Hi! We’re on our 3rd part of the ongoing series entitled “Dealing With Layoffs.”
We’ve seen in the past few days how massive changes have affected the lives of people in the work place. Many industries have been affected. All because technological developments have suddenly rendered them obsolete. Remember how long it took us to have our landlines installed? Remember when we used to fight with “party lines?” And now I cannot even remember my home land line numbers and for the life of me I cannot understand why credit card companies would ask me to enumerate them to verify my identity.
Take the travel agency industry for instance. With one click on the mouse a traveler can scout for the latest promotional deal certain airlines are offering. You can book for your flight, choose your seat preference pay with your credit card on a secured site and enjoy the savings you would not have had because agencies in the past kept it to themselves. This eliminates the middleman’s profits and the travelers get to enjoy it. The fact is that there are many travel agencies that are going out of business.
Suddenly the big 3 car companies are asking for a government bailout.
Finance companies with hundred of years of history and reliability behind them declared bankruptcy. These are all interruptions that come into play. Both because technology have made it possible and also because of the human greed factor that comes into play. But that is not what we are going to talk about.
Elbert Hubbard was right. He says that the world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.
But Alfred North Whitehead says it better. “The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.” Maybe this is the reason why many companies can no longer compete. They are still stuck with the old model of doing business.
But then again there are those who are affected by conditions beyond their control.
The recent economic meltdown is one such situation.
Today we’ll talk about the realities behind job layoffs. There are 2 basic things you have to know about job layoffs:
1. SOME LAYOFFS ARE COMPLETELY UNAVOIDABLE.
Perhaps the company is no longer involved in the part of the business in which you have worked. Some companies scrapped their entire sales force because of their new retail concession/consignment arrangements. Suppliers deal directly with retail stores or distributors and then suddenly the middle man called “the salesman” finds himself or herself in a career that no longer exists. Just think about this. How many bank tellers would have been added to the industry had there been no invention of Automated teller Machines?
Perhaps in a merger, your work becomes a redundancy. In an age where the flattening of the organization becomes a requirement for survival, certain people would have to be let go.
2. IT CANNOT SUPPORT MORE THAN THE MOST ELEMENTARY OPERATIONS.
The recent economic crunch that has affected so many companies will now have to do everything within its power not to grow their business but to simply survive the hard times. Bankruptcy, companies becoming insolvent. Maybe because of over-expansion and then the expected sales were canceled. Many because of the current economic crisis. And you find yourself in a company that can no longer support its elementary operations and thus, certain people will have to be laid off and you are one of them. These are conditions beyond your control.
The purpose of this series is not to engage anyone in a debate whether job layoffs are justified or not. That is not my point and nobody benefits from such argument. The purpose of this study is to study principles on how we respond correctly if we are caught in a situation such as this.
Just remember this. If you are asked to leave, it’s in your best interest to keep your cool. Resist the temptation to blow up at your employer. Sure, it’s unlikely you’ll ever be asked back to your job, but there is that saying about burning bridges, remember?
Keep your cool. You’re going to need it in order to let this study penetrate your mind.
The French have a saying: they say that anger is a bad counselor. And they’re right!