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  • Writer's pictureLori A. Jazvac, MRW

How to Prepare for a Layoff and Move Quickly to a New Job

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

Layoffs come quick and sudden. And they can cause great transformation, even upheaval.

But the worst part about layoffs is not being prepared for them or failing to prepare to execute your next move.

A recent PwC study revealed that 50% of employers expect a reduction in force in the next 12 to 18 months.

What will that mean for your career?

What will this mean for employers? Will they need to reengineer their business model and HR recruitment / retention strategies?

How do you prepare for a layoff to move quickly if it happens at your workplace?

If you are a career professional, what strategies will you use to best prepare your clients to embrace their next career transition? Cookie-cutter or one-size-fits-all approaches don't work as each client and their own background and value are distinct.

In late August, I collaborated with Marie Zimenoff to conduct a podcast on The Career Confidante How to Prepare for a Layoff and Move Quickly to a New Job.

We explored the data around these impending layoffs, actions you can take to be better prepared, and how these actions will benefit your career long-term through inevitable ups and downs in the job market.

For example, Statista Research Department reports that as of end June 2022, the number of employees who had been laid off by tech startups amounted to 141, 576 globally. Industries most impacted included transportation, food, travel, and finance.

The automotive industry will be greatly impacted as a recession is forecasted. Ford has already laid off 3,000 workers in late August 2022 as it transitions to electric vehicles in an effort to reduce costs. This signifies that thousands of displaced employees will be without work who will need a coherent strategy with job search and career transitions.

We also discussed how you can make a career change, even with impending layoffs, and how to best market yourself in your resume, LinkedIn profile, and job interviews in any job search situation.

Here are some quick takeaways from this podcast on preparing for a layoff and quickly moving to a new job:

* Keep a positive attitude as this mindset will only strengthen your job search prospects and drive competitive advantage.

* Before you plan to enter a new role or industry, do your research and stay updated on current and changing labour market trends. Find out what requirements, skills, and experience are needed to secure a new role in that particular industry. Aim for high-demand profitable industries rather than ones in a downturn or approaching vulnerable periods.

* Maintain an emergency fund. Your emergency fund should cover 3-6 months of your expenses as it takes most people this same amount of time to secure a new job.

* Honour your financial budget and plan wisely. Save money as being laid off for a longer period of time can impact your income and ability to pay off debts and bills.

* Build and maintain a wide network of contacts. Talk to people, seek constructive feedback, and seek mentoring, but also mentor others. Contribute.

* Advance your skills and credentials to ensure you are marketable and employable. Continuous learning is key!

* Update your resume and synchronize your brand across all social media platforms with a compelling LinkedIn profile.

* Maintain a positive, consistent and innovative brand social media presence. Remember, LinkedIn is often the first place that employers will go to before they even read your resume.

* Maintain solid references and testimonials as this step will ensure that you sustain high credibility.

Layoffs are a fact of careers in any market, so if you want to be best prepared to move quickly, listen in to The Career Confidante by Career Thought Leaders (CTL) on Monday at 2 pm ET.

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