Telltale Layoff Signs

The unemployment rate is gradually rising showing the first sign that the economy is clearing its volatility hurdle.  This sudden rise can also be contributed to the numerous layoffs in the last six to eight months.  Companies who laid off thousands at the start of 2001 are scheduling another round for later this year.

Employees are sometimes shocked and dismayed by these unforeseen layoffs.  The truth is a layoff or shutdown is generally not some hidden secret.

Problem signs…

A company does have various telltale signs of a potential layoff or shutdown.  Generally, a company who shows a combination of the following (not just one) is experiencing underlining problems:

  • Management or executive level restructuring
  • Patchy layoffs or elimination of a second shift
  • Drastic production slowdown; inventory drops; salary / hiring freezes

As some individuals tiptoe their way to their desk, hoping to go unnoticed from managers with pink slips in hand, others are taking their career by the horns and preparing for their fate.

Proactive rather than reactive…

Preparation is your best defense.  Knowing how to handle this type of situation can be key to ensuring your mortgage gets paid, the kids are fed, and you have something to do from 9 to 5 (or 3 to 11 / 11 to 7, or whatever your hours might be).

  • Read the papers, listen to the news, and keep your ear to the wall.  If there is even the first hint of a layoff or shutdown, you should be the first to know!
  • Ensure your resume is updated and caters to today’s technological requirements
  • Know who IS hiring within your target industry / field
  • Save more money than ever before!  Unemployment benefits and severance packages will help – more than likely – on a temporary basis only.
  • If your company is cutting back, you should too.  Controllable expenses include morning cappuccinos or dining out for lunch daily; these are WANTS, not NEEDS.

I would recommend preplanning your next career move.  Research related positions, salary, number of jobs available, peak hiring areas, etc.  This research will help you decide if you wish to stay in your current position or retrain.  By taking control of the situation – before it takes control of you – will make a huge difference.

Career, Company, job