Your company is having layoffs or is about to - what you should do
A checklist to help you transition from your current role to the next
This has been a tough week for workers in the tech industry, whose livelihoods and personal stability have been lost, or at stake, amid layoffs. The layoffs are happening for a large range of reasons, including the global economy not doing well, over-hiring in the recent past, internal reorganisation or the drying up of venture capital. In the aftermath of these layoffs, tech workers have supported each other in practical ways, for example with websites like Layoffs being created.
To help those affected we have put this list of resources together for those who have been affected. We welcome feedback or suggestions if we have missed something. There is no right or wrong way to approach things but we have listed some tips as to how to handle things when you are ready.
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
💻 Job boards - look at opportunities already clearly out there
There are a few different job boards which we can suggest you take a look at. In order to make it less time consuming, if there are profile and alert settings turn them on.
There are some popular sites you may be already looking at such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed.
Tip: Have your profile on these job boards up to date and closely align your resume with the relevant keywords.
Informal job boards - leveraging professional or niche communities
There are a few informal job boards or job lists popping up. They may be shared on LinkedIn, in newsletters, on communities (UX, UXR, Product), or ask people you know where their companies are listing their jobs.
Hiring UXR Q4 2022 - UX Research related jobs
Product Management Jobs - Women In Product Career Center - Product Management jobs
Lenny's Job Board - Tech jobs
Who's freezing hiring from coronavirus | Candor - keep up to date with the various organisations. Are they hiring, freezing roles, or laying off people.
Tip: If you are able to, consider other forms of employment if possible. For example joining an agency for contract work. Good for building up your experience too. This is a list of agencies that have UX related contract work - Staffing Agencies Supporting User Experience Roles. It is always worth registering yourself with recruiters so they can also help you source roles and present your profile to their clients. Things can move really quickly once you reach out to a recruiter. Keep notes on who they are and which clients they plan to present you to. It will reduce the odds of having a conflict of multiple recruiters presenting you to the same organisation which could make them, and potentially you, look not good.
We wrote some previous articles on general and specific principles of resumes if you are going for certain roles.
Getting your resume in shape for Product Management (PM) roles
Top 10 things hiring managers look for in resumes - UX Research
📄 Checklist of things you may need to do before your employment ends at your current organisation (link)
We have prepared a Notion checklist for you to make a copy to help you should the situation arise.
If you do not have Notion, here is a plain text version.
Review your contract and severance policies - make a copy for your own reference
Review employment law policies in your region
Download payslips (Workday instructions)
Submit expenses (if not too late)
Copy/remove personal files
Don't take proprietary material
Capture positive feedback, shoutouts and accolades
Keep promotion letters
Change access to your personal email (where possible)
Mental health apps
Connect to current or alumni through Linkedin etc
Review work visa terms and employee visa support
Connect with employee support person (if available)
Apply for unemployment (if available)
😶🌫️ Caring for your mental health with all the uncertainty and disruption
Sudden unexpected changes or the possibility of changes that affect your livelihood can be scary. Preparedness can help others, some prefer to take it as it comes. It is always good to take time to regroup and reevaluate what you want, what you can do and what is within the realm of your control.
Some helpful links:
As tech layoffs loom, here's how to protect your mental health | Fortune
☎️ Leveraging your network - revisit your connections
An established connection is with someone you have reached out to a few times in the past. It is easier to ask for help if the relationship is pre existing. Keeping in touch with people you have worked with or your industry should be part of your routine.
We have seen an outpouring of support on LinkedIn and other communities (UX, UXR, Product) so we recommend reaching out to people you do not know also.
Ensure you add your current colleagues to your LinkedIn or collect their contact details. Even if you do not know them or have not interacted with them for a while, having worked under the same organisation can connect people.
Should you post on LinkedIn about your change
Pros: It is easier for opportunities to find you. These opportunities might not be formalised job ads yet, or can kick off a casual conversation that may lead to something. Your network is able to tag you in for opportunities or people far easier.
Cons: As part of your redundancy package you may need to be careful of what or how you post, according to the contract you have signed. There could be a lot of other similar posts, so your profile might get lost with other posts. You may want time to process or understand it. Depending on your country, culture, industry or other factors posting about redundancies may be received poorly.
An alternative to posting is you can also change your LinkedIn status to open to work. However, it does not appear in everyone’s LinkedIn like a post.
Letting people know individually
If you decide to reach out to people, make your request very clear. Also use it as an opportunity to touch base and reconnect again, especially if it has been a while. Another thing you can do in reaching out is to offer something in return. For example, could you possibly share a role that this person has found hard to fill, or take a cue from what they have been posting about.
You could use this opportunity to connect with others either in the same field or in the same situation. A coaching circle is a group of people with the same interests, or goals. Shreyas Das talks about this in an interview with Deb Liu. In this case, the goal might be to find a role in a certain space. Your circle might act as a great sounding board, motivator and lift each other up. It is an organic way for expanding your network.
🙌 Helping others who were affected - giving back
We have noticed this trend on LinkedIn lately and think it is great. We have seen people tag or share opportunities on LinkedIn with fellow colleagues who were affected by layoffs.
Read the situation and see if the people affected want to be reached out to. Give them a moment to process and offer specific ways in which you can help, if they want any help. They may not want to be tagged publicly in posts like the above example. It might include an introduction to someone you know hiring, a link to a job ad, helping review their resume. See what they want help with.
Those who remain in the organisation will need support also but a different kind. This Harvard Business Review article may help, it has very tactical suggestions.
📚 Increasing your odds for your next role by upskilling in some areas
If you have some time on your hands it would be a good time to review your skills and skill gaps. If you have been off the job market for a while there may be new skills needed which were not previously required. Maybe this is the time you want to look at that career transition you always wanted to have.
These are some sites that can help you upskill in different easy - non-technical skills and more technical skills. We have included both paid and free options in case you are tight on budget.
College/University - look into a grad diploma or other postgraduate qualification.
Stanford Continuing Education - a good mix of practical, hands-on courses with either on-demand, live or on-campus options.
Udemy - some local libraries provide free access to Udemy as part of the library membership.
LinkedIn Learning - some of the courses and classes are available for free. Otherwise there is a one month free trial.
Library - a lot of libraries have the Libby app which saves you going to the library to borrow books. It is very convenient and means new titles can be delivered to your device directly and quickly.
Communities (UX, UXR, Product) - we have found professional communities rich with things to learn, read and watch.
🪙 Time to review your rainy day fund, and practice austerity
The main worries for people being part of a layoff are financial commitments and other legal or work visa requirements. As part of your own personal financial situation, review upcoming expenses or major outgoings.
Some helpful links:
Be prepared if you're resigning or quitting, have been fired, or are being laid off
Worried About Layoffs? Here’s How To Prep Your Finances Just In Case, According to Experts
Some helpful apps:
🧰 Other resources
These other articles also cover what to do if you were a part of a round of layoffs.
For those affected we wish you the best. Changes are never easy, especially when it is unexpected and out of your control. Some find comfort in taking charge of your situation straight away, whilst others need time to process. There is no right or wrong way as long as you do what suits you and your situation.
Have we missed something? Please let us know by replying to this email or in the comments section.
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This was an interesting read. Thank you for pulling it together. It was a good guide to consider what I would do in this type of situation. I'm sure people will find it helpful.