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Layoffs hit home

May 21, 2008

My division recently announced that they plan to lay off what I calculate to be roughly 10% of our division over the next couple months. (My calculation could be off, as I’m not sure the size of our division beyond what a webpage states.) They will try to place people in other divisions around the state and the country, offer long notice time, and help with placement. My specific department won’t be heavily impacted, but any impact is a little scary.

What am I thinking about?

Economy: The economy stinks and it wouldn’t be fun to be out searching for a job. This round of layoffs has little to do with the recession (or economic downturn, or whatever) but it is much easier to find a job in a good market than in a slow market.

Network: One of my former coworkers was classmates with a manager at a neighboring company doing work similar to my last job. My former coworker would speak very highly of me. However his praise would have to be so incredibly glowing that it would overshadow the fact that I accepted then backed out of a previous job offer at that company. (Ahem…, oops.) Possible, yes, but not incredibly likely. I have an old friend at another company in the area who may be able to refer me, but doesn’t work directly in the area I’m in. I have another contact who may be able to refer me to the same company through a less direct route. I also have the option of trying to work remotely for my former company (they offered this when I left, but I think it an unlikely option). T has a lot of contacts from grad school that at least could put my resume into some hands.

Resume: My resume is relatively up to date, as I just started in January. If I were to be layed off it would be less than an hour to get it polished up and ready to tailor to specific applications.

Education: Having my M.S degree in hand would open more doors, but I can’t continue until fall. I’m pretty impatient on this, but there isn’t much more I can do. I have unofficially been accepted to the new program I applied to. Other than that, I could sign up for a second leadership course over the next month or so to network and expand my workplace knowledge.

Work: Work as hard as I can, try to increase my reputation. Keep my ears and eyes open and learn as much as I can. Try to provide as much value as I can on the task that I’m on.

In reality, my job is safe, at a minimum through December according to my manager. At that point, It is possible that we will eventually lose the program I’m on, and perhaps that will require another round of lay-offs. And maybe I’ll be saved, maybe I won’t. You just never know. My finances are in order, I have a marketable skill set (I hope), and there is no reason to panic at this point.  Focus on the job at hand.

Still, it is impossible to hear news like this without getting a tiny sinking feeling in the stomach. I’ve never worked at a company that wasn’t in hiring/growth mode, so things are bound to be a little gloomy for awhile. I’m relatively new here, and I still occasionally have a hard time grasping the bigger picture of the company, though I have caught on to the small picture I need to do my job. At any rate, I’m glad that they have kept the employees well informed about their plans so we don’t have to guess what might happen.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2008 6:45 pm

    While it’s not fun to have to be worried about the possibility of a layoff, it’s great that your company respects you enough to keep you informed. At the very least, you won’t be blindsided when and if changes come down the pipeline. I was pondering the economy and what effect that might have on my probable job search towards the end of the year, and have reached roughly the same conclusions as you have.

  2. May 21, 2008 8:54 pm

    From personal experience let me tell you this. Just start looking for a job because companies are sneaky they can cut you off without giving you any clue in advance as far as who they are going to lay off. They probably already have a list of people they plan to lay off so working really hard is not going to make much difference. However you can keep eye on different programs which might need your skills. I hope you keep your job.

  3. May 22, 2008 5:36 am

    My manager specifically told me that I would not be layed off, so I would be surprised if that was not true. They are being pretty open about their plans (in this case, at least) Come next January, perhaps I would be more worried.

    Either way,[people are getting 60 day notices so I don’t think i need to spend time looking for a job when i would not like to leave this one (unless I have to).

    Keeping my fingers crossed though!


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