Ways to survive sudden layoff, when company shuts shop


Finding a job in a dismal scenario while holding on to your market value, is a tough task. Here’s what one should keep in mind as the job hunt begins.

We have witnessed a recent upheaval in the telecom sector with two major companies shutting shop, and leaving thousands of employees make a leap in the dark.

Not just telecom, there have been mergers, acquisitions and even closures of companies in other sectors. The victim in such situations is the employee, who gets entangled in the web of uncertainty.

Irrespective of sector, whenever the organisation suddenly shuts shop and the news spreads out in the market, it becomes challenging for an employee to find a job. There is a sudden dip in the employee’s market value and out of desperation they lose the power to bargain. Employees are likely to come across prospective employers who try to short change them. However, the HR folks claim to be fair on their part.   

Vinay Jaswal, vice president, corporate HR, Interglobe, says, “Good future employers are generally agnostic of the fact that one’s current business has closed. They are more interested in how one countered this challenge and turned it around as an opportunity for oneself,”

He believes that employees’ market value is directly proportional to their skills and also on how they keep a check on desperation in the job market.

Concurs! Rajorshi Ganguli, president and global HR head, Alkem Laboratories. He says, “In my view the true worth of a talent can rarely be missed by a professional employer.”

“Having said that, if an employee was overpaid in the earlier organisation, some re-calibration of pay and band may happen depending on several factors, such as business size and employee skill-set,” he adds.

Thammaiah BN, managing director, Kelly Services India, opines, “The employee’s value shouldn’t go down as it’s not because of his/her performance that he/she has been asked to leave. Thankfully due to start-up ecosystem, business failures are taken in the stride and not tagged to the employee.”

Thammaiah BN, Vinay Jaswal & Rajorshi Ganguli

He also believes, companies are always looking forward to have good talent working with them.

“If the employee is good, he/she will find a suitable opportunity coming their way soon. However candidates who want to quickly settle down in the next job may also settle for a lesser salary as a trade-off,” he adds.

All said and done, being rendered jobless and finding another opportunity from scratch is not child’s play. Add to it, the pressure of politics within the current organisation and the challenges becomes huge. One wrong or desperate move can be a setback to one’s career. Even waiting too long for the right opportunity can harm one’s market value. There are crucial aspects that need to be kept in mind, while hunting for a job.

Here are the dos and don’ts for someone looking for an opportunity after their current employer shuts shop.



Analyse and then approach
In a situation such as this, scrambling around may not help. Make a list of all companies in the similar space that are likely to hire you for your experience, skills and more so domain knowledge.

Freelance in the meanwhile
Be open to evaluate freelance or contract roles, if they guarantee good work.  They prove to be good for continuous learning, adding new skills and also avoid idling at the same time. Do not miss out on a learning opportunity in the face of an adversity.

Time to cash on your network
This is the best time to reach out to your well-wishers in the industry for any possible openings in their companies. References help to expedite the hiring process, especially if there’s an opening that matches the skill and experience.

Reach out to ex-colleagues, search consultants and other forms of pro-active networking will definitely help. It helps to stay active and updated on social media as one is more likely to get noticed by recruiters if they are active on the right social channels.

Stay positive and open minded
Always keep an optimistic demeanour, as people always love the hero in the face of adversity. Closure is the ultimate finality of a business. Work towards mitigating the risk and pain in the process for the stakeholders. People remember the act more than the event.

Approach the job market with an open mind. Do not have too many filters as that may lead to a long employment gap. Beyond job hunting, one must keep their family and close friends informed and seek their support. This will help bust stress and focus on the task at hand.

Be flexible while exploring options as the right job may not be round the corner. It is prudent to pick up something, which is reasonable rather than lose a great deal of time in searching for the right role.




Haste is waste
Avoid coming across as someone too desperate, totally depressed and willing to compromise or pick up anything at any cost. Recruiters may ask you uncomfortable questions but keep your balance and do not succumb to pressure.

Don’t try to settle for something, which is not in alignment with your goals, experience and skills. It is always recommended to wait and get something that motivates you than to pick up something which doesn’t. In the long run, this might work against your confidence.

Watch your words
In such trying times, you should not talk ill of the past employer as it is counterproductive and will leave a bad impression on the recruiter interviewing you. Moreover, we live in a well-connected world, and may have to cross paths again with the current employer.
Steer clear of the politics and negativity
Stay clear of organisational politics in moments, such as this. In such occasions, personal agendas run strong and it’s generally the naive who become the pawns.

Do not procrastinate over the inevitable. Avoid being part of the negative advocacy around the action, especially as one never knows what factors contributed towards the downfall.

All said and done such a situation may lead to immense disappointment and one may have to go through some turmoil despite the extra efforts required, it should not be seen as the end of the world. If the employee is good, she/he will find a suitable opportunity coming their way soon.

(Based on interviews with Rajorshi Ganguli, president and global HR head, Alkem Laboratories; Thammaiah BN, managing director, Kelly Services India; Vinay Jaswal, vice president, corporate HR, Interglobe.)


  1. Nice article.
    As I see these days , most of the financial , manufacturing, IT, IT services, Telocom companies are in bad phase and firing [people cutting down jobs. What is the reason for all this slow down and crunch in the job markets? Is there any industry/sector which is flourishing these days.

  2. there are nine ways to avoid the lay off ..we can assist the companies on trial basis for 10 days a month for 6 months and hand it over to locals..90% can be peacefully redeployed.

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