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What To Do If You Are Laid Off

Last updated on: July 12, 2022 08:51 IST
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'Re-evaluate your career goals and be ready to embrace challenges. '
'Work thoroughly on your resume by highlighting the key skills and major areas of work.'
'Check and apply for jobs posted by employers regularly.'
'Stay positive.'

The layoff effect

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/

We are in the middle of 2022 and as per a report by Inc42 (extrenal link), approximately 10,000 employees have been laid off by at least 27 start-ups from across the country.

Sectors such as edtech, e-commerce and consumer services have reported the highest retrenchment so far.

In the second of a three-part series, Divya Nair/ looks at the way forward for professionals after layoffs.

The layoff effect: Dealing with guilt, insecurity and poor morale

Layoffs, whether massive or small scale, always almost generate a sense of insecurity among professionals who are left behind.

"The fear that you could be next, always looms large which indirectly affects their morale, productivity and performance," says Abhimanyu Saxena, who co-founded Scaler Academy in 2019 with the aim of bridging the tech employability gap..

In such situations, it's important for founders, HR heads and team leaders to have an honest conversation with the staff clearly communicating their reasons for laying off resources, their due diligence and plans for the future -- both long term and short term.

Even though it's unpleasant, a lot of founders, Abhimanyu says, know how to do the right thing. "Honesty, transparency, empathy, co-ordination and co-operation always helps in such situations."

In any sector, it is important to know that cutbacks are not permanent. It only means that the company's goals have changed and as an employee who is laid off or feels insecure, you need to revaluate your options too.

What next? The way forward for professionals

Losing a job certainly impacts one's social, psychological and economic well-being. But to bounce back, focus and determination are the key aspects, says Sekhar Garisa, CEO, Monster India.

"Re-evaluate your career goals and be ready to embrace challenges. Work thoroughly on your resume by highlighting the key skills and major areas of work. Check and apply for jobs posted by employers regularly. Stay positive," Sekhar advises.

According to Sumit Kumar, chief business officer, TLEF, the measures will be different at different stages of career. Fresh graduates who have just entered the labour market should opt for apprenticeships with a proven track record of gainful employment.

There are enough opportunities in services and manufacturing sectors to gain relevant experience and be employable.

Students can opt for degree apprenticeships, which prepare them from grassroot level to gain capability along with qualification.

Mid-career professionals need to be conscious of their job roles and their aspirations and take up courses which can help them progress in their career and upgrade their skills and productivity levels.

"Before joining an organisation, one should do a due diligence on the financial status, business plan and long-term goals of the organisations. And in due course if the employees see any financial instability, or notice that the organisation isn't aligned to its goals or there are too frequent changes in the business model, these are some of the indicators for a disaster in making," adds Sumit Kumar.

As per Monster India, layoffs do not spell the end of the world for you or your career. There are several edtech firms that are also hiring new and experienced professionals both in India and abroad.

UTKARSH Classes and Edutech for example, is on a hiring spree as it plans to expand operations in Hindi speaking states in India in the first phase.

"We are at a phase where we have decided to expand our existing team and are now on a hiring binge, regardless of how the market is today. Other edtech players may be laying off their employees. We'd still be hiring if others weren't into a firing spree," says Dr Nirmal Gehlot, founder and CEO, UTKARSH Classes and Edutech.

"We'll be hiring 500 educators and professionals for senior leadership roles, new sales and customer service team from tier 2 and tier 3 cities by FY 22-23," Dr Gehlot adds.

"Apart from knowledge and relevant skill set, we look at the value system of the individual. UTKARSH is open to hiring any candidate who will match our energy, mission and vision. Any well-qualified candidate is definitely welcome to join our team and we'll be glad to onboard experienced teachers. The salary will be based on their current role and the industry standards," says Dr Gehlot.

According to Monster, analysts, cloud computing professionals, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning experts and Blockchain developers are some profiles that will continue to be in demand alongside IoT, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, robotics and cybersecurity.

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