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  1. #1
    Once Was Synarch's Avatar
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    Default How do you deal with layoffs and RIFs?

    Several years ago I worked in an industry where we had layoffs typically twice a year. I always enjoyed them in a bizarre way. It was exciting. I knew enough to realize that I could find another job and I knew also that the decision making was rather arbitrary so rather than worry about it, plan for it. Make contacts with other companies, save money, etc.

    Like you say, it was interesting to note the differences among people. I was always disappointed by the politicking to improve survivability.

    When the company announced they were closing our studio, rather than relocate, I asked to be laid off. I had already had a job lined up with a competitor starting the week after closure. So, I got a few months severance, double pay for the months leading to closure, and I transitioned in to a new job.

    In my experience, banking on job security is a bad idea. It also taught me never to be loyal to a company. If you look at the leaders of any company, you will see they are less likely to be loyal as well.

    The part that is annoying is that "caring" people act just as selfishly as "cold" people. Through every layoff, I've always been amused by how the "nice" people got the knives out when it came down to them or someone else. You could see them struggling with it, but at the end of the day all the niceness was just a veneer of convenience. Maybe that's why I enjoyed them.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

  2. #2
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    Several years ago I worked in an industry where we had layoffs typically twice a year. I always enjoyed them in a bizarre way. It was exciting. I knew enough to realize that I could find another job and I knew also that the decision making was rather arbitrary so rather than worry about it, plan for it. Make contacts with other companies, save money, etc.

    Like you say, it was interesting to note the differences among people. I was always disappointed by the politicking to improve survivability.

    When the company announced they were closing our studio, rather than relocate, I asked to be laid off. I had already had a job lined up with a competitor starting the week after closure. So, I got a few months severance, double pay for the months leading to closure, and I transitioned in to a new job.

    In my experience, banking on job security is a bad idea. It also taught me never to be loyal to a company. If you look at the leaders of any company, you will see they are less likely to be loyal as well.

    The part that is annoying is that "caring" people act just as selfishly as "cold" people. Through every layoff, I've always been amused by how the "nice" people got the knives out when it came down to them or someone else. You could see them struggling with it, but at the end of the day all the niceness was just a veneer of convenience. Maybe that's why I enjoyed them.
    Did you notice any typological differences when it came for jockeying to be in a better position?
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Did you notice any typological differences when it came for jockeying to be in a better position?
    With me people tend to do all the jockeying for me. I end up putting myself in a position where others take it upon themselves to do this for me I am guessing because of my dedication and hard work to help that person.

  4. #4
    Once Was Synarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Did you notice any typological differences when it came for jockeying to be in a better position?
    The main thing I noticed is that some people sat around (SFJ types) commiserating and hand wringing together, while other types (NTP) went to work on a solution, talking to other departments, digging for info. NTJ types seemed the most nonplussed, I think because they were the typically the most hard-working AND capable.
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

  5. #5
    Crazy Diamond Billy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    Several years ago I worked in an industry where we had layoffs typically twice a year. I always enjoyed them in a bizarre way. It was exciting. I knew enough to realize that I could find another job and I knew also that the decision making was rather arbitrary so rather than worry about it, plan for it. Make contacts with other companies, save money, etc.

    Like you say, it was interesting to note the differences among people. I was always disappointed by the politicking to improve survivability.

    When the company announced they were closing our studio, rather than relocate, I asked to be laid off. I had already had a job lined up with a competitor starting the week after closure. So, I got a few months severance, double pay for the months leading to closure, and I transitioned in to a new job.

    In my experience, banking on job security is a bad idea. It also taught me never to be loyal to a company. If you look at the leaders of any company, you will see they are less likely to be loyal as well.

    The part that is annoying is that "caring" people act just as selfishly as "cold" people. Through every layoff, I've always been amused by how the "nice" people got the knives out when it came down to them or someone else. You could see them struggling with it, but at the end of the day all the niceness was just a veneer of convenience. Maybe that's why I enjoyed them.
    "You have to be trusted, by the people that you lie to, so that when they turn their backs on you, you get the chance to put the knife in."

  6. #6
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    The main thing I noticed is that some people sat around (SFJ types) commiserating and hand wringing together, while other types (NTP) went to work on a solution, talking to other departments, digging for info. NTJ types seemed the most nonplussed, I think because they were the typically the most hard-working AND capable.
    Yeah, I've definitely done the commiseration thing, but I've also been applying for jobs steadily once I first received absolute confirmation about the RIFs.

    I'm wondering if the older people and directors who are typically the ones who feel invulnerable to RIFs (although I think this last one shook a few people), are resting on their laurels and coasting on past glory. I've noticed some of them bottlenecking information to create job security. Things like not giving out contact information or CC'ing other integral employees on emails to contractors and vendors so that they're in complete control of a process. Man, I learning so much!

