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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Is losing a job is terrible experience? Turn it into an opportunity!

In last couple of months, we have heard lots of job cuts/layoffs in various field. According to Techcrunch, 80,076 job eliminations have been announced or completed since the beginning of the year in the tech industry. The total number of tech layoffs since late August is now 195,856. The number is big and is growing fast.

No one likes to be told to leave the job. But the reality is that it happens every day in the corporate world more so in the bad economy. Those who are asked to pack up aren’t always non-performers. There are several reasons behind it!
(a) company is not performing well.
(b) employees are overqualified
(c) their position has become redundant because the company does not want to pursue the project/business that they were involved in etc.

When I was working with my previous employer, I got a chance to have a quick look of this situation. See some example below.

(a) I was a part of technical team while interviewing a Sr. Developer. There were two positions open and the person was hired with high expectation. Considering seniority of the hired person, second position was closed. The same person got fired after 4 months due to tech layoffs started at company. The clear reason I see here is; "The person failed to perform his duty well or the expectations were too high for him"

(b) two or three employees got best performance award and those too got laid off. I still don’t understand why they laid off.

(c) So many senior persons from middle management resigned. What could be the reason? "Fear of being laid off?"

(d) Some senior persons from top management got fired. Clear reason - "Cost cutting / changes in management to apply new strategies"

Those who got fired were either fresher, experienced persons - who recently joined company or top management executives.

Apart from this if good employees get laid off; means company is really not performing well and cash flow is not enough to survive.

The firing news can hit you hard. Shock and anger are usual feelings, however in some cases it can lead to depression too. One of my colleague had postponed his marriage due to layoff news. How do you cope up with such negative feelings? How do you tell yourself and the world that you are a capable professional? That you have what it takes to be successful.

Some suggestions to handle this situation.

(a) Don't Blame Yourself. Have confidence in yourself. See the job loss as an opportunity to make a new beginning. Job is part of life; but life is not part of job.

(b) Always have a network of good industry friends/contacts. It is this network that you can tap into when you suddenly find yourself on road with no job in hands.

(c) Manage Finances Well.

(d) Even if you are safe; stay in touch with your work technology. This will help you to survive in bad time.

(e) Talk to your HR to help you in finding new job. At our company, management gave good compensation to employees who got laid off and also, they made arrangement with job consultant to help who got fired. You may feel so angry and upset that you don't want to take any help whatsoever from the same employer who gave you the pink slip at the first place, but relationship matters.

(f) Lots of people are there who believe that "You are fired means you are not performing well", but I see - scenario is changed now. People understand that this is not the only reason why employee gets fired. After layoff at our company I interviewed two employees who got laid off recently from another well-known IT company. One of them got selected after interview due to his capabilities. So, be sincere and honest with the prospective employers about your last job. It's always better that they hear the truth from you than from someone else.

Have confidence in your abilities and move on.


  1. Tips are so nice.Self trust is the first key to the success.This is down time for economy and market.These bad days will change.Have confidence in your self skills and abilities.


  2. Very good article!! I did same as you advice ;)