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Can You Avoid a Layoff?

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    Cornelius Ellsonpeter

    Nowadays it seems increasingly in corporations employees tend to be seen as "assets"...not in personal terms anymore, but more or less almost as if they are pieces of equipment. I'm thinking in terms of mass layoffs, and ways of preventing the situation of finding yourself coming to work one day and being given 10 minutes and cardboard box (to bring your personal belongings home in).

    Is there a way to make yourself layoff proof? Or do you jump ship before people start getting let go? I feel like starting up my own tech company, but I really wouldn't know how to get started...I also sense there may be layoffs coming where I currently work, and even though I am a major contributor sometimes that doesn't even matter (it didn't when I worked at another place years ago and they let 2,500 people go).

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    The only way I can think of that you can avoid being laid off is if your job role is vital to the companies continued operation. 

    If there are many people that do your exact same job, and someone could take over your position with little training, then there isn't much you can do about it.  If you make more money than most and your job function is fairly common then you probably have a higher risk of getting cut than someone that makes less then you (at least that is what happened to me in the past).

    If the company is considering layoffs then they are probably not doing too well.  A change in jobs may be a good decision.

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    Perhaps if you are on a small team or work for a small company that is unlikely to happen (unless it is really struggling financially). Government jobs should be pretty safe (as long as you are skilled and do a specialised job rather than something like an IT technician (no offence to IT technicians, but they are far more common than developers)), but pay isn't as good as it should be (at least in IT that is - doesn't really compete with the private sector but pensions are very good).

    I'm personally not worried about my job as there is no one else who can do what I do (web development, from SQL and C# to CSS, HTML and JavaScript), even those that are more senior.

    It is also helpful to contribute to other projects in your free time or demonstrate you skills in other ways (for example blogging code snippets etc).

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    I've missed three layoffs (soon to be 4 from the media) however I find moving positions to be one way, someone who masters (exceedes) at a position and then moves and masters that one is a jack of all trades, people will work with that.

    However if it is 2,500 or so...that may be hard to do (that's like whole divisions right there).  It's like something I told my supervisor the other day, "I appreciate your involvement, however not even you can save me from Legal"....sometimes it's just not avoidable.

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