Navigating Layoffs: The Keys to Success

Ep: 204

Did you know that 40% of Americans are laid off at least once in their career? 

Additionally, those who get laid off also end up facing negative financial impacts years (and sometimes even decades) later.

The unfortunate truth is that layoffs are becoming more and more common. And whether the impact is direct or indirect, people who have experienced a layoff have historically paid a BIG price.

Layoffs can create anxiety and make you feel like you’ve lost control over your future. This, in turn, affects how you feel about yourself and your worth. You feel like you have to settle for whatever comes, and the salary that comes with it, regardless of whether it’s something you really want to do.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way.  

Today on The Bridge to FulfillmentⓇ, Blake shares how you can take back control of your life and career. There is a proven path that can have you looking back at your layoff as the best thing that ever happened to you!

In this episode, you’ll learn how to protect and prepare yourself for a potential layoff. You’ll hear important statistics about the long-term effects of job loss, and how you can recognize the signs that your job might be at risk. You’ll hear how career coaching can help you level-up now so that you can successfully navigate a layoff at any point in your career while INCREASING your income.

It is possible to not only bounce back from a layoff, but also use it as a launchpad to find bigger and better opportunities that are more aligned with who you are. 

What You’ll Learn:

  • How layoffs affect personal and company morale (1:38)
  • Signs that you might be at risk of a layoff (5:36)
  • How to protect and prepare in the event of job loss (6:20)
  • Embracing the concept of lifelong learning (7:18)
  • Learning how to unlock your fulfillment framework Ⓡ (9:34)
  • Why it actually pays to wait for your dream role (13:15)

Favorite Quotes:

  1. If you are laid off or you’re in a company having layoffs and you want to do something different, you truly can use this as an opportunity to move forward in your career in life in a really positive way.
  2. The power of understanding the art and science of authentic networking will mean that you have job security no matter what.
  3. Protecting and preparing is critical to understanding that you have the power and the control to change the trajectory of your career and life. You aren’t reliant on your company, your job, or waiting for somebody to see your value.
  4. Layoffs can be the best thing that ever happens to you when you use it as an opportunity to truly get clarity and the right strategy to align your life and your career with what you truly want.

Additional Resources: 

Rather than hoping the grass will be greener, identify what the RIGHT next step is. 
We can help you do just that.

Get clarity on where you are on your journey to career fulfillment, where you’re headed, optional paths to get there, and the right next step to take.

Start your complimentary, Personalized Career Fulfillment Plan by going to

Want free resources to set your job search up for success? You can get them by going to:

For other programs and opportunities to work with Blake, go to


Blake Schofield 0:05
Hi, I’m Blake Schofield, founder and CEO of The Bridge to Fulfillment, mom to three, USA Today top 10 professional coach, and former corporate executive who got tired of sacrificing my life for a comfortable paycheck. My mission is to expand women’s perspectives and empower them to achieve greater impact at home and work without sacrifice. This is The Bridge to Fulfillment

