Staying Employed by Avoiding Layoffs

The Best Ways to Stay Employed in a Down Economy

Since there have been massive layoffs in 2023, many who are still employed would benefit greatly if they could somehow avoid getting laid off in the future. To avoid getting laid off, the key is to understand the core reasons for why the layoffs are happening in the first place.

To stay employed in a down economy:

1) Companies should strategically up-skill their workers in the long term, so workers can be better utilized during changing market conditions.

2) Employees should obtain more education and skills which cannot be easily replaced by automation or other changes in the industry.

Not all companies are able to or willing to make long term investment in their employees by re-training or upskilling their employees. So it becomes very important for individual employees to stay ahead of the curve by educating and upskilling themselves to meet the new market demands.

Avoiding Layoffs in the Current Economy

It takes a strong commitment on the part of employers to avoid massive layoffs. However, economic conditions dictate the financial health of companies, and layoffs are most difficult for everyone, but unavoidable in critical financial situations.

Core Reasons for the Massive 2022-23 Layoffs

There have been many factors contributing to the recent wave of layoffs, but one of the primary reasons is the global COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses have been forced to shut down or reduce their operations due to government restrictions or reduced demand, resulting in significant revenue losses. This has led many companies to implement cost-cutting measures, including layoffs, in order to stay afloat.

Layoffs and Jobcuts
Layoffs and Jobcuts

In addition to the pandemic, technological advancements and automation have also played a role in the increase in layoffs in certain industries. As companies look to improve efficiency and reduce costs, they may turn to automation and artificial intelligence to replace human workers.

Finally, economic factors such as market competition, mergers and acquisitions, and shifts in consumer demand also contribute to layoffs as companies restructure and adapt to changing market conditions.

Here are the reasons listed by some top companies for their 2022, 2023 layoffs:

1) Twitter laid off a total of 30% of its workforce in 2022 and 2023. The layoffs affected all levels of the company, from executives to entry-level employees. The main reasons for these layoffs included company’s financial difficulties, changes in leadership and changes in strategy.

2) Facebook parent company Meta Platforms laid off a total of 21,000 employees in 2022 and 2023. The layoffs affected all levels of the company, from executives to entry-level employees. The primary reasons for the Facebook layoffs included economic slowdown, competition and privacy concerns.

3) Amazon announced in January 2023 that it would be laying off 18,000 employees. This was followed by another round of layoffs in April 2023, which affected 9,000 employees. The chief reasons listed for the layoffs at Amazon are economic slowdown, competition, changes in leadership and over expansion.

Companies That Invest in Their Employees To Avoid Layoffs

There are numerous instances of businesses investing in the education and training of their staff members in an effort to prevent layoffs and maintain their competitiveness in their respective markets. To name a few:

  • Zoho: Zoho is a software company that provides a suite of business applications, including customer relationship management, accounting, and project management tools. Zoho has clarified in 2023 that they are committed to a zero layoff policy. The company offers online courses, workshops, and in-person training sessions to help employees learn new skills and stay up-to-date with emerging technologies.
  • IBM: In order to prepare individuals for jobs in cutting-edge industries like cybersecurity, data science, and artificial intelligence, IBM introduced a program dubbed New Collar Jobs in 2017. The curriculum was created to fill jobs that needed abilities that couldn’t always be learned through regular four-year degrees. IBM was able to avoid layoffs in the face of shifting market demands by making investments in the education and training of its personnel.
    IBM Machines Museum
    IBM Machines Museum
  • UnitedHealth Group: In order to improve the skills of its current staff, UnitedHealth Group initiated an effort called Project RESPECT in response to a shortage of qualified nurses and healthcare workers. The program included leadership training for current staff as well as training for new positions including community health workers and physician assistants. UnitedHealth Group was able to prevent layoffs and fill key positions in a healthcare environment that was fast changing by investing in its people.
  • Union Pacific Railroad: As many of its long-term employees neared retirement age, Union Pacific Railroad encountered a skilled labor shortage in the early 2000s. In order to solve this, the business established an apprenticeship program to instruct new hires in specialized skills like electrical and welding. The program not only prevented layoffs at Union Pacific, but it also contributed to creating a pool of future skilled personnel.

These instances demonstrate how spending money on education and training can help prevent layoffs, but it’s crucial to remember that these initiatives demand a major investment of time and money from companies.

