5 Strategies to Cope with a Rumored Layoff

5 Strategies to Cope with a Rumored Layoff

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by Ed Weirauch, Career Transition Coach

Unfortunately, company layoffs are a common reality for today’s workforce. When your company is in the midst of a rumored layoff, it is a very unsettling feeling to fear that your job will be one that goes. And you are left wishing you had a strategy for doing what you can to avoid such a layoff.

Remember that downsizings are not personal. When a company is closing, there’s not a lot one person can do to change that. When a merger occurs, duplication of work is common and inevitably people will go. But in the chance that your position is not one of the ones being cut, there are things you can do to influence the decision of whether you stay.

Here are five strategies (and a cliché) for you to consider.

  1. Step away from yourself and ask, “am I doing everything I can to bring or add value?” So often we come to take our jobs for granted. From another’s perspective, we may appear to be coming to work because it’s what we’re supposed to do – rather than going to work… to actually work. For example, when a co-worker or manager makes a suggestion, do you cut them off with a “we’ve always done this” or some other off-putting response? Be honest with yourself.Similarly, make sure you have not fallen into any non-productive routines. There are little extra things on the job that when added up, can convey just how good or valuable an employee you are. If you can’t think of any extras that you do to add value, change that.Be open to new ways of working. Start each day with a plan to make a difference for your manager or someone else on the job. If there’s a project that isn’t getting done because no one has been willing to do it, take it on, own it. Be a problem solver, that’s one way to bring added value. Check yourself so that when you leave that day, if someone were to ask “what impact or difference did you make today,” you’ll have an answer.
  2. Improve Communication with your supervisors. Be up front and ask him/her about changes that may be coming or how the process may unfold. Discuss rumors. Don’t be hesitant to ask for his/her advice. The more open your communication with your manager, the better, no matter what’s happening.
  3. Think about ways you can help build business. Keep your eyes open for new clients or new project ideas that would contribute to the company’s bottom line.
  4. Take a look at your job description… and then ask yourself, “what more could I be doing?” You want to strive to exceed expectations rather than just meet them.
  5. Keep on top of advances in your field. Share that knowledge with your manager first… he/she needs to see your value.

There’s a cliche that says ‘attitude is everything.’ Even in our drastically changing work places there is still a lot of truth to this philosophy. Of course you have to know your stuff and sometimes a little more. But the way you present yourself and your ideas is often just as important as your knowledge and skill.

If you follow these strategies, your co-workers and supervisors will be drawn to you and your positive spirit. And that’s what you want – especially at a time when a lot of your co-workers might be obsessing about the rumored layoff. So be positive! Bring good energy to work… no slouching! If you give off good vibes, you’ll be less likely to be seen as expendable. Oh, and your smile can go a long way.

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