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If you knew your close coworkers were going to be included in layoffs, would you tell them? My manager gave me a heads up, in confidence, to assure me that I was safe, and I’d be betraying her trust.

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I thought about that, as my place recently had layoffs. In your case, I think you’d just be risking yourself as the “loose lips” on the team. And in my case, I don’t think it would have helped anyone to know a few hours before the axe came down.

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No, do not do it.

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Don’t say anything, but give them all the help ASAP once the ax has dropped. Give them access to your network. Loose lips sinks ships (yours). when word gets out that your a snitch you will be done too. Your manager is dumb for telling anybody even if it is good intentions.

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Ok. Technically you can’t and should not. BUT you can speculate with them that it might happen. This was something someone did for me and it gave me a huge advantage in terms of getting a new job.

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HR matters are for HR. I was in this position and wrestled with it till the deed was done. Said person even asked me and the most I would say is: “you might want to start looking if you feel this way”. Managers say this stuff generally in confidence but sometimes I’m like: Noooo I would have preferred not to know.

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I'd def hint if it's a heads up of more than a few hours. Days make a difference.

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Don’t do it. Things can change and you won’t be privy to that.

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Exactly! Many years ago at a small agency, my boss at the time told me I was being brought on full time from freelance and that one of the two others in my department were going to be let go. Even told me who was going to be let go!! This woman would always joke with our boss (whom she was close to) “please don’t fire me!” in which my boss would shoot me a look that said “don’t say anything.” When lay-off time came around, boss must have had a change of heart because she ended up letting go the other person in the department. It would have been very awkward to have told this person (especially as a newer employee). I still find it so unethical for my boss at the time to have told me.

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Do you understand what “in confidence” means? Unless your employer and your manager are absolute ghouls, would honor the confidential nature of the info you’ve been trusted with. But, you CAN imply things with them using the magical tools called speculation and innuendo. And then would recommend you focus on your own situation.

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VP: do you understand what “failing upward” means?

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I like what GSD1 said- you can speculate. But you absolutely cannot tell them. It is super sucky that you know before them.

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If it were you, you’d want to know. I’ve done it in the past, and I have zero regrets. My friend/coworker started looking and actually got a gig lined up before they did the layoffs anyway. As long as the person is someone who can be trusted to play it cool and isn’t a loose canon that’s going to throw you under the bus for telling them, go for it.

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Seriously, if the manager only told you and he/she found out that info leaked out. Your manager will know for sure not to trust you. But yeah, you can use “speculation/innuendo” to your favor. It might light a fire under your coworkers’ (and yours) to find a new gig.

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Your manager should not have told you anything. They put you in an awkward and clearly uncomfortable position you should not have to be in. Knowing someone is gonna get canned and dealing with that knowledge is part of being a manager. It isn’t your job to bear this responsibility.

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You definitely should not tell your peer in explicit terms. I agree to what other folks in this thread are saying about innuendo or even giving guiding advice when asked. It doesn’t prevent what’s happening from happening. It doesn’t make the situation any better for them, it just makes you feel better. Also if a boss has told you in confidence, that means that they are also trying to make you feel more comfortable, in the loop, and valued. They likely believe you are mature enough to handle the gravity of the situation and why it requires confidentiality and discretion.

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What is a client strategist?

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No

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