• | 10:00 am

A guide to navigating layoffs and landing your next opportunity

Expanding your network, exploring alternatives, and effectively managing your finances are essential during this challenging transition phase.

[Source photo: Krishna Prasad/Fast Company Middle East]

Economic conditions are changing, and companies across various sectors are experiencing pressure. Tightened budgets raise concerns about possible layoffs, leaving employees unsure about their job stability.

Navigating this challenging landscape requires emotional resilience and a strategic plan to safeguard one’s future in an increasingly unpredictable job market.

We will delve into essential strategies and expert advice on preparing for, responding to, and recovering from layoffs. Here, we’ll provide the tools and knowledge necessary to maintain your professional momentum, even in the face of potential job loss.


Mariam Samir, a Career Coach, HR Expert, and Regional Talent Acquisition, emphasizes the immediate steps an employee must take following a layoff to ensure financial stability and personal well-being.

She suggests that prioritizing one’s mental health is crucial. “Accepting the layoff and allowing yourself time to grieve will only support any decisions you make moving forward.”

Also, she outlines critical steps that employees should take, emphasizing the importance of assessing their financial standing to ensure stability in the near term.

She advises workers to evaluate their existing skills and tools for future career prospects, update their resumes and cover letters, and understand the current market demands. Increasing one’s network and notifying recruiters and relevant contacts about job opportunities is also crucial. Lastly, she recommends prioritizing job searches for positions with immediate hiring potential.


A layoff can feel like a punch in the gut, especially with the added stress of economic uncertainty. Samir emphasizes the importance of taking control of your finances during this time. Here are her recommendations:

Gather your resources: Make a list of all your income sources, including your salary (if still receiving one), severance pay (if applicable), and any side hustles you might have. On the flip side, meticulously track your monthly expenses, categorizing them into essentials (such as rent, utilities, and groceries) and non-essentials (like entertainment and dining out).

Calculate your runway: Divide your total savings and emergency fund by your average monthly expenses. This will give you a realistic picture of how long you can financially support yourself while seeking a new job.

Focus on essentials: Allocate enough funds to cover essential living costs such as housing, utilities, food, transportation, and minimum debt payments. Everything else can wait for now.


Navigating a job search is a challenge, one that is time-consuming and mentally exhausting. Samir lists a few tips to make the process smoother.

She recommends that employees start by assessing themselves and their goals. Once an employee has identified their career objectives, she advises crafting a strategic approach to their job search. She suggests identifying and researching the target field to understand current job trends and determine the best platforms for industry-specific job exploration.

Additionally, she recommends crafting dynamic resumes and cover letters that showcase personal success stories and align closely with the job description, emphasizing strengths and relevant keywords.

“Though the job search process might take time, remaining motivated and calm is important. Treat the job search like a part-time job by setting aside specific times each day to apply for positions,” Samir adds.


While being laid off can be a disruptive event, it can also be a catalyst for reinvention. Samir encourages exploring alternative paths like freelancing or entrepreneurship.

She recommends delving into the world of freelancing and using platforms like Upwork or Fiverr to discover opportunities in your field: research typical rates and legal considerations. Consider joining online freelancer communities to learn from seasoned professionals.

Entrepreneurship might also be an area of interest for some employees. Samir says employees should identify business ideas matching their skills and interests. They should research market demand and potential profitability. Upskill yourself with online courses or workshops on key business areas like marketing, finance, and legal structures.

“Validate your business idea. Talk to potential customers, develop a business plan, and consider creating a minimum viable product (MVP) to test your concept with a small audience,” she adds.

Using this time to build your network and resources is also crucial. Connect with other freelancers or entrepreneurs. Seek mentors or join online communities to learn from their experiences and gain valuable advice.

“Develop your online presence. Create a professional website or social media profile showcasing your skills and experience if you plan to freelance. Network with potential clients on relevant platforms.”


Samir says discovering yourself is imperative to decide on your future career goals. She summarized the process, providing the following steps to follow:

Samir says discovering yourself is essential for deciding on your future career goals. She summarized the process, providing the following steps to follow:

1. Uncover your passions: What truly ignites your curiosity? What activities make you lose track of time? Identifying interests that energize you can point toward fulfilling career options.

2. Identify your strengths: Take stock of your strengths and skills. Look beyond technical skills from your current job. Consider creative talents, communication abilities, problem-solving prowess, or anything you excel at naturally.

3. Define your ideal work environment: Do you flourish in a dynamic, collaborative setting or prefer a quieter, independent work style? Consider factors like work-life balance, remote work options, growth opportunities, and a company culture that aligns with your values.

  Be in the Know. Subscribe to our Newsletters.



More Top Stories: