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Old 06-04-2008, 03:59 PM   #21
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Within the private section, I think "job security" is just an illusion. In small companies you may be more exposed to individual persons whims, but in large ones you may fall a victim to never ending re-orgs and re-alignments.
Exactly right.

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I disagree that 50+ employees who opted to "stay put" with an employer for a long time are "safe". I have seen scores of folks being let go within days/weeks from pension eligibility, all the while the company was making significant profits (albeit less than originally fore casted). The reason? In my opinion, their large salaries (was presented as no longer needing that particular title/function).... older employees are not treated as an asset, but rather as a liability. Also, due solely to their age, they are considered not to be (and unable to be) on the "bleeding edge". Consequently, such employees are less desirable.
Cf. William Heffernan, The Dinosaur Club.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:26 PM   #22
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You may have job security in a large company if you are being rated in the top 10 to 20%. But needs for specialties can change rather quickly especially in tech fields.

I remember one older guy telling workers (in a large group gathering) that he purposely interviewed with outside companies once per year to keep himself sharp and aware and connected. Bet he let his bosses know about this too.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:05 PM   #23
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Biggest "defense" is to keep yourself marketable - internally and externally. Pretty obvoius stuff: develop good contacts, education credentials, broad skills base, etc
Sounds like a lot of w*rk. A better 'defence' might be to LBYM and achieve FIRE.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:43 PM   #24
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Sounds like a lot of w*rk. A better 'defence' might be to LBYM and achieve FIRE.
Plenty of years between starting a job and that point though
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:39 PM   #25
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The references to 'top x%' and 'quartile' are all too familiar in my corporate job. The fact that we are ranked against our peers, the outcome determining who gets canned and who gets a raise should be enough to tell you that none of us are secure.

My own bizarre challenge is to lower myself out of success lest I end up in management before I can FIRE! This is more a result of being surrounded by ineptitude than by any drive to climb the ladder. I guess I need to screw something up!
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Old 06-05-2008, 01:24 PM   #26
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My small company experience in sales that management routinely tries to weed out poor performers (bottom 10-20%) of sales people by busting b*lls or outright firing.

I've only been with a big company a few years and I'm out in the field (sales) so if I'm being compared no-one's telling me.
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Old 06-05-2008, 01:58 PM   #27
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My small company experience in sales that management routinely tries to weed out poor performers (bottom 10-20%) of sales people by busting b*lls or outright firing.
Blake: "We're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody want to see second prize? [Holds up prize] Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired."
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:21 PM   #28
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30 years at Megacorp
my philosophy was 'I was looking for a job when I found this one'
Had at least 4 'careers' in the 30 years
Megacorp evolved to a paternalistic 'j*b for life' environment to a quarterly job 'right-sizing' one
Went from hard to fire anyone to good performers better be 'connected' if your unit was 'targeted'
Truisms (at least from my viewpoint)
top performers (with good/current skills) with good networks could always find a job
no unit was immune from 'rightsizing'

so the moral to the story is
- keep updating your skills and stay relevant
- build your network
- be the top performer
and you should be in good shape
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:21 PM   #29
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Blake: "We're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody want to see second prize? [Holds up prize] Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired."
That is management by fear, and although I have never been in sales, I have seen it in action. The practice is deplorable. It communicates to the good performers just how badly they may be treated if they hit a rough spot.
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:32 PM   #30
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Blake: "Put. That. Coffee. Down. Coffee's for closers only."
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:03 PM   #31
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megacorp -firee - what developed in your megacorp to transform it from paternalistic to no job security? -in what period of time and in what industry?
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:43 AM   #32
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The best way to stay empl*yed after 50 is to work cheap. Frequently the old f@rts are the priciest w*rkers.

The greed and desperation at businesses hasn't half begun.

It's interesting to see the vultures that prey on the permanently laid-off. Such former w*rkers frequently appear like poll-axed steers, terribly embarrassed and frightened they have terminally fallen from grace. (Most have.)
All sorts of financial scams, such as franchises, have been created to separate them from their savings and restore their former glory. Sadly, these schemes usually drag them into the pit.

