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Survive Mass Layoffs: Expert Tips to Cope & Find a New Job Fast

“It is easy to feel embarrassed, guilty, frustrated, or angry when you’ve suffered a job loss. But if you recognize that many layoffs aren’t the slightest bit personal, it can help you stay focused on the future, not the past. Surround yourself with positive people, think about what you want to do next, and take action to move forward.” – Susan Peppercorn, executive coach and author of Ditch Your Inner Critic at Work

Mass layoffs can be devastating for employees who lose their jobs, as well as those who are left behind. In recent news, it is reported that Telus will lay off 6,000 employees due to second quarter losses and changing regulatory environment. While Telus sees these layoffs as necessary for the survival of the company, it is important to understand the psychological effects on the employees who are let go and those who remain. In this blog post, we will explore the impacts of mass layoffs and what employers and employees can do to cope with them.

Survivor Guilt: The employees who remain after a mass layoff may feel guilty for keeping their jobs while their colleagues were let go. This survivor guilt can lead to decreased job satisfaction, lower productivity, and even depression. Employers can provide support to survivor employees by acknowledging their feelings and recognizing the difficult position they are in. It is also essential for employers to provide clear communication on the reasons for the layoffs and to assure survivor employees that their jobs are secure.

Role Overload: Surviving employees may also experience role overload, as they take on the responsibilities of their former colleagues. This increased workload can lead to burnout and decreased job satisfaction. Employers can help by providing additional resources or offering training opportunities to help employees learn new skills. It is also important for employees to communicate with their managers about their workload and to set realistic expectations.

Breach of Psychological Contract: Mass layoffs can also lead to a breach of the psychological contract between the employer and employee. This is the unwritten agreement between the two parties that outlines job security, compensation, and other expectations. When this contract is breached, employees may feel betrayed or undervalued. Employers can rebuild the psychological contract by being transparent about the reasoning behind the layoffs and offering support to affected employees.

Job Security: Losing a job can lead to uncertainty about the future and financial instability. In today’s economy, it may take three to six months on average to find a new job after being laid off. To cope with this uncertainty, employees can take a proactive approach to finding a new job. This includes updating their resume and cover letter, networking, using online platforms, preparing for interviews, and seeking professional help if needed. It may also be helpful to reflect on goals and values and to create a job-hunting schedule.

“If you’re laid off, the last thing you want to do is send your resume to dozens of companies and pray a recruiter will call you. That’s not a strategy for success. What will make you successful is taking a minimum of 24 hours to process this shocking change to your employment status. Then, do these five things before you update your resume or start looking for a job: 1) Reconfigure your mindset; 2) Write down your accomplishments; 3) Know what you want; 4) Create a job-hunting schedule; 5) Find jobs that look interesting — but don’t apply yet.” – Marlo Lyons, certified career coach and strategist, HR executive, and author of Wanted – A New Career: The Definitive Playbook for Transitioning to a New Career or Finding Your Dream Job

Mass layoffs can have serious psychological effects on both affected and surviving employees. Employers can provide support to their employees by communicating clearly, providing resources, and offering learning opportunities. Employees can take a proactive approach to finding a new job and seeking help if needed. It is important for everyone involved to acknowledge the impacts of mass layoffs and to work together to create a supportive and positive workplace culture.

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