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Your Two Cents: Is Layoff Survivor Syndrome Legitimate?

It's hard to say goodbye to laid-off coworkers, especially when you're reminded of your own vulnerability as an employee. Some experts say that the emotional effects on co-workers left after a round of layoffs are similar to the stress felt by workers suddenly laid-off. Layoff survivors are often left feeling like they should be grateful for the extra work and anxiety that comes with a downsized workforce.

Layoff survivor syndrome is a term coined by organizational psychologists that describes the emotional, psychological and physical reactions of workers who made it through layoffs. Mitchell Marks, an associate professor of management at the San Francisco State University College of business, explains, "It’s exactly as when you lose a good friend or a sibling. You feel responsible in some way. That’s psychologically troubling. You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. You feel like you can’t control your fate."

Do you think there's legitimacy to layoff survivor syndrome?


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