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  • Writer's pictureJacob Orshalick

Make yourself employable so you can stop fearing layoffs

Layoffs are heart-breaking and difficult for everyone involved. But, it doesn’t have to be something you fear.

My first layoff experience was in college. As an intern my department got eliminated when the telecom bubble burst.

The experience opened my eyes to the limits of the comfort zone called a job. There was no safe haven, so I’d better stop pretending.

I never wanted to fear another layoff. I wanted to be prepared for anything. Here’s how I did it:

1. Be honest with yourself

Are you employable? Have your skills stayed current? Honestly assess where you're at in your career and whether you are continuing to grow.

If you don't like what you see, create an action plan to fix it.

2. Get out of your comfort zone

The comfort zone is our safe haven, but staying in your comfort zone impedes your growth.

Transfer to that new project with the new technology. Take the time to learn new technologies on your own. Start building a product you think you could sell.

Learn, write about it, present, contribute, rinse, repeat.

3. Put the work in

Success in your career, your relationships, everything important in life, comes from putting in the work. When you’re at your job, give it your all.

I'm not saying you have to work 80 hours a week, but don’t be lazy. Stay off social media at work, limit the water cooler discussions, and get it done.

4. Never stop interviewing

Interviewing is a skill. Setting up at least a monthly phone screen or in-person interview will help keep you sharp.

Interviewing also helps you understand what you want and what skills are in-demand. Don’t burn bridges along the way by stringing a company along, but it never hurts to test the waters.

5. Build a professional online presence

You may have seen your LinkedIn feed explode with posts over the past few months from those impacted by the layoffs.

Those who have curated their online presence over the years have received significant responses and offers to help.

6. Keep networking

95% of the opportunities I’ve had have come from my network. Reach out to at least 2 previous or new contacts every week.

Actively build new connections and continue to stay on the radar of those you’ve worked with in the past.

7. Believe in yourself

It may be cliche, but you can do it. Believing in yourself is confidence, and that confidence shines through. It’s something everyone is naturally attracted to.

Confidence will help you sell your ideas to others, land jobs, get promotions, and generally feel better about yourself. But, it’s not free.

So remember…

No one is going to be confident in their job search when:

  • they've been doing the minimum to get by

  • their skills are outdated

  • they haven’t interviewed in years

  • they have a resume that looks unimpressive

  • they have no network to fall back on

You have our guide. Use it. You’ll never fear another layoff.


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