Avoiding Layoffs Within the Company Long Term

Long term employees have a number of options to strengthen their job security and avoid layoffs:

1. Continue to be relevant by keeping your knowledge of market trends and your talents updated. Attend industry conferences and training sessions, and look for new tasks and responsibilities within your current work.

2. Prove your worth: Ensure that your contributions are evident to your superiors and coworkers. Be proactive, assume responsibility for tasks and projects, and consistently update others on your progress.

3. Establish solid connections: Create good connections with your coworkers, managers, and clients. Spend time connecting and working with others, and show that you’re willing to support and assist your coworkers.

4. Be adaptable: Be open to change and prepared to take on new duties, roles, and technology. Your adaptability, desire to pick up new skills, and readiness to face obstacles will be your best guides for staying employed when there are massive layoffs in the company.

Be prepared to negotiate your salary or relocate for your job if that is the need of the hour.

Masters of Negotiation
Masters of Negotiation

5. Get in touch with your boss: Check in with your manager frequently to talk over your objectives, performance, and any potential concerns. Be proactive in asking for feedback and resolving any problems that could occur.

The best strategy for avoiding layoffs is to contribute significantly to the business. You may improve your job security and contribute to the organization’s long-term performance by being relevant, proving your worth, developing solid connections, being adaptable, and speaking clearly.

Avoiding Layoffs in the Short Term

If some of your colleagues are being laid off, it’s natural to feel worried about your own job security. Here are some actions you can take to help prevent being fired in the near future:

1. Take charge of your future. Don’t wait for your employer to make judgments about it. Take the initiative to look for new tasks or responsibilities that complement the organization’s aims. Make it clear that you’re devoted to improving the organization and helping it succeed.

Taking charge of your work and future
Taking charge of your work and future

2. Remain visible: Ensure that your bosses and colleagues can see your accomplishments and efforts. Be proactive in your communication about your work and use the chance to highlight your knowledge and abilities.

3. Showcase your worth: Find strategies to reduce costs or increase revenue for the business. Find ways to modify procedures, boost productivity, or enhance customer service. Show off your inventiveness and willingness to go above and beyond.

4. Establish connections: Create enduring connections with your superiors and coworkers. Make connections, work together, and show that you’re willing to support your teammates. You can join the team as a valuable member by developing good ties.

5. Be adaptable: Be prepared to take on additional duties or tasks as necessary. Demonstrate your adaptability, readiness to pick up new knowledge, and desire to face new difficulties. By doing so, you may show the business how valuable you are and decrease the likelihood that you will be let go.

Keep in mind that even if you follow all of these recommendations, layoffs may still occur due to circumstances that are out of your control. However, you can improve your chances of avoiding layoffs in the near future by being proactive, remaining visible, proving your value, developing relationships, and by being adaptable.

Education for Protection From Layoffs

  • Promotions and education: Occasionally, employees with more advanced degrees are more likely to advance to management or leadership positions within their organizations. They might be less disposable to their employers and less likely to lose their jobs if they take on these responsibilities. For instance, a worker with an MBA may have a higher chance of promotion to management and a lower chance of being let go than a worker with only a high school diploma. Here’s a nice way to complete your MBA while you continue working.
  • When a person with a higher degree’s current job is in danger of being removed, they may be able to switch to a different sector or industry. By completing further training or certification, a worker with an engineering degree who is facing layoffs in the automotive industry could be able to shift to a position in the renewable energy sector.
  • Starting their own business: Employees with higher degrees would be more inclined to do so if they run the danger of losing their jobs. They might be able to launch profitable businesses and evade unemployment by making the most of their education and skills.
    Starting own business
    Starting own business

It is crucial to remember that higher education is not a guarantee against job losses, even though it might give people vital skills and chances to develop in their jobs. Regardless of a person’s degree of education, economic variables and market conditions can still have an impact on job stability.

College Degree and Layoffs

More college coursework can improve a person’s abilities and knowledge, which can raise their marketability to future employers. Their prospects of finding employment after being let off may therefore be enhanced as a result. Here are a few explanations for this:

  1. Improved qualifications: Employers frequently look for applicants with particular skills and qualifications. People can improve their credentials and show prospective employers that they have the expertise required for a particular job or industry by earning additional college degrees. The easiest way to do college while working or during a job search is to enroll into a degree completion program. There are special degree programs that cater to working adults and we’ve clearly explained how they work in Accelerated Degree Programs For Working Adults.
  2. Competitive edge: Having a higher degree of education might provide job searchers an edge in a competitive employment market. Many organizations favor applicants with advanced degrees and are prepared to offer greater compensation in order to recruit and keep them.
    College graduate advantages
    College graduate advantages
  3. Wider networks: Through internships, research projects, and networking events, a college education can also give people the chance to widen their professional networks. When looking for a new career, these relationships can be helpful because they can give access to leads for open positions, personal recommendations, and other beneficial resources.
  4. There are many more benefits of going back to school when layoffs are getting closer to the door. Here are the Top 6 Reasons to go Back to School to keep away layoffs.

