You Survived a Layoff. Now What?

The state of the economy, worldwide, has left hundreds upon thousands seeking employment. Those who have not lost their jobs often find themselves wondering whether they would be better off if they had been let go instead of taking the brunt of the aggravation and, now, short-staffing in their current offices.

The truth? Managers don’t only look at salaries when they determine who they’re doing to layoff when times are tough. They look at the big picture and try to determine how they can save money without losing quality workers. If it comes to choosing between a higher paid employee with a great attitude versus a lower paid employee with a terrible attitude, the lower paid employee may just find himself on the chopping block.

So what can you do now that you’ve found yourself in the position of survival? Here are a few things you can do, both as an employee and from a managerial standpoint, to make your life a bit easier.

  • Acknowledge the fact that you can’t do everything and do your best to prioritize. Do the most important work first and let the rest wait.
  • Remain as positive and realistic as possible at all times. Do what you can and don’t fight the natural flow. You have no control over your organisation’s overall progress and, if things end badly, it won’t be due to your lack of performance.
  • Make sure you act like a leader. Your remaining team members will be looking to you for guidance and reassurance.
  • Use your managerial and communication skills to keep in touch with other departments. Make sure you have systems in place to ensure you’re still helping each other effectively despite changes in staff.
  • Let your employees know that you still expect high quality work but that you do not expect them to turn into super-people overnight. Acknowledge that they are human and may not be able to simply absorb the work left behind by past employees.
  • Offer support to your team members, especially those who aren’t coping with the new changes and stresses as well. Do what you can to let them vent without losing track of their goals.

Layoffs are sad but not abnormal. Do your best to regroup and move on. You still have a job, and you’ll want to keep it as long as possible.

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 5 April, 2010

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