In a world marked by uncertainty, encompassing a global pandemic, geopolitical crises like the Ukraine conflict, and macroeconomic instability with rising inflation, interest rates, and debt, economic uncertainty has become a prevailing reality in recent years. Consequently, many businesses have been compelled to implement cost-cutting measures and reevaluate their workforce, with even industry giants and blue-chip firms facing layoffs. However, while this may paint a challenging picture for employment, the reality offers a more optimistic outlook. As employers grapple with uncertainties and restructuring, employees can proactively position themselves as invaluable assets, ensuring they are the last to be considered for layoffs.
Let us first understand why companies decide to lay off.
Layoff decisions depend on various factors, including a company's financial situation, management choices, workforce size, mergers and acquisitions, or macroeconomic challenges. While some companies follow a 'last in, first out' approach based on tenure, responsible organisations consider factors like job performance, seniority, skills, and contributions. It's crucial to remember that layoffs must be fair and nondiscriminatory, adhering to legal and ethical obligations. To enhance job security, professionals should focus on key factors to minimise their vulnerability to layoffs.
Have a well-connected network: In any industry, a robust network is vital for career stability. Forge strong connections with colleagues and superiors; these relationships can safeguard your job in downsizing and boost your chances of promotions and raises when the economy rebounds.
Become an indispensable employee: Consistently give your best to become an invaluable team member. Go beyond your job description by taking on extra responsibilities, volunteering for new projects, and showcasing leadership qualities.
Associate with revenue-generating roles: Look for opportunities to move into roles more directly associated with revenue generation and delivering the product. This will make you a critical asset to the company and less likely to be let go during cost-cutting measures. Make sure your supervisor and other senior managers know about your impact on sales, clients, or the product. By demonstrating your value to the company, you will be seen as an asset rather than an expendable employee.
Level up your skills and expand your toolkit: It is crucial to have your skillset updated periodically with evolving industry developments and trends. Skills upgradation will surely increase your value for the employer and decrease the risk of being redundant and replaced. In today's uncertain times, companies are looking for employees who can adapt quickly to change and take on new challenges. By demonstrating your willingness to be flexible and take on bigger roles, you are more likely to weather a layoff.
Remember, these strategies are practical and doable but not foolproof. So, you need to have a just-in-case strategy if things go wrong. Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.