The situation would make for a good book.
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:15 PM   #33
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megacorp -firee - what developed in your megacorp to transform it from paternalistic to no job security? -in what period of time and in what industry?
Went from Big fish in small pond (no competition, HUGE margins) to Big fish in Big pond (lottsa competition and lower margins). Slow to respond to marketplace due to megacorp bureacracy. Went from 'couldn't fire anyone unless you caught them with hand in the cash register or bending a colleague over the desk to 'rightsizing' and quarterly repeats across the different divisions.
1977 to 2007. 1990's was the start of it all and have seen no let-up.
computer/software development/manufacture, sales & service, ... added consulting services in the 90's.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:24 PM   #34
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What are your experiences in large corporations?
In the past few years I know many over 50 colleagues who have lost their jobs with my Megacorp. Most went looking for new jobs and were really pi**ed at being laid off.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:40 PM   #35
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Perhaps some large companies have enough bureaucracy to create more "security" ... but this is less and less common, in my experience. The sluggish, larger companies can't afford such luxuries as they compete in the market.

Whether you call them layoffs or firings, it matters relatively little. When one is in their 50's and not FIRED already, the risks are great in our current world. Tough situation.

Indeed ... save, save, save, and pray you don't suffer any financial setbacks at the wrong stage of life. They can be nearly fatal.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:53 PM   #36
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Whether you call them layoffs or firings, it matters relatively little. When one is in their 50's and not FIRED already, the risks are great in our current world. Tough situation.

Indeed ... save, save, save, and pray you don't suffer any financial setbacks at the wrong stage of life. They can be nearly fatal.
That's my worry now that I've reached 49. I've seen numerous layoffs in our company the past 6 months, albeit much less the last couple. If I get laid off before I turn 53, I lose a lot. I lose all employer contributions to retiree medical (50% of premiums paid at 53, 60% at 55 when I plan to FIRE). I would also end up with a significantly reduced non-COLA pension.

With the high cost of living and housing here in the Bay Area and a high school freshman still 3 years away from college, I have my fingers crossed for the next 3 years, 9 months, and 27 days. Not that I'm counting ...
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:02 AM   #37
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Depends on the company and industry.

I feel secure in my job... but one never knows.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:09 AM   #38
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The real source of "security" is your "savings and skills"

I was talking to a guy that owns a car dealership - he said the courts have really "swung full tilt" to the employer in firing lawsuits.

Years ago he used to need to be very careful, methodical and fully document the process of firing someone - in fear of some successful wrongful discharge lawsuit.

Now a days, he says it is "simply screaming you're outta here".......

As the unemployment rises, there's only going to be more power in the employer.

Repeat out loud: LBYM LBYM LBYM
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:47 AM   #39
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No question being with the same company for life is less likely today, and getting less likely all the time. However, I have been (fortunately) with the same company for my entire 31 year career, so it still happens.

Companies don't have the choice to offer lifetime employment in today's global economy, and it's not going to get any easier. There are exceptions but for the most part it's not a question of companies becoming greedier and/or less loyal to employees, it's just not an viable option for most companies anymore. Not surprisingly, employees are less loyal to companies these days as well. And not surprisingly, it's wise for employees to keep their skills, resumes, connections up to date at all times. Welcome to the global economy, no way to avoid it...
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:11 AM   #40
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It's interesting to see the vultures that prey on the permanently laid-off. Such former w*rkers frequently appear like poll-axed steers, terribly embarrassed and frightened they have terminally fallen from grace. (Most have.)

All sorts of financial scams, such as franchises, have been created to separate them from their savings and restore their former glory. Sadly, these schemes usually drag them into the pit.

The situation would make for a good book.
A book on the topic has indeed been published (although I don't claim that it is particularly good): Barbara Ehrenreich's Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream (2005).
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