Summary: Learn from others who have been laid off. Your layoff is not the end of the world. The future with no steady paycheck is definitely unsettling. It may feel like you’ve been blindsided. You have two choices to consider: do you catastrophize about your bleak future OR do you look at this as an opportunity for growth and reward?
Here are 6 steps to help you survive.
Step #1 – Realize that you are not the problem.
You did not deserve to be laid off. Most laid off employees had stellar performance reviews for years. Corporate managers want to cut costs of highly paid and highly skilled employees and replace them with low cost workers. This short-sighted strategy boosts the stock price and benefits the executive’s compensation with stock grants. Of course this is short-sighted as low cost workers will always try to find higher paying jobs and leave as soon as another job becomes available.
“How is it,” you wonder, “after getting positive performance reviews for years, that your manager would agree with the corporation to lay you off?” Remember, managers are trying to save their skin. They claim to look out for their employees, but when the corporation required them to make cuts, it is rare that they will fight for their employees. Managers will do what it takes to survive, even if it means sacrificing your job. Note: I was laid off while my manager only had 2 highly rated loyal employees as his direct reports. Why wasn’t my manager laid off and the two self-managing employees who created work product kept? Hmm… things aren’t always what they seem.
These layoffs starts a vicious cycle of retraining as each new hire costs the company $20,000 in training costs and onboarding. If the company would have just stayed with their valuable and loyal employees in the first place, the company would have been better off in the long run, without having to incur these additional training costs, but also because the quality of their work would be superior delivered by high value employees. But executives are fixated on boosting the stock price just in time for their annual review of their poor performance and reap millions in stock grants.
IBM is an example of a company that tried to cut costs by eliminating high paid and high value employees through layoffs. Estimates are that IBM has laid off over 60,000 employees in the last decade and 20,000 during 2020 alone! IBM had annual revenues of $110 Billion in 2010 and those revenues have collapsed to just $77 Billion in 2019. Who knows how low their revenues will go in 2020 — $60 Billion? The massive layoffs of quality employees is a big part of this decline.
Step #2 – Take charge and start your own company.
This may not be the best solution for everyone, but realize that you are at the very least for now an independent contractor. Be willing to hire your services out to the highest bidder. You’ve got skills! Quit selling your skills for less than they are worth for a “secure” corporate paycheck and benefits. Start your own company! Craigs List was started by a former IBMer. Zoom was started by a former Cisco employee.
Hint #1: You’re smart! Find a Problem and Solve it. People will pay you for your solution to their problem!
Hint #2: What vacuums are being created in society right now? Some industries are dying. Others are rising up. Quickly. Causing massive transformations. How can you catch the next wave of opportunities with your company? What innovative solutions can you present to a society open to change?
Step #3 – Create content on Social Media Platforms.
But also be wise. Social Media Platforms can censor you faster than you think. The best platform to post your content to is one that you own. You can start up your own blog on WordPress relatively quickly. As an example, I started this blog using WordPress and my hosting site at Siteground. And, even though I also post on Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. since I am in control of my content on my site, I can never be censored because I own my content platform.
As an example, I know of one blog that I read at Zerohedge. They had a huge following on Twitter, but because they posted a tweet that was found to be offensive by Twitter’s Censorship board, they shut down their Twitter account. It was totally unfair. Twitter didn’t allow Zerohedge to delete the offensive tweet. They didn’t even tell Zerohedge what was offensive about it. They just shut it down with no recourse.
Create your own content AND own your own platform for displaying your content.
I also own my community that holds our membership and additional content. This is hosted through Mighty Networks and they do not censor their communities. Read Step #4 and click the JOIN NOW button and check it out for FREE.
You’ve got ideas. Share them! Whether they are written or video or podcast, get started sharing your ideas on day one of your layoff.
Step #4 – Connect with your peers in a Professional Community.
Your network is powerful. Build connections with your colleagues and former colleagues. Share network connections, job leads and business ideas. Nurture the feedback from others. Remember “The Lone Wolf dies, but the Pack Survives!”. Join us on our Upskill Create Community. Click the Join button below.
Join our community of “Upskillers” who are passionate about learning, collaborating and encouraging others to reach their career goals. Click the JOIN NOW! button below.
Step #5 – Learn tips from those who have been through a layoff before and can help you adjust to working from home.
Don’t re-invent the wheel! Others are willing to share their experiences and you can learn from those who have gone before you. Here is an excellent bundle of “Work at Home” resources to get you started including: 10 eCourses, 9 eBooks, 4 Printables and Worksbooks, and 4 Templates (valued at $1603.90) for a price of just $47! Learn more here: https://bit.ly/wfhbundle
Or, don’t want to spend any money? Contact me, Robert Mapstead in the Upskill Create Community by clicking on the JOIN NOW button above, and we can setup a Zoom Conference to help you get started. Yes, I was laid off by IBM in August of 2018, so I have learned a few things that I can share with you to help you get started!
Step #6 – Learn. Create. Share. Repeat!
Your consistent daily schedule will help you achieve greatness. Spend one hour per day following our continuous learning motto: “Learn. Create. Share. Repeat!”. Hint: Read “Atomic Habits” for some inspiration at: https://bit.ly/uc-atomic
- LEARN – Take charge of your own learning and learn from experts through online courses. Make sure to take courses that have good interaction with the instructors and support from a community.
- CREATE – once you’ve learned something, now solidify it by applying it to a real-life application. This could be demonstrated in a blog post, a web page, an application, etc. The point is to create something that proves that you know the material. This will give evidence to your manager or future employers that you can add value to the company.
- SHARE – “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”. Don’t let your work go unnoticed. Post your blog post in the community. Share it on Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube, and other social media that you participate in. We as fellow “Upskillers” will also do our part and share your good work with the Upskill Create community and other networks. Remember, a future employer will not only want to see your good work but also how others have responded to it with Likes, Comments, and Reshares.
- REPEAT – this is easy to say but requires discipline to do. I recommend learning and creating at least one hour every day. Make it a habit. If you could put aside 1 hour of Television watching per day and devote that to LEARN. CREATE. SHARE. REPEAT! you will be on your way. Note: the average American watches over 3 hours of TV per day. How does watching all of that TV actually benefit you?
Note: right click on the infographic below and click “View Image” to view the image full screen.