Here we go again – layoffs! In 2020, the COVID-19 lockdown threatened job security, and after a hiring boom in 2021, the potential recession (caused by manufacturing issues and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine) is now causing companies to rethink their workforce.
The job market ebbs and flows with the economy, and periods of heavy layoffs are eventually inevitable. Anyone who has been in sales for any significant time has dealt with them.
That said, it’s been a while. Prior to 2020, the last significant pullback was in 2008, with the mortgage banking collapse that drove the economy into the worst recession since the great depression. Prior to that, it was the tech collapse in 2000.
As a sales rep, you should be prepared for potential layoffs, and know what to do in order to land on your feet. Here are three steps you can take:
Check your professional and social network for who’s hiring.
Not all companies are laying off employees. Just like during COVID, some are actually growing, and are actively looking to grow their workforce. Chances are, there will be a lot of chatter on your social media and professional networking sites, both from employees and companies, and while some will be lamenting layoffs, others will be advertising for new job openings. Look at a comprehensive list of channels: TitanHouse and LinkedIn, Slack, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok. This is the ‘lowest hanging fruit’ and a fast way to identify companies that are looking for reps.
Get the word out.
Hit your network, and get the word out to your former colleagues and old friends. Let them know you are looking for new opportunities. There’s a high likelihood that your network is full of connections that are working for companies looking for great sales people. According to Zippia, referrals are 4x more likely to receive an offer, and referrals account for 30-40% of all hires. Additionally, many companies now offer referral bonuses, so there is an extra incentive for people from your network to make a recommendation.
*Note: Keep in mind that smart companies use layoff periods to top-grade their sales teams. Essentially, they remove mediocre performers because the marketplace is full of better sales reps. This, of course, adds to the layoff problem, but assuming you are a solid performer, there will be opportunities for you. You can find tons of these companies and opportunities on TitanHouse.
Upgrade your resume and social profiles
Competition for open roles will increase significantly during layoffs. More people will be applying to the same roles. It’s critical that you make a great first impression, so take some time to update your Titan Profile or your resume and clean up all your social media profiles. Employers will be carefully studying your profiles and posts, and anything that is potentially questionable should be removed.
Remember that it’s the small things, like a basic cover letter or a follow up email, that could set you apart from the competition. If you want to learn exactly how to apply for a new role, you can learn how here.
Where to find great tech sales jobs
Certain industries and companies are more likely to remain stable / hire during tough economic times. These are called ‘recession-proof’, which means they are believed to be economically resistant to the effects of a recession. Three of the top recession-proof industries are healthcare, consumer staples and education. Look for tech companies servicing these markets, and chances are you will find great opportunities.
Check the industry.
Another tech-specific industry to consider is security (network security, information security, cloud security, etc). Companies need to maintain security especially in tough economic times, so security technology companies may be hiring for growth or top-grading their sales teams right now. You can also consider “sin industries’ ‘ – alcohol, tobacco and gambing. These industries also typically prosper during tough economic times.
Your sales career will be full of highs and lows, and recessions and layoffs are just part of the process. Be persistent in your search, and don’t lose confidence. Treat your job search just like you would treat your sales prospecting, and you will land on your feet (and potentially in a much better situation than you were in before).