Bad news. This company is closing… these people laid off from work… that’s all I get to see when I watch the business channel. Bits and pieces of bad news. Bite-size tragedies. News reports that prick your heart and make your head spin. This is why we need to refrain from watching the news before we hit the bed.
This reminds me of a conversation that transpired between husband and wife one evening. Tired from work, weary from traffic the husband sat down on his favorite chair, held up his remote control device and said to his wife, “Your choice Sweetheart. Do you want to watch the 6 o’clock news and suffer from indigestion or do you want to watch the 11 o’clock news and suffer from insomnia?” Either way it’s bad news all the way.
But dealing with bad news doesn’t mean you shut yourself off from the reality of what’s happening. You need courage to face it yet you need a healthy perspective on dealing with it. This is why this series we will be starting today, has something to do with an obvious fact of reality that is hitting a lot of people in our country today. The reality of mass layoffs, business closures as well as downsizing.
So people are declared redundant. Jobs disappear. Retrenchments are happening. I deal with HR people all the time and I do know the situation. So what happens if you happen to be part of the people who got laid off from you job?
How do you deal with the situation?
This is what we will be talking about in our series entitled: “Dealing With Layoffs.”
Times are hard but when was life easy anyway?
Somehow the experience we had during the 1997 financial crisis that hit Asia has given all of us a crash course on the uncertainty of times. I can still remember when Japanese companies pride themselves in having perpetual employment. Once somebody is employed, they remained employed forever. This thing no longer exists. Not even in Japan, a country whose top companies used to make business forecasts and planning to the tune of a hundred years. Yes. You heard me right. Read business histories. They used to plan things for the next 100 years but that was when things were predictable. When competition was local and when words such as stress, multi-tasking, 24/7, on-line, bluetooth were still unknown.
It’s a different world now. Early retirement plans and bonuses are now part of corporate deals. And so what happens if you happen to be one of those told to leave because your job is now declared redundant?
New things are happening in the work place. Let me rattle off some information for you.
If you’ve read a fashion magazine on the “What’s In and What’s Out in Fashion,” there is a similar thing happening in the work place.
I just visited Silicon Valley recently. There are so many changes taking place. Let me give them to you.
What’s out are cubicles. What’s in are open work spaces.
What’s out are departments. What’s in are “Projects.” There will come a time when you no longer ask a person, “What department are you connected?” But you would likely ask, “What project are you working on now?”
What’s out are corporate work clothes and uniform. What’s in are casual clothes.
What’s out are casual Fridays and as my friend James Matti from a highly respected international consulting company would say, “What’s in is Thursday is the new Friday.”
Perhaps relevant to our series is the fact that white collar jobs are taking the blow. This is why lay-offs and retrenchment hits this area heavily.