Life After Layoffs

It’s clear that the tech space has been going through turmoil recently, with large tech companies laying off anywhere between 2% to 5% of their workforce, and in some cases much more. Among those laying off staff are names such as Salesforce, Accenture, Microsoft, Meta and Google. There are a multitude of reasons blamed for the reduction in workforces from overzealous hiring practices, the pandemic, remote working, inflation, interest rates, lower spending by consumers, even imitation between tech companies. But if you’re at the receiving end of a redundancy or layoff, how do you prepare a life after layoffs.

Whilst it might be tempting to lick wounds and retreat during layoffs, don’t let shame or fear of what others think take over. After all, a company choosing to downsize isn’t something you can control. More often they are driven by pressure from shareholders to cut costs to increase profits. Their decisions aren’t personally aimed at you.

Redundancy can provide many opportunities. And if you’re in a fortunate position to be eligible for a good severance package, the one thing it does provide is, time and space, to re-evaluate your career. But before you down tools and start booking a holiday, spend some time, identifying things you might need from your current employer before the relationship is lost completely. For example:

  • Obtain references from a line manager or HR department, because if you leave it until you’re looking again, they may have moved on, or been made redundant themselves.
  • Make sure you know which benefits extend beyond your employment. This could help you save money in the long term, particularly if you’re entitled to private healthcare. Or it may help you identify if you need to top your pension up from your redundancy pay, so that your pension pot doesn’t suffer.
  • Work on cost-of-living budget, so you can identify how long you can comfortably live on your redundancy pay. It can be tempting to book lavish holidays, but if you do, you need to know when you should consider returning to work.

Using The Time Wisely

Now that you have down time, how are you going to spend it? Will you be travelling, spending time with family, pursuing hobbies. Maybe all the above.

Having helped people back into their careers after layoffs, the key takeaway is to keep yourself busy. Form good habits, that include a work / career related element. Unfortunately doing nothing or not having goals to work towards can breed inactivity, which could potentially lead to loss of confidence, anxiety and even depression.

Consider the following:

  • What Salesforce courses, skills or certifications would enhance your career? What budget do you need for them?
  • Evaluate your work values and consider what did you enjoy or dislike about your last role? What were the challenges? What worked well or not?
  • Spend time on self-restoration by focusing on health, fitness and close relationships.
  • Are there any volunteering opportunities that would interest you?
  • Are there any projects that you’ve put off due to workload?
  • Are there any new hobbies / locations / destinations you’ve wanted to try?
  • Work on perfecting your personal branding (CV, social media etc).
  • Keep in touch with your network, so that you don’t fade and disappear.

Back To Work Strategy

How pain free re-joining the workforce is, really comes down to when you start planning. Here we recommend that you don’t leave things to the last minute. Knowing when your severance package runs dry, will help you determine a deadline of when you need to be back in work. And, with this date in mind, we’d suggest starting your search several weeks, if not months before this, to allow for the recruitment and interviewing process. This way you can avoid coming under increasing pressure to accept the first offer that comes along.

It also pays dividends to create a good relationship with a Salesforce recruiter. And don’t be afraid of keeping in touch with them during the layoffs period. They’ll be able to help you identify highly sought after skills that you could work on, plus provide sound advise on your personal branding to help you secure a role when the time comes.

Finally, try to see this layoff time as an opportunity. Whilst the initial shock can be a lot to take in. Many people have gone on to achieve great things because they’ve had the space and time to show themselves compassion, find the important values in their life, and nurture amazing relationships.