2021 is an excellent year for reflection. So let’s take a brief look at layoffs that occupies so many headlines in the media.

Now the vaccination rollout is becoming more effective, with trackable rollout map in most of the developed countries and some developing countries according to open data source. We started to witnessing confidence level is increasing! Furthermore, we see inflation pressure worldwide, and more industries are recruiting. Suddenly, the massive layoffs period feels like a decade ago!

I fully understand now is the time to look ahead, but learning from a fresh, harsh and painful past is equally important to help us remember and grow faster, as we all know, “short term pain, long term gain!”

The following snapshot graphs show the unemployment impact during pandemic, hopefully will support you to find more data related to your career and industry.

The data comes from The Organisation for Economic Co-operations and Development (OECD).

Most of the countries took and absorbed the shock from outbreak last year, which reflected in the labor market.

There are several countries extended the period for unemployment insurance claim, that might be a sign of labor market was lacking of confidence, and try to create more certain and longer buffer through massive uncertainty period.

Those are macro-scale movement; as individuals, what shall we do in terms of layoff or resignation?

1. Remember, it’s not the end of the world!

Thanks to science, medical advantage, and digitisation. We are living in a world way better than our ancestors back in the Spanish Flu period. Many people might go through a downturn for the first time in their life and got stunned, hurt, and lost.

Time to remind yourself, it’s a bump, and you deserve better! No matter what the next move you are looking for, with high competition in the job market. Recruiters and organisations are looking for people who are not treating obstacles as dead ends. You don’t need to have all the answers, but don’t lose grip.

2. Keep building. Keep reaching out!

There are many ways to get to the next stage, either by finding a new position, starting a new venture, or working for a non-profit. Find the people, institutes or networking groups that offer platform and opportunities to help you to learn and grow more!

I have met some people who lost their jobs in their retirement age. I know this could be harder than ever. My advice is to emphasising your experiences more, reset expectation and mindset.

3. It’s hard for everyone, give a hand now will do you well later!

We would complain that we lost our lifestyle after lockdown, try to claim as many things as we can, then that fear of loss kicks in, giving out that extra “toilet roll” to others becomes challenging.

Is there any signs we shall look?

Some examples of signs lead to layoff categories due to lack of communication, a sense of fear, or other reasons. Here I list a couple of scenarios from personal experiences; very welcome to add more.

“I know it’s coming. Shall I pull the trigger or wait, meanwhile grinding along?”

“The crisis is here. Shall I step forward to take more responsibilities? Or wait and see. Ah… Someone else did it first. I’m in the safe zone for now.

“My health condition is not doing well, and the KPI stresses me out even more. How can I cope? I Will mention it to the manager next time…hopefully, I won’t get caught being underperforming this time.”

“We are planning to cut cost, and some people will let go. I know that person so well, as a friend, but she/he is not the right person for this job. How can I bring this up?”

Remember, a layoff is an action based on so many causes and factors internally and externally; the slightest thing to do is beat yourself up hard on that event.

And of course, Feeling down and low.

Watch a lot of programmes and online videos.

Then try new things which don’t make sense for others…

The Process can be similar to any relationship which doesn’t turn out well in the end. Similar to the workforce, happily ever after might only happen to a limited number of people.

I have written down some tips from the blog How Do We Gain Resilience after experiencing a downturn.

I also found the following Ted Talk is very inspiring. Hopefully, this will guide you to your next step!