Handling a Layoff
I just got an email from a friend whose company started layoffs and will continue layoffs due to the credit bubble coming apart.
Back long ago when I was paid to make paper airplanes and play checkers (strange story – for another time), I used to work at Boeing. Boeing is a company that lives in boom / bust cycles and layoffs were a fact of life.
An interesting fact I learned is: it’s not a bad deal to be in the first lay off wave, since it’s easier to find new work (the markets haven’t been flooded yet by other people). Also you tend to get better incentives to go at the start of any problem… Ironically, I found it to be a problem that I was considered “valuable” and not laid off. The company used fear on its workers, telling us to be happy since we had a job and then treated workers without respect. So I did some calculations and determined it was best to leave in the first wave and not the other waves. This is often true, unless of course you really love your job… then you should stay. So when I stopped liking the job and it stopped being fun, I left immediately since bullshit is bullshit and is not pay in the least.
So I need to reinforce this lesson to anyone being laid off:
Don’t take it personally. It’s not a reflection of you… it’s a reflection of poor management practices and chaos.
It’s only a reflection of you, if you were doing a poor job. If this was the case… This means you are probably not in the right job to fit who you are. This leads me to the second lesson:
Being laid off from work can be good for some individuals. If you were not happy in the job or were doing poorly… getting laid off can be the event or burst of energy required to help a person redefine their life… not towards work , but towards what you want to be! I know many people who are doing what they love now in their new work… because of the energy given to them from being laid off.
The lesson being: be open to possibilities. When something seemingly bad happens, it’s always possible, always, to make it a positive event! It isn’t easy… but it’s a good way to approach the problem while looking for new work.