Look for US degree completion programs to finish your higher education and earn meaningful college credits for your certifications and professional experience. Testing out is another way to get credits for your existing knowledge and experience.

More college coursework can help job prospects following a layoff, but it is crucial to remember that this does not ensure employment. The results of a job search may also depend on other elements, like the labor market at the time, business developments, and personal circumstances.

Layoffs in 2023 vs. 2021

Companies that were successful in 2021 are experiencing widespread layoffs in 2023 for a variety of reasons. One explanation is that economic conditions that were advantageous in 2021 are no longer existent as the business environment is changing quickly.

For instance, as the economy recovered from the epidemic in 2021, businesses profited from government stimulus packages, cheap lending rates, and increasing consumer demand. These elements are absent in 2023, though, and the economy has slowed down or entered a recession. Reduced revenue and earnings as a result may cause businesses to implement cost-cutting measures like layoffs.

Another factor is that a lot of businesses made 2021-era strategic choices that are only now beginning to affect their personnel. For instance, they have made investments in digitization and automation, which decreases the demand for human workers. In such circumstances, the layoffs are the product of a long-term strategic plan rather than immediate economic concerns.

Digitization and Automation
Digitization and Automation

Upskilling Strategies To Avoid Layoffs

The following categories of workers have been able to advance their education and skills in order to prevent being let go:

  • Technology industry employees: As technology rapidly advances and disrupts numerous industries, workers in the sector must constantly upskill to be relevant. Software engineers would, for instance, need to acquire new programming languages, cloud computing technologies, or machine learning techniques to stay competitive in the job market.
  • Healthcare professionals: Employees in the healthcare sector also need to continue learning and growing in their fields. For instance, nurses can learn new medical techniques, whereas doctors would have to stay current with developments in medical science and technology.
    Healthcare professionals
    Healthcare professionals
  • Sales and marketing personnel: As digital marketing becomes more prevalent, sales and marketing personnel must stay current on the latest methods and technologies for connecting with clients. This would entail picking up new skills in data analytics, digital advertising, or social media platforms.
  • Customer service employees: As automated customer service tools become more prevalent, many customer care representatives are upgrading their skills to offer customers more complex and individualized support. This can entail picking up new problem-solving methods, product expertise, or communication skills.

Overall, education and upskilling can shield workers from layoffs and job relocation while also assisting them in remaining relevant and competitive in the job market.

Using Online Courses To Avoid Getting Laid Off

Online learning platforms such as Coursera and edX offer a wide range of courses and programs that help employees upskill and improve their knowledge and capabilities in various areas. Employees are able to learn new skills and knowledge by enrolling in courses on these platforms, which increases their value to their employers and increases the likelihood that they will not be let go.

The following are some ways that taking online courses through sites like Coursera, edX, or others can prevent layoffs:

  1. Keep up with the most recent trends and skills in your field: Online courses can help employees keep up with the most recent trends and skills in their sector. As a result, they can become more valuable to their company and have a more continuous job tenure.
  2. Pick up new skills: By enrolling in courses on Coursera or edX, employees pick up new abilities that are in demand in their field. This can boost their adaptability and capacity for taking on new duties, which can raise their value to their organization.
    Taking online courses
    Taking online courses
  3. Improve soft skills: Online training programs can aid workers in improving their problem-solving, communication, and teamwork skills. Employers place a high value on these abilities, and having them can make a worker stand out among other candidates.
  4. Obtain new certifications: A lot of online courses offer certification programs that assist workers in showcasing their expertise in a particular field. By doing so, they might become more marketable to potential employers and have more employment stability.

Employees can learn new skills, keep up with industry trends, and show their company their value by enrolling in online courses through Coursera or edX. By doing this, they can develop their careers and prevent layoffs.

To get you started with Coursera, I’ve written an article on Coursera Review: Features, Pros and Cons. Let me know if you find this helpful or if you are looking for something else.

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