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The Completely Obvious Guide to Avoiding Being Laid Off

        posted by , September 20, 2011

Being laid off is never fun. Even if you get a package — a layoff can hurt your resume and self esteem. Not to mention that layoffs usually come at the worst time (when the economy is in recession).

Layoffs may happen quickly and seem random. However, layoffs are rarely indiscriminate — there are some (obvious) steps you can take to avoid being laid off:

1. Come To The Office

Your organization may allow you to work from home. However, there is a correlation between working at home and being laid off.

Being physically in the office and showing up to meetings (as opposed to dialing in) tends to give you an edge when layoffs role around.

2. Flextime

Your organization may allow flextime. However, working standard hours is a safer bet. When layoffs occur — you don't want to be that person who comes in an hour later than everyone else.

3. Speaking Up

Employees who are consistently vocal in meetings are less likely to be laid off.

4. Be Nice

Employees who bully others, gossip excessively, generate political drama or get on people's nerves are more likely to be laid off.

In some cases, such problem employees may appear to have highly successful careers. However, their success has come at the cost of alienating people and collecting enemies. Layoff season is a bad time to have enemies.

5. Ethics

If there is the slightest question about an employee's professional ethics — that employee is at high risk when layoffs role around.

6. Enthusiasm

Being genuinely enthusiastic about your job is the best thing for your career. There is no better strategy for avoiding redundancy.

7. Be On The Right Team

When times get bad — it's not unusual for organizations to cut entire teams, departments or divisions. Usually the writing has been on the wall for a long time — low performance, lost political battles, a bad reputation etc ...

If you are the member of a team that has gone into decline — consider jumping ship before layoffs arrive. Teams with strong performance and political power often manage to grow through good times and bad.

8. Assertiveness

When times get bad — your instincts may tell you to retract into your shell. Don't listen! This is the perfect time to push your business initiatives. Those who sell their work and themselves are much less likely to be laid off.

Market yourself — push for a promotion. Even if you don't get it you will be far less likely to be laid off.

If You Are Laid Off

There will be a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.
~ Louis L'Amour

Companies cannot promise their people lifetime employment. Global competition is too fierce and economic cycles too frequent for any such guarantees. But they can promise their people every chance for employability – skills that will make them more attractive if they are forced to part ways.
~ Jack Welch

Layoffs are nothing personal. In our modern economy, layoffs are common — many people will experience being laid off several times over the course of a career. The good news is that the modern job market is far more fluid than ever before in history. There are plenty of opportunities out there.

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