Job Search Advice: Always Be Looking

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Layoffs are still happening, people.

I found our last night that the department I used to manage is being “reorganized” and that the three employees I used to supervise were all terminated. They were given 36 hours notice to clear out their things. There was no advanced warning. This is not only a bad move in my opinion but a poorly handled move at that. One of these people has worked in this position for 25 years. Another one is the best person who has ever filled that position.

My question is, as someone who used to be in charge of this unit and as someone who now works very closely with the VP who made this decision, do I have any right to question this action? Would I be speaking truth to power or just sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong (sorry for the cliches)? I understand that the company is struggling financially and that tough decisions have to be made. But this is a unit that has quietly served it purpose quite successfully.

You have every right to question the decisions and the actions of your company; however, they told you what they think of you and your opinion when they made that decision without you. And just because you feel this way doesn’t mean it is true. In your opinion, this action seems like a bad move. Doesn’t feel like they handled it very well, either. You say that one of these people has worked in this position for 25 years and another one is the best person who has ever filled that position. Is that a rational opinion or is it an emotional reaction?

Very few of us have insight into the larger and broader strategic goals — and financial challenges — of our employers. And most of us have an emotional reaction to major changes in our work environment. Even when changes are implemented in strategic and methodical ways, shit still feels awful.

But I will also say that the reader is right — sounds like his company didn’t do a very good job in planning or implementing this layoff.

For my reader: seems like you have a few options.

  • Roll over and accept the company’s decision.
  • Say something knowing that anything you say will not impact the decision and can be used against you when it comes time to evaluate your performance.
  • Look for something new and ‘suck it up’ until you find it.

Layoffs haven’t stopped even though the economy is on an uptick. Alec Baldwin told us to always be closing. I say — always be looking. Next time, it could be you.

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