182. Analyzing Korn Ferry's top 10 actions to take if you're laid off

redundancy & job loss Apr 17, 2023
The Job Hunting Podcast Ep 182. Analyzing Korn Ferry's top 10 actions to take if you're laid off

Losing a job is a stressful and challenging experience, especially in uncertain times like the present. According to recent statistics, millions of people worldwide have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, and economic downturns, which have affected many industries. While there is no way to sugarcoat the reality of being laid off, there are actions you can take to regain control of your career and move forward.

In this blog post and podcast episode, we will analyze two recent articles published by recruitment giant Korn Ferry which together provide 10 recommended actions to take if you're laid off. Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm that helps companies design and execute their talent strategies.

However, as you will learn once you read this blog, I agree with about half of their recommendations. This could be because:

  • I work daily with private clients and in group coaching sessions with corporate professionals going through job and career transitions. This allows me to obtain the most up-to-date information on how the job market is trending and the successful strategies that work for my clients;
  • Korn Ferry works with a wider, broader job market, whereas I operate with middle managers and senior executives in the corporate, nonprofit, and government sectors.

So my advice is more niche. However, I am confident it works because I see it working daily with my clients. And when something is not working anymore, which has happens often since the pandemic turned the corporate world upside-down, we quickly pivot and adopt new winning strategies.

What is Korn Ferry, and why their advice matter

Korn Ferry is a consulting firm helping organizations handle management and organizational challenges. It is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, and was founded in 1969. At the time of the recording, it has over 100 offices worldwide, operates in over 50 countries, and employs more than 10K people. The key issues organizations reach out to Korn Ferry for help are general management consulting, Digital, Executive and professional Search, and Recruitment Process Outsourcing. For example, if a company needs to hire a new CEO, Korn Ferry has an executive search arm working worldwide. If, instead, it needs a particular type of professional who may be in high demand and hard to find, they have a professional search team to help. They also support organizations with their recruitment process, which can be helpful for companies in rapid growth and in need of ongoing hiring. 

As part of its marketing and thought-leadership strategy, Korn Ferry publishes articles from time to time. As a well-known brand, people tend to pay attention to what they say. They have recently published two articles titled 5 Actions to Take If You're Laid Off and 5 More Actions to Take When You've Been Laid Off. Considering the layoffs at scale happening in a few industries this year, I thought the titles and timing of publication were perfect. However, I was disappointed with the content, especially with the first article. The advice was good, but I would not have been satisfied with the content as someone who has lost their job more than once. I also felt it was not empathetic enough, and skipped some critical steps to get a professional back in the game after being laid off. There was also a lack of cultural nuance when providing advice that may work well for the US but not for other countries. When their publication reaches professionals worldwide, this is an important consideration. So I was pleasantly surprised that they quickly published Part 2, i.e., the second article. It addressed some of my concerns from the first article. 

I decided to discuss each of their actions with you in this podcast episode. This way, I can better explain what I believe is good about their advice and what my advice is for each of the topics. And if I think there are extra steps they did not include, I will also go through them with you.

Here is what I believe you should know about losing your job

I hope you know this by now, but if you need to hear it again, I don't mind saying it: Career ups and downs are normal and should be expected. This means you need to enjoy the ups and prepare for the downs. It's all normal; it happens to everyone. But if you know that "this too shall pass," you will cope better when facing a challenge, like losing a job, and will not take it too personally. We usually only notice the success when we compare ourselves with other professionals. But if we pay close attention or open up with them and share our stories, we will see everyone go through bad and good times. 

We also have a very old-fashion brain that understands rejection as it did 3000 years ago when we lived in tribes. Back then, if we got fired from our tribe, there was a good chance we wouldn't last alone in the wild. Now, it only means better opportunities are around the corner for you. A culture you may feel more comfortable working with, a boss that "gets" you, and a job that is more aligned with your strengths. So we need to balance our old-fashion instincts and trust our intuition. You know you can do a great job; the next employer will be lucky to have you.

Do you want to know more about what to do when you lose your job? Great! Listen to this episode o (182) of The Job Hunting Podcast. 

Timestamps to guide your listening:

  • 13:18 - Take a Break. Really.
  • 17:52 - Prep a backstory.
  • 22:54 - Network like it's your job.
  • 27:47 - Find organizations that thrill you.
  • 32:15 - Inch your way in.
  • 37:57 - Absorb and process the news.
  • 40:13 - Get clear on your direction.
  • 42:57 - Build your dossier.
  • 46:39 - Hire a coach.
  • 49:27 - Don't trash your old employer.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Are you new to The Job Hunting Podcast? 

Hello, I’m Renata Bernarde, the Host of The Job Hunting Podcast. I’m also an executive coach, job hunting expert, and career strategist. I teach corporate, non-profit, and public professionals the steps and frameworks to help them find great jobs, change, and advance their careers with confidence and less stress. 

If you are 1) an ambitious professional who is keen to develop a robust career plan, 2) looking to find your next job or promotion, or 3) you want to keep a finger on the pulse of the job market so that when you are ready, and an opportunity arises, you can hit the ground running – then this podcast is for you. In addition to The Job Hunting Podcast, I have developed a range of courses and services for professionals in career or job transition. And, of course, I also coach private clients. 

So there is no excuse – I’m determined to help you! I want you to feel empowered, nail your next job, and have the career you want.

Enjoy the episode, and ciao for now!


Renata Bernarde | Job Hunting Expert

[email protected]


I cannot recommend it highly enough.

To my friends and colleagues who are currently job hunting, this podcast is for you. Renata Bernarde and her stellar line up of guests very generously share their perspective, advice, behind-the-scene secrets, tips, and anecdotes. "It's called The Job Hunting Podcast (it is what it says on the tin!) Guests include Anita Ziemer, Michelle Redfern, Mohit Bhargava. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Run. Don't Walk." - LinkedIn post shared by Amber Knight.

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