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Think you’re going to get laid off? Here’s how to save your job

Think you’re going to get laid off? Here’s how to save your job
Layoffs are inevitable during an economic downturn, and the massive restructuring of the Gulf economies to reduce dependence on oil is resulting in upheavals in the employment scenario. In such a situation, the prudent thing to do is to prepare yourself for any eventuality that could arise.

So what do you do if you sense the axe of dismissal looming over your head? Admittedly, realising that your job is on the line can be a devastating experience for anybody, but that’s when you should step your game up and adopt a proactive approach. Acting sensibly at this crucial juncture could help you turn things around and save your job.

Here’s what to do to avoid getting handed the pink slip irrespective of the reason—whether it’s due to economic climate, company restructuring or poor performance at work:

1. Communicate with your boss

One of the first consequences of the news that someone is about to get laid off is the total breakdown of communication between that person and the boss. This is unfortunate since keeping the lines of communication open during this critical period could spell the difference between getting fired and benefitting from a last chance. In fact, when you become aware of the possibility of your dismissal, the first thing you should do is talk to your boss and ask what you can do to avoid getting handed the dreaded pink skip.

2. Improve work performance

If your boss has made up his/her mind about letting you go for being a poor performance, there’s nothing you can do. But sometimes, the manager is sympathetic and willing to give the employee one last chance to prove themselves. If the latter is the case, the next step is to come up with a set of deliverables along with timelines based on inputs from your boss. Then make those targets your only priority and focus on achieving them irrespective of everything else.

3. Keep your emotions under control

It’s positively unsettling to live with the fact that one’s job is on the line but hiding those emotions at the workplace is a skill which employees need to develop. In particular, guard against anger, rash or sentimental behaviour, and never lash out at the company or boss in the presence of your colleagues. Although these are intended to be kept confidential, developments like layoffs and sackings always take the shape of rumours in an organisation so don’t be surprised if you find your colleagues inquiring about it. Keep calm, handle questions from colleagues maturely, and always maintain your dignity at the workplace.

4. Ask for a transfer to another department

A companywide restructuring leaves little room for manoeuvre since entire departments are prone to shut down, but one way of getting around the problem is to get a transfer to a profit-making division. Remember this is only an option if you have some knowledge of that department and have taken the trouble to upgrade yourself with cross-training in the past. Sometimes, the stragglers in a department are handed out the pink slip when the company embarks on job cuts. At times like this, your performance review becomes the arbiter of your immediate destiny making all those late nights and working weekends suddenly seem worthwhile.

The mistake most people make when they realise they could get laid off is to start complaining about the unfairness of the situation rather than being proactive about the situation. Even if you do end up losing your job eventually, remember that it’s not the end of the road. Being laid off can be a terrible experience but it’s worse to let that one incident rule you for the rest of your life. What will matter in the ultimate run is not that you got laid off, but that you could learn from your experience and move on in life.

Becoming a serial job hunter is the best way to protect yourself from job loss. Start your search here

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