Surviving Layoffs – When You Aren’t Laid-Off

I was supposed to write a book review of Word of Mouth Marketing, by Andy Sernovitz, but time is getting away from me. For those that are coming this afternoon at 4pm, you might want to check out this page to see how to get to the Miller center, and where to park and go when you get there. If you want to come today, more info is here.

Scot Herrick - Cube RulesScot Herrick is one of my favorite people. In fact, he’s one of my heroes. I’ll write more about that later, but let me share with you a very, very powerful bit of advice from Scot to those at his old company, the one that just laid off him and his wife (and thousands of others):

The more difficult task at hand is for those still at [the company] having to put humpty dumpty back together again. There is the stress of doing that and wondering if the layoffs are finally over; knowing they are not. My advice is to continue to perform. As someone on this list once told me, job skills plus performance on the job equals opportunities. Others will always look at your skills and your performance, so keep on performing and adding to your skills even in the face of adversity. It will pay off in the long run.

Scot is right on. No wonder, though, Scot is the creator of Cube Rules, one of the best career management blogs around. He’s been thinking, pondering and writing about this stuff long enough that when it was his time to get tagged (laid off), he was ready. I’m sure there are still emotions involved, for him and his wife, but I know they will land on their feet.

5 thoughts on “Surviving Layoffs – When You Aren’t Laid-Off”

  1. It is rough. I was a new hire and about 6 months into it, my company did a lot of ‘rearranging’ and they fired a kid and moved me into his position. I felt so guilty because I didn’t know a thing about his job so I knew I hadn’t really deserved it. But as Scot says, I learned the position and I think I performed well. I left that job with good reviews and great contacts. But yeah, I think that a lot of people don’t think about the company after layoffs. It’ a real morale deflater too.

  2. Good post. I think that employers don’t realise the slump in morale that accompanies lay-offs. The changes in company culture can often have more negative effects then keeping the layed off employees on the pay role. I know that I have never felt comfortable working in any company after large lay-offs and have left soon afterwards. There are other options which will keep employees happy such as job sharing or working a half day on a Friday

  3. If you’ve ever been a part of something like this, you know what survivor’s guilt feels like. You go through depression and anger, and avoiding calls from old co-workers who simply want to have lunch. You can’t figure out where your place is in the world anymore, and end up starting to look for work because you’re unhappy and can’t really figure out why. The companies that ignore that this happens — and don’t take steps to support the survivors — will pay the price in the long run.
    By the way, I think Scot and his wife will land on their feet. They’re smart and good people, and any employer would be lucky to have them.
    Anita Bruzzese

  4. I have been a part of a layoff where I stayed but 70% of my colleges were let go. I can tell you first hand its not something anyone would ever want to deal with. I found myself wishing that I was in the 70% laid off. The stress, extra work, and not knowing whats next will get to you for sure.

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