Blake Schofield 0:39
“You can have all the potential in the world but unless you have confidence, you have nothing.” This is a quote from Tyra Banks. And it feels really apropos is today we’re going to be talking about navigating layoffs and the key to success. And I start with this poll, because the reality is that layoffs whether you are directly or indirectly impacted, absolutely steal and destroy your confidence. Did you know that layoffs have become increasingly more common? In fact, today, 40% of Americans are laid off at least once in their career layoffs have been increasing steadily since actually the 70s. In fact, in 1979, fewer than 5% of fortune 100 companies announced layoffs. But according to McMaster University sociology, Professor art Boutros in 1994, almost 45% did. And interestingly enough, I was reading this article from Harvard Business Review, and I’m going to share a few more facts with you that came from 2018. There’s a gentleman Charlie Trevor from the University of Wisconsin Madison and Anthony Nyberg of the University of South Carolina that found that downsizing a workforce by 1% leads to a 31% increase in turnover, voluntary turnover next year. Meanwhile, low morale, right weakens engagement. And anyone that’s been through layoffs knows as an employee, you feel like you’ve lost control and looking around at your peers and seeing that their hard work and good performance didn’t guarantee their jobs creates a lot of anxiety. In fact, a study that was done in 2002, by Magnus squirty and Johnny Helgerson of Stockholm University and Katerina, now as well of the University of Canterbury found that after a layoff, those that survived the layoff experienced a 41% decline in job satisfaction, a 36% decline and commitment to the organization and a 20% decline in job performance. And those are the ones who survive. The ones who actually are downsized actually are taking a much greater hit over time. In fact, there was a study done by Wayne Casco who’s a professor at the University of Colorado that talked about workers that were laid off in 97, and 98. Actually, during an economic upswing, most of those people were actually worse off a year later, only 41% had found work at equal or higher pay 26% found jobs at lower pay, and another 21% Were still unemployed or had left the workforce entirely. So what we’re seeing is the vast majority of people actually were far worse off after their layoff. And it wasn’t just that short term, those effects were following people throughout their lives. A 2009, Columbia University study looks at employees who had been laid off during the 82 recession, and showed 20 years later, those people were still earning 20% less than their peers who had kept their jobs. So I know some of these statistics are depressing. And I don’t mean to bring it that way. But I think it’s important to understand what the impact of layoffs and how can we shift that dynamic because layoffs are common, and unfortunately, more common than they used to be. And whether you are directly impacted, or indirectly as a survivor. It has big impacts on how you feel what you do and what that looks like for you financial year over year. But I want to help you understand how you can create change so that you don’t have to be a statistic, what is it that you can do to change the tide? You know, when COVID hits and such a huge proportion of the workforce. I think over 60% of my clients actually in 2020 were either furloughed or laid off. I faced many of these situations with my clients really figuring out what to do. I would also tell you, I’ve worked with many women who had been put on performance plans laid off and in the circumstances and have been able to consistently help these women actually not just take this circumstance that happened to them and be able to move forward but actually use it as a launchpad to really be able to level up in their career and life to move into something that’s far more fulfilling, far more aligned with how they naturally work with they’re passionate about the life that they want to lead far more balance, while making more money. And so what I know is, regardless of whatever’s happening from a layoff standpoint, that you can actually protect and prepare that you can take control of your career and you can make sure you’re positioned well. And you can ensure that if you are laid off or you’re in a company having layoffs and you want to do something different, that you truly can use this as an opportunity to move forward in your career in life in a really positive way, as opposed to being something that impacts you negatively for years to come. So today, we’re going to talk about how to do that. So the first thing I want to share is right, read the tea leaves, here are some signs that you might be at risk. Number one, your company is struggling financially. Number two, your area of work isn’t essential, or it’s not a sales or profit driver, there’s been recent change in top leadership, the company’s on a hiring freeze, or they’re not replacing roles, but instead are expanding expectations for those that are there without additional compensation. And then some personal things, you feel like you’re less in the loop on Project strategies, things coming up, people aren’t really including you in the way they used to. And or you feel distance or uncomfortable relationship with your boss. Things just don’t feel good. Or maybe you’ve got a new boss and you feel like you don’t understand one another. What can you do, you can protect and prepare, protecting, in my opinion is all about becoming indispensable. That’s really about understanding and knowing your secret sauce, transferable skills, these are the combination of skills that you’re uniquely gifted at, that give you energy, drive and momentum. But it’s not just uncovering those combination of skills. It’s also the combination of your lens or your perspective on life, your experiences and your natural way of working. And it’s the combination of all four of those things that creates what I like to call your unique fingerprint for success. Once you understand this, you’ll understand how you’ve been using your skills, gifts and talents, both in your personal and in your work life, truly to create success, it then becomes your cheat code, the thing that you can use no matter what to be able to understand the circumstances of which you’ll be successful and easily be able to communicate that to other people so that they see your value.

