Punk Rock HR Secrets: Job Loss

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I’ve been asked to elaborate on how & why people are chosen for layoffs — and how readers can avoid being selected for elimination. I wish I had a simple answer, but there is no single process that determines how Americans are laid off.

  • Here’s a good rule of thumb: jobs are eliminated — not people.

Most companies look at their workforce by roles, not by people. Organizations determine which roles will be needed in the future and make tough employment decisions accordingly. This is why talented and innovative people are laid off on a regular basis while chumps and nimrods are retained. In order to avoid accusations of discrimination and bias, most companies will look at the job and try to avoid eliminating a specific person.

That being said, companies will try to find a way to fire assholes during these layoffs. It’s called ‘cleaning house’ or ‘taking out the trash’. The company recognizes that it made a poor hiring decision, and instead of trying to address the performance issue, it will lay the employee off.

You can be pretty sure that you’ll lose your job if you are an asshole (or your boss thinks you’re an asshole).

Feel better? Feel worse? The most important point to remember: you control your behaviors, not your fate. If you want to control your employment status, it’s time to start thinking about how you can opt-out of Corporate America and turn your passions & skills into your own company.

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