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I survived the second round of layoffs in my area this year...

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Since 2001 the company I work for has been laying people off (I didn't work for them then, I was a contractor with a team of employees. I sold the contract and secured employment at the company for my team after the second round of layoffs. So far we're all still here). We haven't gone one month since the first layoffs without hearing about another round somewhere in the company.

This year, in our area alone, there have been two layoffs, this last one got about 7% of the people still left.

In our kids' school they laid off three teachers, and hired one at a much less cost. Since my wife works in the schools those ones are hitting us quite personally as well, especially considering our youngest's teacher was one of those laid off.

With major companies still laying people off, the government either laying off or not back-filling jobs, mediocre growth, and no real production (service economy doesn't really produce stuff), it's hard to feel "good" about what is going on in the economy right now. A portion of my bleak outlook has been watching friends leave the company whom I know to be excellent employees. I hope they all find a soft spot to land...

Just thought I'd put in my two-cents worth as to why you still see me talking about the crappy economy while others see "awesomeness" just around the corner. With friends still losing jobs, my house still down in value by about 45%, and more foreclosure warnings sent to our HOA (I'm one of the board), I see continued hard times and it gives me a grimmer outlook than I normally enjoy.

Keep your chin up, work hard, get laid off anyway seems to be the message of the day...

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  1. Mott the Hoople's Avatar
    What is driving me nuts is that corporate American is doing great. The company I work for....or rather used to work for (I'll get back to that) has showed very strong growth through the first 3 qtr's of the fiscal year and my semi-annual bonus check was larger then usual. This has been the 10th quarter in a row they have showed continued growth but have they hired? No, in fact they are laying off. The only places they are hiring are in plants that they are building in China and South America.

    So what happened? Well earlier this year they sold off the division of the company I work for to a Texas based venture capital group. They are known for buying companies with growth potential, injecting them with capital and then selling them at a profit. They don't chop companies up and sell the assets as what often happens in mergers and aquisitions but that doesn't mean whomever they eventually sell us off to won't do that or that redundant positions won't be created.

    Speaking of redundant, and this is how I avoided being laid off. My former company used the assets from the sale of our division to purchase another company more alligned with their current market strategy. This however did create redundant positions. They announced last week that their will be 1500 permanent lay offs. Considering they have only 4000 employees....that's steep man! So, dodged a bullet there. That don't make me feel any better, lots of good people are going to lose their jobs and the market is particularly tough out there. Particularly if you can't relocate.

    So I'm taking this as a wake up call. It's time to update my skills and to focus on networking. I may even consider jumping ship even though that means sacrificing my seniority and the associated benefits (which are substantial) but may be necessary to stay ahead of the employment curve (or should I say unemployment?). On the upside I've been working on my professional development. The organization that certifies the professional credential I hold recently offered me the significant honor of chairing their examination committee. Considering the qualifications, experience and caliber or the other committee members I was very flattered with the offer and accepted. On the skill side I'm working on updating my computer skills by becoming proficient with SAP and SalesForce.Com. I am NOT the biggest fan in the world of SAP. I think their are quite a few relational databases that are superior. I think Oracles web based platform comes to mind. Be that as it may, it's becoming an industry standard in manufacturing. Since I work a lot in project management learning SFDC has proved quite a surprise. For once we have a real process generating real data and feedback where by process control can be implemented in the sales and marketing process. Sales Reps hate it but everyone else loves it because giving sales people authority over process control is like giving a machine gun to a monkey.

    The good think about having professional credentials is that if the worst should happen and a lay off occur, I don't have to go to work for someone else. I can be self employed and that's where working in networking comes in. To that affect I've become more active in my professional association and have taken a leadership position and I have been active on "" focusing on building relationships with people in my field.

    I may go that way anyways as I find myself rather unsuited for corporate life where mediocrity is the norm.