the sky floor

When Horrible Layoffs Come, What Posture Will You Pick?

August 24, 2022

Eventually, a slump will hit every business, whether it is a global recession or just a retraction in your specific industry. When this happens, wise leaders make the difficult call to reduce their workforce. After all, a business should stay in business with fewer employees rather than have to close altogether. But it isn’t any easier for the employees who are let go – or those who are left behind. 

If you are an employee who has been left behind after layoffs, this post is for you!

Your friends are gone. The break room feels empty. It feels like any day the hammer could fall on you. After all, you can see the way the wind is blowing out there, and your industry is still under pressure. The boat may stop altogether if they don’t trim the sails again. When will it be your time to sit in the proverbial principles office and receive the bad news?

What posture will you pick?

This environment can hang over your head – even for the best of us. Seeing the desk where your work buddy used to sit can be depressing. Feeling like you might have a target on your back can impact your work or make it all feel meaningless. You can adopt a bitterness that comes out in snips and quips. These are all natural reactions. In fact, they are common, but they are taking you down the wrong path. 

The answer is the uncommon reaction.

When layoffs come, it is go-time. If you survive the first round, you have a real chance to wake up and make a difference. In other words, you need to become indispensable. If you have been holding back, it’s time to cut through that fog and offer all you can. I am not saying to overwork; that isn’t helpful either. But you must make your existence essential to your company’s ongoing success. 

Take the wake-up call from the front desk of life. It is time to get moving.

The next round of layoffs may have nothing to do with performance. All the remaining employees may be great workers, but some still need to go. The numbers don’t lie. That means you have to stand out in a sea of great workers. Your contributions must be critical to success. 

Here is the crazy part, if you make yourself indispensable during hard times, you will be first in line for promotions and raises when the market turns around. The market always turns around! 

So when layoffs come, what posture will you pick?


If you are an employee who wants to keep your job in the middle of a downturn, make yourself indispensable to your company – you will keep your job and pave the way for future success. 

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