How Do You Cope With Surviving a Layoff?

So you survived the latest round of layoffs. Although you still have a job, now you have to deal with more work, fewer co-workers, and the fear that you might be next. How can you cope? Try this advice from

  • Be proactive. If you’re miserable at your current job – or you’re worried that you might get laid off – it’s OK to start looking for another gig. If you have a “Plan B” to turn to, you’ll feel a lot less stressed.
  • Communicate with your boss. You need to have two types of discussions with your manager: First, ask them to level with you. Ask questions like “Do I need to start looking for another job?” or “Do I have another 6 months before the next round of layoffs?” If you know what’s going on, you can figure out how you’re going to deal with the situation. The second conversation should go on every day – just check in and make sure that you and your boss are on the same page. Ask them what projects are the most important, or if they need you to take on any extra assignments. If your boss knows they can count on you, they’ll probably try to keep you around.
  • Don’t complain. You may think that hanging out in the break room and complaining about your job is just a way to blow off steam, but all that negative talk can actually make you feel WORSE. In fact, workers who gossip have lower morale and get less done.
  • Get a life. Leon Grunberg is a professor of comparative sociology at the University of Puget Sound. He spent 10 years studying current and former employees at Boeing during several cycles of layoffs, mergers, and companywide change. In the study, those who survived several rounds of layoffs became LESS focused on work. So balance out your work life with something that makes you feel happy – whether it’s hanging out with your family, hiking, or taking a cooking class. If you have things to look forward to outside of work, you’ll be happier AT work, and management tends to keep people who can pick up the pieces, keep their chins up, and help cheer other people up.

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