Preventing and Surviving a Layoff – Expert Tips

With the recent layoff of 14,000 General Motors employees, many professionals might be wondering how to layoff-proof their careers. They may also want to learn techniques for surviving and thriving after a layoff. We interviewed Allie Kelly, vice president of marketing at JazzHR, about how to avoid and survive a layoff.


What are some signs that layoffs may be in your company’s future?

If you are suspecting that there may be a layoff in your company’s future, be sure to look out for reduced budgets. Office perks like free lunch and happy hours could suddenly come to an end. Other things to take note of are resignation of senior staff who may leave for other opportunities before the layoff hits. Additionally, unexpected changes like exclusion from decisions you may have once played a role in can also be a sign.

Can you offer some tips to prevent being laid off?

Find your niche within your company to showcase your value. If you are able to provide a set of insights that your colleagues may not, you will not be the first to go in a layoff. Build your network and position yourself as a resource for your company. Ponder the question; if I was let go, what would my company lose? If you have a hard time answering this, search for your strengths and begin to capitalize on them.

How can one survive a layoff without dipping into savings?

The best answer to this question is prepare in advance. Think back to the old saying “treat every day like it’s your last,” and treat each day on the job like it may be your last as well. Strategically put aside money with each paycheck for emergency funds. This way, if you’re ever in an unfortunate predicament, you can take the financial stress off your plate of concerns.

Any tips on positioning oneself to potential employers after a layoff?

Don’t address the layoff unless specifically asked. If necessary, keep your thoughts/description of the situation succinct and focus on the positive experiences you had with your previous employer. Make sure you don’t read as negative as interviewers see this as a red flag when hiring new staff. Bad mouthing other companies is seen as unprofessional, regardless of how poor the experience may have been