Layoffs. Even if they're not the end of the world, it can absolutely feel like it at the time. While it’s true that layoffs can spell the start of some truly testing times, they also represent a wealth of opportunity.
For many, their employment status holds a gargantuan amount of personal investment, so for those of you fending off a barrage of ‘it’s not the end of the world’ comments, we talked to our top recruiters to put together a short layoff guide. Check it out below.
1. See it as a New Beginning
The end of your current tenure could spell the start of something infinitely more fulfilling. Framing it as a chance to move into an exciting new position can help you narrow down your options, and there are plenty of options in the tech space.
‘Stay positive! There is loads of work out there. Plus, you’re a more desirable candidate because you’re available immediately. Get to know your worth; could this be the time to finally get hold of the higher salary that you deserve?’ – Louise Latif, Candidate Engagement Business Manager, Sales and Marketing.
2. Get Proactive
Proactivity might be the last thing on your mind whilst the dust of the layoff turmoil settles. It’s also one of the most important.
‘Get proactive. Applying for jobs is one thing, but you need to follow up – have you connected with the hiring manager on LinkedIn? Have you researched the company and introduced yourself? Being proactive involves expressing yourself to the relevant people. Everyone’s different, so be yourself.’ – George O’Connell, Frontend and Mobile Recruitment Specialist.
3. Avoid Bridge Burning
As tempting as a good bridge-burning session might be, it’s probably one of the worst things you can do following a layoff. Professional networks talk, and they talk often. If emotions get the better of you and you say/do something sinister, it could come back to haunt you when you’re applying for jobs later on, especially if you need some good references.
A solid reference can be an incredibly powerful point of leverage for your professional profile, particularly if you were laid off as a result of circumstance…
‘Gather your references from your current employer before you go. You’ll likely be asked why you left your previous role when you’re applying for jobs, and a good reference can help you make it clear that you were let go through no fault of your own, removing a potential barrier to progress. – Irfaan Choychoo, Data and DevOps recruitment specialist.
Getting laid off can leave you feeling lonely, isolated, and in some cases, betrayed. Maintaining supportive connections can help remind you that you are in no way alone. Plus, engaging with your old networks might result in you uncovering an unexpected opportunity.
‘Don't be afraid to leverage old contacts and re-connect with people. Have a look back through old messages of people you've networked with previously, try to re-engage, and see if they can make introductions to their teams. It’s also worth checking in with recruiters who have reached out in the past, they’ll likely have new roles to explore.’ Sabrina Battiston – Business Manager, US.
5. Attend Events
Ever since the lockdowns lifted, it’s tough to wander anywhere without tripping over a networking event, and it’s a very good thing. The best networking events aren’t just a prime place for building professional connections, they’re a space to uncover opportunities that you might not have ever thought about otherwise – when you’re inside your lane, it’s hard to see elsewhere. Events can be the remedy. Plus, they’re often free. Keep your eye out for events near you (or nowhere near you, virtual events work too) on Meetup, Eventbrite, and LinkedIn, or check out our SODA Social hub here, where we run our own events programme.
Trust in SODA has you covered. We’ve been digital tech recruitment specialists for over 10 years now, and in that time, we’ve helped thousands of people thrive by connecting them with inclusive, supportive, growth-enabled career opportunities (many of them following layoffs).
If you want to learn more about Trust in SODA’s recruitment specialisms, our community-led approach to recruitment, or anything digital tech-related, reach out to the SODA squad today, we’re here to help.