Are Layoffs Coming?

by Laura Labovich on May 30, 2017

57754594 - portrait of a mature man reading a newspaper

Did your last layoff take you completely by surprise? Were you carrying your box of staplers thinking “why did this just happen to me?” You’re not alone.

Perhaps you didn’t know that you could be looking for signs. There are both subtle and obvious signs that a company may be about to embark on a reduction-in-force. Consider if your company is doing any of the following:

  • Your publically traded company takes a significant hit (a large decrease in value);
  • Your company shifts from keeping hoards of inventory, to streamlined operations keeping only the minimum on hand;
  • Your company ordinarily hires 30 students every summer, but cuts the college intern program in half;
  • They impose a hiring freeze altogether;
  • Business is slow! (You find yourself taking long lunch breaks and returning to less and less work.)
  • The company’s annual picnic is canceled, the New Year’s party is shelved, and front office staff begins to hoard office supplies;
  • If your boss asks you to cross train another employee on your job functions (big red flag).
  • If your boss suddenly requests that you hand over your complete client list or a status report on all the projects that you’re working;

Search for Trigger Events

If you are suspicious, pop over to your favorite search engine and type in “ACME Incorporated” “bad news,” substituting your company’s name for ACME Inc., of course. If anything pops up, look at the date on the article: a recent article may signify what is called a “trigger event.”

If you get too many results, it may help to be a little more specific. Instead of something generic like “bad news,” try appending search terms to the trigger event you are specifically concerned about such as:

  • Decreased earnings
  • Revenue reduction
  • Layoffs
  • Mergers
  • Acquisitions
  • Seeking buyers
  • On the market
  • Bleak/negative sales forecast
  • Downsizing/down-sizing
  • Closing/closures
  • Consolidating
  • Shutdowns/shutting down
  • Ending operations
  • Closing operations
  • Ending production
  • Moving production
  • Fired/quit/resigned
  • Departing/departed/departure

If your favorite search engine happens to be Google, visit the Google Alerts page and automate the useful searches you created so they can be delivered daily, weekly, or “as news is discovered” right to your inbox, without you having to mine for it. That way, you’ll be the first to know when something noteworthy happens.

The Takeaway

No job is 100% secure and you will likely not be working at one company your whole career. Those days are long gone. So, job changes are becoming more commonplace than they once were.

On the bright side, exciting new opportunities are being created every single day. Modern day workers change jobs on average every three years, and those same people change professions or fields every five years.

So, keep your resume up to date, revise your LinkedIn profile and keep your Facebook page free of beer-swilling photos. You’ll be ready for the search if, in fact, a layoff does occur.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: