5 Things to Do This Week if you Suspect a Layoff is in your Future

Cathy Hutchison
5 min readJun 27, 2021

The signs are there.

The company announced dramatically reduced earnings. There are rumors of “restructuring”. You have a boss who is too busy to meet with you.

While an impending layoff can make us feel helpless, there are things you can do to give yourself options if the “pink slip” is inevitable.

Here are five things to do this week if you suspect a layoff might be in your future:

1. Assess your career capital.

What skills and experience do you have that people pay for? Most of us can list four easily. 1) The role we’ve been filling. 2) Our education. 3) Software we know how to use. 4) Some internal quality like “self-motivated” or “great with people.”

Then we hit a hard stop. What else are we good at?

There are some great assessments, like Gallup Strengths Finder or the more in depth (and more costly) Johnson O’Connor Aptitude Test, or the free Career Enjoyment assessment, but what if another method is simply to sit down and figure out how what we do that creates value?

Here are four targeted questions to help you name the skills you have that bring value:

  1. What do you do that directly contributes to money being earned by your firm?
  2. What have you done that improved efficiency? (Helped your firm bring in more money with less resources)
  3. What do you do that helps other people bring in money to the firm? (This might be training, support, administrative, research…anything that makes others more valuable.)
  4. What do you do that would be difficult for a company to replace? (This will help you identify things that are niche and hard to get.)

Assessing your career capital will give you the content you need so that you can update your resume — and it is better to do this now. It gets harder to think about once you are actually laid off.

2. Document your network — then reach out.

While stealing your company’s client list is unethical — and potentially illegal — documenting your own business relationships is a different…

Cathy Hutchison

Joyful wielder of crayons. Get Cathy’s QuickStart Guide to Visual Journaling: https://yourvisualjournal.com/about-visual-journaling/