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4 things you should do to prepare for a layoff 1

4 things you should do to prepare for a layoff

Economies worldwide face uncertainties that have a ripple effect on the job market across industries. You or someone you know has experienced a layoff at some point recently. It might be a scary thought, but no matter how stable and safe your career seems, anyone can get the so-called pink slip. There are so many variables – economic slowdowns, rising competition, or even a natural disaster – all of these can lead to a job loss.

Economic downturns can happen unexpectedly. Fortunately, more often than not, it is followed by a relatively fast turnaround. For instance, the sudden shift in the work culture due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 resulted in severe staffing shortages. However, soon the economies rebounded, and things went back to normal.

As a professional, you must be prepared for unemployment, especially that can result from a layoff. Instead of being shocked at the outcome, you must think about preparedness and job search.

Here are some essential steps that you can take.

1. Update your resume

Regularly updating your resume is required whether you are facing an upcoming layoff. It might seem overwhelming if you last did it a while ago, but you can break it down into smaller pieces. Don’t think the resume’s minimal length makes it any easier. Set aside some time every day to work on each section of your resume to get it updated in no time.

If you are still trying to get started, you can begin by including ‘big wins’ such as notable projects, promotions, degrees, and certifications. Then you can move to more minor accomplishments such as volunteer work or learning new software. Proactively remove any old or irrelevant skills and update to the latest format. Including remote work skills can be an essential asset since many companies have started offering hybrid or remote work opportunities.

2. Start an emergency fund 

An emergency fund is a fiscal responsibility you must adhere to, whether you are just starting your career or a seasoned veteran. Ideally, you must have 3 to 6 months of monthly living expenses in your emergency fund, according to financial planners. 

However, the actual contribution will depend on the feasible options possible for you. While you must create an emergency fund from the beginning, if you see a layoff coming, you must set aside as much as possible to have financial stability in the worst case scenario.

This fund must be kept in a secure place where you can quickly access it. You must never put your emergency fund in a fixed deposit scheme or buy stocks with it. It is the money that must be available immediately when you need it.

3. Explore the job market 

It is always a good idea to keep on exploring new opportunities to apply your professional expertise. To improve your chances of landing a better job, you must acquire additional skills, improve the existing ones, or a new certification to fill in gaps in your knowledge. This is essential to come across as an attractive candidate when you apply for the new job.

Even if you feel that you have all the skills required after reading the job description, you must pay attention to the most common keywords used in the job description. You must mention these keywords in your cover letters, resume, and, if possible, even in your LinkedIn profile to optimize them for getting past applicant tracking systems. With some degree of discretion, you can also use some of the keywords from the job description during the interview to create an impression that you’re a right fit for the role. 

4. Networking

An essential tool in preparing for layoff is networking. While connecting with people on LinkedIn is more straightforward, you must pay attention to networking in real life. It is known that networking helps you get the best of opportunities, and even recruiters prefer a reference from employees working for the company rather than picking unfamiliar candidates. To prepare for the layoff, you can join LinkedIn groups and engage with members from other teams, departments, and even attend corporate events. You can then utilize these networks to engage with professionals from your field. MeetUp and Eventbrite are great places for professionals to socialize with people from specific domains.


Layoffs bring uncertainty for every employee who gets downsized. The best option to deal with this uncertainty is to prepare for a layoff and have a solid plan. The tips we shared above will help you keep on a productive track toward landing a new job before or soon after the anticipated layoff.

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Saurabh Kale

Saurabh Kale

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