the same time as your finances, also consider your visa requirements (if applicable). Often visas have a period in which you must find a job once one has ended, this will be individual to the country and visa, so best research this to know where you stand legally.
If you are not sure, seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
Decide on your wish list for your next opportunity
With a level head and a clearer picture of your finances and visa status (if needed), now turn your attention to what you truly want out of your next opportunity.
I have covered a lot about understanding your NEEDS and WANTS (Career Advice (perituspartners.co.uk)) but having this clearly defined before a process starts allows you to focus on the opportunities that can truly give you what you need and not those that simply distract.
Update your LinkedIn and Resume with the latest information
The unfortunate thing is that there are a lot of layoffs happening right now and, in many cases, senior talent is being impacted just as much as the rest of the hierarchy. This means that competition for each opening has shot through the roof with openings that would receive 50 applications now hitting well over 100.
Having an up-to-date LinkedIn page and resume is extremely important. Try to stand out with your experience, instead of just listing technologies, explain what you have accomplished at a particular company, what projects you supported and how you helped the company succeed.
You can read more resume tips here (Blogs by tag — Resume (perituspartners.co.uk))
You won’t hear back from every position but having a knockout resume will at least raise your chances of speaking with them.
Utilise your network
Over the years you might have connected with colleagues, professionals from events and friends… now it’s time to utilise that network.
Many opt to share a post on their social media, this is a good way to attract likes and comments from your network to boost your post towards people who might not know you.
Others also reach out specifically through direct messages explaining their situation and requesting support be it introductions or simply to keep an eye out.
No point in having a network if you are not prepared to use it.
Seek counsel from friends and family throughout
This will be a tough period for you not just in terms of your career but mentally and physically as well. Lean on friends and family throughout, and talk through how you feel and what is happening with your search.
Stay positive where possible and seek support on those days when you are simply feeling down.
You can absolutely turn a layoff into a positive experience if you reframe your mindset towards the event. This doesn’t in no way take away the sting of the situation and as mentioned at the beginning, everyone will handle it in their own manner. These tips have been presented by people I know who have been personally impacted by layoffs over the years, they have helped them get through the tough times and come out the other side in a better place.
Feel free to share them, save them and utilise them to your advantage.