Join Africa's fastest growing career community!


Surviving layoffs

When talks start around the office about a round of layoff, never think of yourself as immune to them.

Article Preview Image

When talks start around the office about a round of layoff, never think of yourself as immune to them.

Monica Daniels was a successful journalist working in one of the large media houses. Even though the media business was facing difficult times and the office gossip mill was churning rumors of layoffs, never at one point did she think she would be affected. So, when the rumors turned out to be true and she was one of those let go. She was in shock. It pained her that she had sacrificed so much for the company only to end up being laid off. What even pained her more was the mere thought of job hunting bearing in mind she was in her late forties. It took her a while before she could accept the decision and finally move on.

It’s hard to predict when they’ll come. It’s even harder with the current job market bearing in mind that the rate of unemployment is at an all-time high. When talks of layoffs start doing rounds in the office, expect nothing but a gloomy workforce. Such talks are the perfect recipe in getting everyone on edge. Even those colleagues who were once friends start competing to outshine each other to look good. No matter how hard it may seem when you get laid off, it isn’t the end of the world. Some people, due to layoffs, have been able to successfully bounce back on their feet and do amazingly well in the ventures that they started afterwards. And that is what Monica did. She went on to start her own successful business and has ended up becoming an employer herself. Here are a few tips from Monica on how to survive layoffs:

1.    Always be prepared
When talks start around the office about a round of layoff, never think of yourself as immune to them. You could be the most hardworking person but maybe, just maybe, other factors – like earning more than your colleagues – could be the reason as to why you have to face the axe. As such, be prepared. Stay on top of your game and do your best. Not to say you start reporting and leaving work at wee hours to prove a point. Be you. Do your tasks as required and wait for what will happen. What being prepared does is that it helps you prepare for the worst-case scenario. In the event you are let go or you survive the layoff, you will have psychologically prepared for both outcomes. 

2.    Accept the outcome
You’ve been let go. Not the best of news. You probably don’t want to leave your room. You will spend most of your days indoors in your bed with movies and maybe stress eating. This is acceptable. I mean, we all react differently to different circumstances. However, don’t let this drag on for too long. Losing that job could be the push you needed to a great start. I know, it’s easier said than done. Come to think of it, will you staying in bed help pay the bills? Of course, no. keep yourself busy and find ways of accepting the loss. The first step to healing is always acceptance. This way, you can get back to looking for new opportunities or figuring out what career direction you want to take. 

3.    Finances
Of course, you have some savings in your account. This will probably take you a couple of weeks or months before you get something going. You will need to plan for every coin you spend. Budget for each cent and see what you can cut on -  temporarily – before you find something else. If your way of working out stress is by shopping for a new pair of shoe or dress, this is definitely not the time for that. Having to worry less about your finances at this point will definitely help keep your morale high before you can find that next big thing. 

4.    Look for new opportunities
Getting to accept that you no longer have a job to go to isn’t easy but life must move on. You need to plan and strategize on your next step of action. What kind of jobs are you seeking at this juncture? Do you want to continue in the same career line? What kind of opportunities are out there? What jobs can I apply for and comfortably fit in? These are but a few questions that you can ask yourself. List down the skills that you acquired and see which ones you would want to continue using. Research the companies that you would like to work for and see what opportunities they have available. As you go through all this, try not to settle for something that you wouldn’t have taken up before. If you do, you will most likely start hating your job which could eventually end up affecting your self-confidence. If you need to, speak to a career coach and work out a plan for you to get back on your feet. 

5.    Take up a hobby and network
The period after a job loss, you might find yourself going crazy. This is the perfect time to keep your mind busy. Wanted to hit the gym but never had the time? Was playing tennis something you excelled in perfectly well back in campus but you’ve just not had the time due to crazy schedules? This is the time to take up a hobby and keep yourself busy. Doing something that you like will also present you with the opportunity to network with different people which may lead to you finding opportunities within your circles. Don’t be too scared to let your friends and family know that you are looking for a job. You never know where the next opportunity might come from. 

Any additional pointers that you may have on how people can survive layoffs? Feel free to suggest them on our comment section below. 


Written by

Kelvin Mokaya

Give a like!


Sign in to read comments and engage with the Fuzu community.

Login or Create a Free Account