Understandably this is a distressing event and one that can be emotional. It is important to think practically and work through the details.
Try Not to Panic
Layoffs are a business decision and not an unusual event. However, it may be for you, and you most likely have questions. It is normal to feel stressed, so take some time to process the information and what it means for you. Check in on colleagues, and don’t feel you need to take immediate action. Take a moment to process the information.
Read The Email in Detail
In particular, understand the reason for the layoffs and determine the likelihood of impact on your role. These decisions are usually made due to financial or structural decisions. Consider how many people might be impacted. Note the timeline of events so you can do your best to plan accordingly if you are laid off. Consider if the company will provide additional support to former employees and if there are options to start to look for other work in preparation.
Consider your Options
Review your career to date and potential opportunities. Restructuring may lead to a different role, and a layoff may lead to a role in a new organisation. Is there anything you could be doing to put yourself in a more advantageous position, such as training or networking? Ask if your manager or the organisation will provide you with a reference if you need to prepare for job searching. Check if your resume is up to date or if you are starting from scratch.
We can react impulsively during times of heightened stress or change. Behaving professionally and continuing your role to the best of your ability is important. Offer support to your colleagues if you see them struggling, and try to manage your emotions as best you can. Don’t yell at anyone or storm out if you are laid off. Treat people respectfully, and remember you don’t know where you might see them again in your professional career. They could end up a client or even your employee again!
Is there a recommended contact to approach with questions, or can your manager provide further clarity? The business will often share as much as they are obligated to, but it can still be helpful to talk about it. If you are worried about financial hardship, review your finances or seek professional advice. If you are feeling anxious and stressed, consider any additional psychological support you can access.