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Five Characteristics of a Layoff Survivor

Perhaps you have been lucky to evade the dreaded pink slip.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a decline in layoffs in New York; however, that is only half of the story.  What about all of those who have lost their jobs and are still struggling to recover?  While cut-backs are slowing, the rate of hiring is also decreasing.   Although the news from the job front is improving, it is still a tough market in which only the strongest candidates will survive.

So what does it take to survive a layoff?  It helps to have friends in high places; your network is a great place to start, which is why it is so important to maintain ongoing contact with friends and colleagues in your industry. If you are on your own, like most people, then you must do it on your own.  What are the top five characteristics of a layoff survivor?


How to Survive a Layoff

A survivor won’t let a layoff hold him down. He is confident that he will land in a better position. With a goal, a plan and effort, a survivor works through difficult situations. Survivors don’t waste time blaming others or wallowing in pity.  If you are struggling to feel positive, remind yourself of all the difficult times you survived.

Goal Oriented
Survivors define a goal supported by a comprehensive plan. She is willing to work tirelessly to reach her goal.  Plans complete with timelines and measurements for success form the infrastructure that helps a survivor to climb to the top.

Layoffs can be a huge shock to your system.  Being able to adapt to your new reality will help you survive and quickly move on to something better. With adaptability, you can get around obstacles and continuously modify your job search strategy to reach your goal.

You have the power to rebound. You get knocked down and bounce back up again. Let the others quit or fail.  Not you! You refuse to give up. In today’s job market, a search may take several months. You must have tenacity and determination to keep going to achieve your end goal.

Survivors tend to be strategic thinkers and excellent problem solvers. Intelligent professionals are naturally curious and eager to gain new knowledge. Intelligence enables you to analyze the job market and assess your skills and knowledge to make the right decisions.

Being terminated as part of a lay-off hurts no matter how emotionally resilient you are. If it happens to you, accept your circumstance so you can begin to build your new career and new life. For many, a lay-off ignites motivation to dig deep and accomplish exciting new things. How you manage this opportunity reveals your true character. As New Yorkers, we are survivors.  Challenges give us the opportunity to exhibit our true strength.

Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at

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