If you are a hard working and conscientious employee, you are not being laid off because of your performance. Your company has decided to lighten ship and you will be chosen because your manager could not justify keeping you.
You may be able to find another berth in the company if you act fast, but generally all personnel requisitions will have been frozen some time ago.
If you have been networking (hint! hint!) you will probably have some idea what groups in the company are going to be hiring after the layoff is complete and will have a slight chance to interview for the position with the added bonus of being able to come up to speed quickly in the new position.
The reason I say this is that I have seen some divisions of
companies I worked for continue hiring while employees in other
divisions were being laid off.
For many of you, networking has not been a priority, but you are
going to learn how important that skill is to your future employment
When a company needs a new person to fill an existing spot, the last
thing that management wants to do is to go through the agony of sifting
through thousands of unsuitable resumes. The first thing most managers
do when they need someone is to ask around if anyone knows of any
I have done this myself when adding personnel, which is why I
suggest that you stop wasting money and time putting your resume online
and sending out resumes by mail.
If companies look for people by finding out who knows of available
candidates, you should be making contacts in companies you want to work
for and letting these contacts know you are looking for a job and have
the right skills.
This is not new information, it was mentioned almost thirty years
ago in "What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Nelson Bolles and has
been supported by Wall Street Journal reports many times since. Most
positions are filled by personal referrals.
If you are not meeting new people each week and exchanging notes on
your mutual interests and the fact that you are interested in
challenging work, new clients, etc., you are not really networking. I
suggest you rethink your priorities and start networking long before
you get laid off and continue networking after you find a new position.
I will bring up a few of the finer points of networking in the next post. You may find that it is easier than you might imagine.
UPDATE: If you have already been laid off, and have problems getting started on job-hunting, you might want to visit the Danger Quicksand Career forum
and get some help from people who have been in your situation and
survived. This is a forum where you can ask questions anonymously.