Layoffs suck.
There is no other way to say it.

Sadly, it is a part of the corporate world merry-go-round.

I’ve been talking to a lot of people, especially some higher ups in companies starting to look for their next position because the dirty word – layoff – is in the air.

Job layoffs hit 190,410 in the first quarter, a 35.6 percent increase over the previous year and the worst first quarter since 2009, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/04/job-layoffs-surge-35percent-to-highest-level-to-start-a-year-in-a-decade.html

Not the best start to 2019… and it’s still going on.You have no doubt heard in the media about the major cuts with BuzzFeed, Verizon, Vice Media, and Gannett over the past several months. Now there are even more Sears and Kmart layoffs coming, but what is the run down of major companies making a drastic change in the workforce?

  • Deutsche Bank announced a near half cut in the workforce in July – totaling 18,000 – Nearly 1 in 5!
  • Siemens announced 2,700 employees globally would be cut to try to save costs.
  • Sears/Kmart has 250 layoffs coming with more store closures nationwide.
  • Cerner is reporting 255 layoffs in Kansas City, Missouri to boost operating margins.
  • Ford laid off 7000 salaried workers at end of August and expects to layoff 12000 workers in Europe in 2020.
  • Symantec is letting go of 7% of their workforce- roughly 2,000 employees due to restructuring and refocus.
  • NORPAC farm co-op is closing their Stayton processing facilities with an expected 500 layoffs coming end of October.
  • Nestle is closing up a distribution center in Indianapolis by year’s end which will in turn create 172 layoffs and is also restructuring in the Portland plant leaving 50+ out of a job.
  • Nissan reported layoffs totaling approximately 12,500 globally.
  • US Steel mentioned ‘market conditions’ when they announced they were projecting 150 layoffs at their Indiana plant.
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation layoffs is expected in the hundreds due to ballooning costs in repairs and legal expenses.
  • Kellogg will be laying off 100 employees this fall (October) from their Georgia facility.
  • The list goes on.

It is a part of business, but as a job seeker, how do you survive a layoff?

What are some of the things you can do to prep before a layoff happens if you are lucky enough to know about it, and what can you do once you are starting the job hunt again?

You may start getting hints that layoffs are coming when projects start slowing down or postponed indefinitely, you get less requests for meetings within the office, and nonessential budgets are starting to be cut.

Some other signs a layoff is coming is news about an upcoming merger or acquisition, executives are more stressed or start leaving the company, or looking for other positions.

You may also notice internal position hiring is on hold, and you hear chatter of restructuring. Talk of restructuring can be the worst, right!

If you notice any of these signs, or you know firsthand that a layoff is coming, you have some options to consider before things go crazy.

Don’t just quit your job to start looking for another one. Resist that urge. You would not be able to collect unemployment compensation.

Start looking around, start applying for a new position- and interview as normal.

If the time comes and you are handed your pink slip…. Did you know you can negotiate a severance package?

Most think they just have to take what is offered as the company is usually financially struggling. The good news for you, is that you can negotiate it.

Look into your contract and what was laid out. You can negotiate for numerous things including additional weeks of salary, payment for unused vacation or sick days, and extension of medical benefits for X amount of time, etc.

They may even be able to help you find a new job outside of the organization by connecting you with placement services.

When going in to negotiate a severance package when you are laid off, make sure to be able to present what your value to the company has been, the current market and how long it will take you to find a new position, and how long you have been employed at the company.

Remember, this should be a friendly chat, so don’t stress. I know, easier said than done,

But like hassling for a new car sticker price… same thing here. Negotiate with them.

Once the layoff proceedings are done, severance negotiated… it’s time to survive and move onto your next amazing career!

First, take a bit of time for yourself. Breathe. Relax. Get your head back in the game. You have to be ready to tackle this head on. It may take a day, or it may take a week or two- but gear up for a ROCKIN’ job search!

Start planning out what kind of positions you are aiming for. What is your ideal day to day?

Start searching job boards, connecting with recruiters, and seeing what companies you want to work for and the current openings.

Now it’s time to really update your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile.

Make sure you are positioned perfectly for the jobs you are aiming for.

When you go into interviews, remember not to trash talk your previous employer. It’s easy to do, if you are still upset about the layoff.

This is the time to show forward-thinking onwards, upwards ideas. Keep it positive. Don’t ignore the fact it happened if they ask, and just say, yes, there was restructuring at the company as you have probably heard about, and I was one of the layoffs.

“I’m really quite eager to be a part of a team again” — then bring up some opportunity at this new company that you would like to tackle. It’s a great positive response and moves the question on.
Layoffs do suck. But you can survive this, even when it seems so frustrating. Look to the future. And as a bonus thought… you can negotiate a higher salary with the new doors that open for you now. 😉

Amanda Goodall

amanda@thejobchick.com

I’m the girl that job seekers come to when they need new job swag!