Blake Schofield 7:18
You can also continue to grow your skills. This is incredibly important in today’s world, we need to be lifelong learners, things are moving so quickly. And the wonderful part is you get to direct that in terms of where you’re passionate about learning and continuing to put yourself in a position to grow. And then the third thing in terms of protecting network and nurture your relationships, do not wait until you need them. I often say the power of understanding the art and science of authentic networking will mean that you have job security no matter what you’re not reliant on that new boss, that particular company or someone’s perspective of you. Because you have built this strong network of people who can support you and open up opportunities, or you understand how to be able to do that for yourself. And so no matter whether you’re looking to transition companies, jobs or industries, you have the skills and ability to do so. And then you can prepare, please do not wait until you’re given the news. So often I see people sitting inside companies with all of these signs that they’re at risk, and they just sit there and wait and wait and wait. And that is one of the worst places you can be. Because you are literally putting yourself in a situation where you’re putting so much pressure on yourself financially, personally excetera, the level of stress that you’re carrying, and it reduces the options that you have available to you, you want to begin looking for what your next move would be. And I’ll say this, I think there are two circumstances when you’re facing layoffs or you are laid off, there’s a circumstance of I loved what I was doing. And I want to do more of that. And I think that’s an easier place to come from. Because then likely you have relationships. People already understand who you are what you do. And it’s a much simpler process than to go through a traditional job search. But for those people who were feeling unfulfilled, who are looking and saying, I don’t really know, if I want another job that’s more of the same. It’s incredibly important that you take action as soon as you realize that you’re unfulfilled, so that you can get clarity on your fulfillment framework, and your secret sauce, transferable skills, and learn how to build a bridge positioning yourself to stand out as a top candidate with real clarity on exactly what it is that you’re looking for. Now, if you haven’t heard me talk about unlocking your fulfillment framework. Those are the things you need in your career in life in order to truly be fulfilled and happy in the long term. It’s incredibly important to be able to uncover these things because if you don’t, you’ll end up doing exactly what I did, which is identifying a few things that were clearly misaligned. And then moving to the next job or next company hoping that we’ll fix it again only to find we’ll be back in this situation again in 19. 24 months, I don’t know if you know some of these statistics, I’m going to share it with you today, the average job search when you lack clarity. And I’ll tell you 90% of the people I talked to actually fit in this bucket. They think they have clarity, but they have about 10 to 15% of what they actually need. The average job search when you lack clarity is 12 months, and 11 hours a week of job search and interviewing. But I want you to understand there’s a better way. You know, if you go work with a traditional job coach, they’ll get you down to about seven months, but that same 11 hours a week. And what we do at the bridge to fulfillment is very different, we specialize in this type of work, our average client is transitioning into their dream role, not just their next one, their dream role and an average of just four and a half months. And she’s spending less than 50% of that time weekly to do so doing all of this in just three to five hours a week on average. Protect protecting and repairing is critical understanding that you have the power and the control, to change the trajectory of your career in life. And you aren’t reliant on your company, your job, or on waiting for somebody to see your value. The next thing I really want to share with you is the importance of understanding the hidden cost of focusing on the short term. When we feel at risk, or we feel our security isn’t stable or safe, which is exactly what happens. When we are either laid off or worried about layoffs or seeing layoffs happening around us, we get really focused on protecting what we have and moving as quickly as we can. And it can be really tempting to want to protect what you have now and move into something as soon as possible. But that usually comes at a massive negative cost long term. You know, if you’ve been laid off and you aren’t making money, it feels like you should hold on to what you have, because you’re not sure when that next right opportunity will come. But I’ll share with you what I’ve seen time and time again, and especially so so much of this in 2020. But I’ve seen this consistently because I’ve been working with women who’ve been laid off, or fearful of being laid off for years. Let’s just say today you make $100,000 a year, which is $8,300 a month. If you went the traditional route, it which as I mentioned before, has significant negative impact, right, a year later, and the survey 41% got work at an equal or higher pay, which means 59% either took a pay cut or were unemployed, and then that impact reverberated for decades to come. If you were a typical person following that normal process, your average job search will be 12 months, so you would have taken that $100,000 hit. And then you’d likely accept a role that pays you less than you deserve. On average, I see women taking anywhere from 20 to $60,000 pay cuts out of desperation, and out of a lack of understanding of actually their value, how to position themselves how to really position to maximize their value in the market. And so if you’re following that typical process, you take 12 months, you would take a pay cut, you would end up being back in a circumstance and fulfilled searching again in nine to 24 months. And so that financial impact would be significant. But let’s say instead you took a different path, approved proven path and one that would actually allow you to maximize and protect what you’ve worked so hard for, let’s say you actually seek help and you invest to get into the right role, and get there much faster with the confidence and strategy to transition yourself as your highest value in the market. As I mentioned to you the bridge to fulfillment, our clients are moving into their dream role on average of just four and a half months. But let’s assume you get there in five months, which is slightly longer than the average, that would have saved you seven months, times $8,300 a month. That’s over $58,000. And then let’s say you got an average 20% pay increase, which again is below what my average client does. Now that’s an additional $20,000 in income. So now you’ve not only saved money moving into the right role faster, you set yourself up with a higher salary and avoided going backwards. In just one year alone, that impact would be almost $100,000. And it would continue to build as you grow in your career, not just financially, but also in your personal happiness, reduction of stress levels and ability to be more present in your life versus on the roller coaster of searching for the job that will finally make you happy. And I share this with you because I’ve seen these results time and time again. Often when we get focused on where we are in the short term. It is at a huge detriment to our long term. Or as I like to say, if you are optimizing for the short term, it is almost always at the detriment of what you want long term, your career. What you’ve worked so hard for and your financial stability are worth investing in yourself so that you set yourself and your family up right for the long term. These are the lessons I’ve learned earned through going through years of coaching and seeing the impact, and the importance of understanding, investing in yourself, building the right relationships, gaining confidence to truly understanding your skill set your strength and your way of optimizing. And creating value in the market is so incredibly important. And as we are at the beginning of 2023, and we’re looking at companies beginning to lay off and uncertainty about what’s next.

