I joined a publicly traded company less than 6 months ago, as a full time employee, along with 5-10 people in various "IT" roles. The company has announced "cost cuts" of millions of dollars. Moreover, we recently moved a lot of non-technical jobs offshore.

I fear losing my job, despite performing well here & improving things, because I am new and I still have a lot to learn about the company's systems. What is the best way to bring up my concerns to my manager without giving them the feeling that I might be having second thoughts ?

PS - My manager likes the work I have been doing so far. Unfortunately, we don't know each other enough for him to open up to me about such matters.

As an aside, if I know I am in the list of lay offs, then should I offer to take a pay cut instead ?

  • 3
    IMHO, offering a pay cut in exchange for keeping your job looks desperate and will lower their opinion of you. Just start looking. Don't ask for permission. The boss might not even know what the plans are and may be on the chopping block himself. Consider yourself at risk if no one has reached out to you and told you your position is "safe." Even then, be skeptical. It never hurts to explore new opportunities.
    – teego1967
    May 9, 2017 at 10:26
  • 2
    Keep in mind that your manager might be on the same layoff list you think you are, and may be as clueless as you.
    – BgrWorker
    May 9, 2017 at 14:09
  • It is more cost effective to cut a legacy employee who costs more to the company and may not be performing exceptional work, than to cut a new and driven employee.
    – bhilgert
    May 9, 2017 at 15:36
  • @bhilgert, that may depend on their contracts especially if there are union contracts in place for parts of the workplace. Some workplaces are not permitted to get rid of the more experienced people in place of the newer ones.
    – HLGEM
    May 9, 2017 at 16:43
  • @HLGEM Definitely agree. However, the OP states that they work in IT, and the majority of IT groups are not within a Union.
    – bhilgert
    May 9, 2017 at 16:47

3 Answers 3


Managers are not going to tell you that you are on the layoff list without risking getting fired themselves. When they work on this sort of thing, they are obliged to keep it under wraps until it is officially announced. Part of being a manager is keeping company secrets until they are officially announced. Further, the line manager is often not the person making the decision, so he is often unaware of who is on the chopping block. You put him in a untenable position when you ask and no manager is going to be happy about that.


Your manager is just that. He's not your friend and he'd be used to this kind of thing, especially if a round of lay-offs have been announced.

On that front, ask him for a meeting. Make it official in writing with a specific date and time. He knows about the cost cutting and you're simply asking what is a valid question as to whether you should polish up your CV.

It's not that you're looking for a new job, you're asking him if you should be.

For your second question on taking a pay cut, only you can decide this. If you can afford to live on less money and you want to stay there then absolutely you can offer. Whether they'll accept is an entirely different matter.

  • Not in a negative way, just curious, but what do you hope to achieve by this: "Make it official in writing with a specific date and time"
    – Preston
    May 9, 2017 at 13:44
  • Yes, he would be asking a valid question, but he shouldn't expect a valid answer. Since the employees affected by a layoff may retaliate by damaging the systems, nobody talks about these things truthfully in advance. May 9, 2017 at 20:25
  • @tompreston Put it in an email and say "I'd like to arrange a meeting to discuss a few things. When is good for you?"
    – Stephen
    May 10, 2017 at 7:17

Just ask. Make it clear. I didn't ask and ended up jobless because I thought I had a friend. Lesson learned. Never repeat again. Be professional and ask. Everyone is looking out for themselves. You think the company gives a crap about you? NO! They only care for the bottom line and you have to get tough and do the same. Ask before you join, and get it in writing (email is valid). Don't fall victim like I did.

  • 3
    What would you get in writing? "We won't ever lay you off?" No one can make that promise.
    – Brandin
    May 9, 2017 at 11:29
  • And even if they wrote it down in an email, I know of no country where such a statement would be legally enforceable May 9, 2017 at 20:16

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