    And watching what people are doing, I can't blame them. This is the definition of self-preservation and self-interest. I don't expect any sacrificial lambs to rise from the ranks and say "Take me! Spare them their jobs!" This is a period of time that is bringing out traits and characteristics in people that under better circumstances wouldn't be an issue. Maybe it's me, but saying just do good work and be a "good" employee is not saving people's jobs. I haven't reconciled what lengths one should go to to preserve their job and still remain honorable.

    This may require a new thread so I'll split.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  7. #7
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Honestly I tend to be kind of blaise about it; there's not much I can do, it's out of my control, and in general I'm such a good employee that I know I won't be the first of the bunch to be laid off (assuming we all perform the same role), and I tend to know who of the bunch probably would get the axe if our particular team would be hit (I've worked in the past for a company who had layoffs on a couple of occasions, but my particular team was not impacted).

    I'll express empathy and listen to those who do need to vent a bit and are distressed, but in general I tend to shy away when things become too gossipy; if there's a group of people talking about it and I've been there for 5 minutes listening, etc, I'll duck away and leave them to continue venting/discussing. It's sort of a waste of energy/my energy to stress about all of it when ultimately it's out of my hands.

    I guess I have a more 'cold' view of corporations/business....it's just one of those things, it's in the nature of a business and how it operates. Layoffs happen on occasion. (and honestly...I wouldn't have minded if my team would have been impacted by layoffs last year so I could have volunteered to be axed, rather than my voluntary resignation, because at least then I could have gotten unemployment benefits!! haha)
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  8. #8
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    The main thing I noticed is that some people sat around (SFJ types) commiserating and hand wringing together
    It's hard for SFJs.

    I've just been talking to one who is very close to me, who is basically being run through the wringer at a place where she has worked loyally for ten or more years. She was always dedicated, more than the other employees and even most of the managers, although she was only office staff; and I had discussed with her how she was giving them far more than they were giving her; but she just has an insanely strong work ethic.

    Now they are trying to basically run her out, as far as either of us can tell, by increasing her work hours past what they know she can handle and/or doesn't want, taking away duties that were hers and that she did well and giving them to less qualified people, etc. I think it's because they pay her too much for the nature of her position, and in that business they really don't want overqualified or overdedicated staff due to the bottom line.

    She is absolutely devastated and even bitter, she spent a long time in denial and then just wondering how they could do such a thing to her. Being practical and persistent, she did her best to make her needs known to them and was promptly rebuffed, and now she's been looking for other work while jumping through these hoops until she has an escape route but...

    ... no, there is no such thing as company loyalty.

    I learned that lesson very early in my career, and I also was fairly pragmatic to begin with. But loyalty is everything to her; she gave them her best, which was SO better than what many others gave...and they devalued her contributions, in her mind, now.

    SFJ just usually has this expectation of devotion, commitment, and relational fairness. Even when someone breaks faith, it seems very difficult for them to accept the change and move on. Change is strongly resisted. Even when the other side is faithless, the stronger ones STILL try to adhere to their OWN promise of fidelity.

    .... as for me, now that I have gotten past some massive lack of self-confidence issues, I'm much more pragmatic. My basic plan is to see the ship sinking early, and have an exit strategy planned... but as my self-confidence continues to increase, I start looking for better ships to sail on even if my old one is running okay. I won't leave people in the lurch but I won't hesitate much to go to a better place for me, nowadays. I just want to keep things FAIRLY stable once I'm there and make sure there are no leaks in the boat that might catch me off-guard.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    I have armed myself against it as thoroughly as possible, I'm satisfied beyond a doubt about that. Now it's just a matter of que sera, sera. I'm thinking live it up on what's left of my 401k and then put a gun to my head.

    Hey. At least I have a plan.

  10. #10
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Some wisdom from my 90 year old friend, Anne, applies to life in many ways, including jobs:

    "It's best to leave the party while you're still having fun."

    This translates to:

    "It's best to find a new (and better, hopefully) job BEFORE you lose your current one."

    There is no loyalty in the private sector. There is loyalty in the public sector, but there is alot of clique networking and politicking. In general, if you have a public sector job, and what you know is complicated and technical, you have decent job security, but no job is totally secure.

    I have always been an industrious man. I have always worked side jobs to make extra cash. While my kids were real young I worked full time as a systems analyst for an IT company, part time as a waiter at a BBQ restaurant, and worked weekends cleaning houses, DJing at bars, and landscaping, so my wifey could stay home with our beautiful little rugrats. Even when I was younger I worked as such because I have champagne tastes.

    When it comes to money, never put all your eggs into one basket. Create as many streams of revenue as you can at once. It never hurts to have spare coinage around.
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