When layoffs are coming, how do you prepare? (Minimize risk; maximize potential)

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When layoffs are coming, how do you prepare?

A software engineer asked me recently how to prepare for a rumored layoff.

How do you minimize your risk of being let go? How do you maximize your chance of finding a great fit for a new job if you are laid off?

1️⃣ Budget your energy. Starting now to work harder and longer on your current projects may not improve your outcome. You may be better off reserving that energy for other things.

2️⃣ Document measurable impact. Start to collect data for what you’ve already delivered during your time at the company. If you led a project, find out what key results or performance indicators were improved and by how much. It’s possible that asking the question can be a subtle reminder of your value. But even if it’s not, you’ll want to have that data for your resume.

3️⃣ Build and strengthen relationships. Get to know some coworkers you haven’t met yet. Look especially across departments. Even if those new relationships don’t protect you from “the list”, you’ll have more people you can reach out to for leads if you need to start looking.

4️⃣ Retain valuable records. With the measurable impact you’ve researched and the relationships you’ve built, make sure you have a personal copy of any outcomes and contact information that you’re allowed to keep somewhere other than a company-managed account or device.

5️⃣ Find creative solutions. Use what you learn from your new relationships to find other positions you might fill. Consider cross-department dynamics to discover potential cost-saving or income-producing ideas that may limit the need for layoffs in the first place.

6️⃣ Extend your runway. Think about how you might change your personal spending habits if you were to be laid off. Consider which of those changes you might enact immediately to preserve savings to sustain you through a potential job search.

You may have many other options that are appropriate for your unique situation. And the fear of the layoff may get in the way of thinking clearly. If you’d like a thinking partner to help you explore your specific situation, reach out to me at https://stevedwire.com/connect for a complimentary conversation.

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