How To Stay Ahead of The Curve In Lay-off Season As an Immigrant

In recent times, several multinationals have been in the news for laying off thousands of staff. Late last year, twitter reportedly laid off a sizable number of its staff abruptly. This January, Google’s parent company- Alphabet, is set to lay off 10,000 of its staff globally while Microsoft will be joining the action at the end of Q1 2023, by laying off 12,000 employees.

From an employee perspective, this is obviously cause for concern, especially as an immigrant whose visa is tied to being employed. Understandably, special situations like a change in leadership or an organization having a solid track record of retaining staff long-term. However, there are tips to employ in order to identify a company that will do you dirty as an immigrant and how to mitigate being laid-off.

  • Observe the company’s track record of managing immigrants during lay-off season: One way to know how your company would care for you is to observe how they have previously cared for people who look like you. Speak to employees who are also immigrants and have been at the company for much longer than you have, to understand how your company treats and provides for immigrant staff. You can also search for past employees who have left or were laid off before you joined, to hear first-hand experience of how they were treated during the lay-off season.
  • Pay attention to business news and revenue numbers pertaining to your organization: Understanding what is happening at your company and the business of things can help you identify markers of the lay-off season. Typically most organizations lay-off staff as part of their strategy to meet business needs. As an employee, this might seem like a very cut-throat strategy, however, Canada operates as a capitalist society and as such this is a very common strategy. Instead of bemoaning this action, you can stay ahead of the curve by paying attention to revenue numbers and business needs. This way, you can start searching for a new job, immediately you notice red flags, even before the company takes action.
  • Anticipate it: Try to understand what happens to you in the eventuality of being laid off from work. Do you lose your visa, immediately you lose your job or is there a grace period? Having relevant information ahead of being laid off can help you take active steps to mitigate it, such as; building a strong online presence, joining professional work communities to expand your network, and learning a soft skill to increase employability.


As an immigrant in Canada, being laid off work can be a distraught experience for you and your family. However, employing the tips above can help you be proactive and circumvent the shock and anxiety that accompanies abruptly losing your job.