The news of 75,000 layoffs in a single day yesterday is tough to take, especially in light of all the layoffs that had already taken place in the past few months across the nation. We all know that it will get worse before it gets better, but this up-front-and-personal evidence involving real people, real families, real communities is wrenching.
Assuming you've still got your job, what are the conversations like between you and your co-workers? Lots of talk of whether the workforce will be cut at your place, too? Beyond ensuring that you are informed of possible layoffs so you're not taken by surprise, such talk can be self-defeating, since it distracts from getting real work done. And, let's face it, the more productive you are--and assuming you are making sure others see evidence of your good work, not by bragging about it, but by drafting a memo on occasion listing what you've done and what plans you have for the next several months--the better off you'll be. So don't be tempted to spend lots of time gabbing about the axe that may or may not fall. Even if your strong work ethic doesn't prevent your being laid off with others, it stands you in good stead when you ask for references and referrals. The people who spent lots of time in water-cooler conversation about potential layoffs won't be treated nearly as well, if rules of human nature apply here (and I believe they do).
Perhaps this is a good time to initiate conversation with your team and your boss about plans moving ahead. For many companies, we're talking about survival. Are there steps to take that could result in cost savings, even twists to products and services that could help in the short term? It's best of all if you initiate such a conversation armed with some ideas of your own, to which you ask others to add their own...in an effort to find a collectively agreed-upon strategy that may add a positive note to what may otherwise appear to be bleak forecasts.
Stay active. Don't forget to include physical exercise in your daily regimen. It's important to stay fit, both mentally and physically. You'll need it. We'll all need it.