Blake Schofield 15:32
What I want you to understand is none of this is new. None of this is new. But we have data, we have history that informs us as to what’s typical, and also what’s possible. And so my hope in sharing this with you is to help you understand that no matter how scary layoffs can be, no matter how much it can shake the foundation of your safety and security. The most important thing to understand is that you hold the power and the keys to creating more and better for your life. I’ve often seen that layoffs literally can be the best thing that ever happens to you, when you use it as an opportunity to truly get clarity, the right strategy, align your life and your career with what you truly want, and level up in all areas. And so today, I hope I’ve given you some foundational pieces to look at how to protect and prepare in your life, but also how to look at your career from the lens of what am I creating long term? And how do I invest in myself, which ultimately helps me invest in my family, my future, the team I’m leading, and the impact I’m going to make in my career in life.

Blake Schofield 16:50
If you are in a circumstance where you are unfulfilled, and you’ve either been laid off, or you’re in a company that’s facing layoffs, and you really are looking for help to be able to figure out what’s the right next step for you, I encourage you please reach out. Feel free to schedule your own complimentary personalized career fulfillment plan. And you can do so at my website, and you can hit the button that says “Start my plan.” If you know somebody who’s personally being affected by layoffs or is in this circumstance, please feel free to forward this podcast to them. My hope is that by sharing this information, I’m really being able to give you tools to better take control of your career and life and understand that you truly have the power to use these circumstances to create more positive momentum, more growth personally and financially and more fulfillment across the board. Until next time, have a great one. Thanks for joining me today. Rather than hope the grass will be greener identify what the right next step is. We can help you do just that. Get clarity on where you are in your journey to career fulfillment, where you’re headed, optimal paths to get there, and the right next step to take. Start your complimentary personalized career fulfillment plan at  Again, you can get your personalized career fulfillment plan at Thanks again for joining and have a great week ahead!