How to Manage Layoff Anxiety During the Coronavirus Crisis: Tips From a Career Coach

Ask Coach Joyce


Layoff anxiety affected nearly half of American workers even before the coronavirus came along. Now, those anxieties, for many people, have become reality. The coronavirus pandemic has already triggered a number of layoffs—and may workers who remain employed fear they may be next to lose their jobs. How can American workers adapt to these challenging times?

We got some sound advice from Joyce Domijan, Intoo’s vice president of strategy and development. In this Q and A, Joyce shares her tips for workers worried about pending layoffs, and provides insights about new opportunities emerging due to the pandemic. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

What’s your best advice for those who suspect their company may be undergoing furloughs, layoffs, etc.? What should they do to best prepare for the unknown?

The number one piece of advice that I would give is to try to make yourself indispensable. Don’t get stuck in neutral with your work, worrying about your job. Show management why they need to keep you. Most companies never finalize their decisions until the very last minute, so use the time to be productive, positive, and helpful. Second, always prepare for the worst, but expect the best. Get your resume together. Update your LinkedIn profile. Do all those things to be ready, but keep your outlook positive and upbeat. And lastly, definitely strengthen your networking contacts. Keep in contact and build new relationships. All those things will help you in a job search, if you need.

Related: Download the Intoo Furlough Resource Guide for Candidates

Do you know which companies are hiring or have increased their hiring during this time?

A lot of them, you’ve probably seen in the news. Anything that’s medically related, whether that be clinical or medical equipment or even administrative, is a big area. Anything that has to do with delivery or logistics or those types of things, too. Amazon is hiring. Google is hiring. Most of the big box stores like Walmart and Target are hiring not just in their stores but in their distribution and fulfillment centers. There are also things that are in the background, like Zoom, now that everybody’s doing virtual meetings on Zoom. Companies like that are definitely hiring. There’s also a lot of government, biotech, and pharmaceutical opportunities, so keep a look out at all of those.

The number one piece of advice that I would give is to try to make yourself indispensable.

— Joyce Domijan, Intoo

Is this pandemic reminiscent of any previous crisis in recent memory vis-a-vis looking for work, or is the impact different?

This is a very unique situation. I don’t really think it mirrors anything that we’ve seen in the past. All of the remote work being done now is unprecedented. There have been major disruptions in business and the workforce. Employers have had to ramp up and ramp down very quickly. A lot of these disruptions are expected to be temporary in both small and large businesses. Businesses like restaurants, your dentist’s office, or your hair salon—they are being affected, but the effects will probably be in the short term. So keep in mind as you go through this process that a lot of the things you might be doing might be for the short term, whether that’s getting a new job or transitioning out of an old job. I believe lots of people will be going back to the jobs they came from in the not too distant future.


Are you an employer looking to help your impacted employees navigate their next step?

Intoo’s outplacement solution helps companies protect employer brand and retain positive relationships with departing employees during a layoff or workforce change. Experience our advanced outplacement program firsthand by requesting a demo today, and learn how we can support your workforce’s unique needs.


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