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I got laid off today (kind of)
Old 02-18-2016, 01:38 PM   #1
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I got laid off today (kind of)

The oil and gas energy is going through some rough times. The company I work for recently announced impending layoffs. I learned today that I will be laid off once the divestitures are final (near the end of this year).

I was not surprised that I would get laid off because I had been open with my discontent. I was surprised though that they wanted to keep me employed until the end of the year even though I don't deal directly with the divestitures.

I was hoping to leave and move on with my life. Of course, if I leave now, I will not be offered a severance package. How do I deal with colleagues knowing I am "let go" but still working for a few more months? I am not looking forward to the coming months. Please share if you have an experience with layoffs + continuance of working.
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Old 02-18-2016, 01:47 PM   #2
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It happened to me and the group I was in a long time ago...

We mostly did financial reporting, but they did not want it anymore so we sat around and played computer games... we did not even try and hide what we were doing.... some started to come in later and go home early, but most came in since we were being paid and we did do some things when asked...


They wanted to new company to decide who was going to be kept and who to let go... I would say half of the group eventually found a job with the new company... some, like me, in a completely new dept...

Some found a job while waiting... the severance was not that great as the company 'went under', but a few got a stay bonus and if they did they did not leave as it was a year of salary....
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Old 02-18-2016, 01:52 PM   #3
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Sounds like time for some nice long lunches to help pass the time during the future days. I would probably be tempted to have some mental health days, not abusing the leave amounts, but taking some.

Do the work, but certainly not the time to work a bunch of longer unpaid OT days.
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Old 02-18-2016, 01:53 PM   #4
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Thanks for your comments Texas Proud.

I would be getting almost five months severance with no healthcare. I am 30 y/o and an accounting professional. I am concerned about continuing in a company where I no longer have a future vs. cutting my losses and looking for a position that sets my career in the direction I want to take it.
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Old 02-18-2016, 01:56 PM   #5
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I'd start looking around for a new job, and if you found something that was ideal, you could always decide then. But you'd have the luxury of being able to evaluate opportunities while still employed, and if you don't find something, at least you'd get some nice severance pay.
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Old 02-18-2016, 01:59 PM   #6
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38Chevy

I do want to still be reliable. It matters to me that I leave knowing I did what I could up until the end.

KatieK

That's a really good idea. I'm going to start looking and see what I can find.
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Old 02-18-2016, 06:07 PM   #7
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I was in a similar situation some years back, as were many of my compadres. One of them managed to nail a new job about 2 months before the severance would have begun. He managed to work a late shift at the new job while finishing out the required months at the old job and collecting the severance package.
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Old 02-18-2016, 06:16 PM   #8
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The Chinese have a saying "ride a horse to look for a horse" - this is a huge gift to you to have so many months to figure out what you want. It is much, much easier to make contacts while you have a job than after. If you want to and are able to retire, use the time to plan and save. If you want to find a job, use the time to network, network and network. It is a huge gift. Yes, you might be bored and feel unused - fine, use the time to be in the business of you.

My final position was an 18-month dead I knew was going to be a dead end from day one. There were some terrible days when I really felt unloved and unused. But most of the time it was a pure and absolute blessing to have a platform to meet people and explore options.


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Old 02-18-2016, 07:28 PM   #9
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Back in the mid 80s corporate made a decision to move our 35 person office from the Boston area to Stamford, CT. We were offered the same job we had in Stamford (same salary, some moving expenses) or 3 months severance. IIRC two people chose to move, the head guy and one lower level guy.

I was actually the last person to leave and stayed about 6 months to oversee the move. As luck would have it, I moved what was left to Stamford on a Thursday and said goodbye to my boss at corporate (we got along well) on Friday I went to my last day of classes for my MBA paid for by the company and on Saturday morning I was jobless (but remained on payroll for 3 months).

I reasonably quickly go another job and double-dipped (collected pay from the old and new employers) for about 6 weeks.
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Old 02-18-2016, 07:39 PM   #10
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Thanks for your comments Texas Proud.

I would be getting almost five months severance with no healthcare. I am 30 y/o and an accounting professional. I am concerned about continuing in a company where I no longer have a future vs. cutting my losses and looking for a position that sets my career in the direction I want to take it.

I would start looking right away unless you think there are opportunities in the new org.... it is better to start in your new job than worry about 5 months severance... you might miss a good opportunity if you do not look... the benefit is that you do not have to take a bad offer if you do not want to...

Everybody where I was working was looking... just a bad job market when it happened...

I actually got laid off and then hired 'back' by the acquiring org the next week...
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Old 02-18-2016, 07:47 PM   #11
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I would start a job search NOW since it is best to look for a job while you have a job. You don't need to disclose that you are being laid off unless they directly ask or you chose to but to me it weakens your bargaining position. If you find something that you want then resign and give them appropriate notice. You owe them nothing other than a reasonable notice that you are leaving their employ.
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Old 02-18-2016, 08:17 PM   #12
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38Chevy

I do want to still be reliable. It matters to me that I leave knowing I did what I could up until the end.
Great attitude! Not only is it important to be true to yourself, but I always found the corporate world was smaller than it seems at first and your reputation follows you. You never know when you may encounter these people again, or whom your coworkers know.
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Old 02-18-2016, 08:35 PM   #13
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I would start a job search NOW since it is best to look for a job while you have a job. You don't need to disclose that you are being laid off unless they directly ask or you chose to but to me it weakens your bargaining position. If you find something that you want then resign and give them appropriate notice. You owe them nothing other than a reasonable notice that you are leaving their employ.

This is really good advice. Not having a job would make it more difficult to negotiate pay (since they think you need a job and will take anything). In my case, though I don't NEED a job, I would like to not have gaps in employment until FI.

I started looking today through recruiter websites. My first real job through recruitment worked out really well. The position I am in now I applied directly with the company. At this point, I don't have a specific company I would want to work for, so I am looking more at job description and pay.

Hopefully it all works out in the end. :')
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Old 02-18-2016, 09:56 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=Dd852;1698744]The Chinese have a saying "ride a horse to look for a horse" - I believe the saying is "ride a cow to look for a horse"
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Old 02-19-2016, 05:46 AM   #15
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Thanks for your comments Texas Proud.

I would be getting almost five months severance with no healthcare. I am 30 y/o and an accounting professional. I am concerned about continuing in a company where I no longer have a future vs. cutting my losses and looking for a position that sets my career in the direction I want to take it.

My opinion - you're likely fairly junior and so at age 30 and in accounting in oil and gas, 5 months of salary is a drop in the lifetime income bucket and probably not worth sticking around for. Especially after taxes get withheld.

You're not likely the only accountant being let go in oil and gas. If you want to stay in the industry and/or in the current location, you're better getting in line quickly while the line is shorter...for the next opportunity ...

Even if you're mobile and willing to go anywhere and do anything it's better to move on with life. A 30 year old shouldn't be "worn out and tired" from work yet -- don't fall into lazy trap and hang around wasting your time for a tiny severance. Look for a new job. You may even make more and offset that small severance in no time. It's only February. December is a year away. Recession could happen. Etc etc

The fastest way to financial freedom is through income .... If you don't have income, the entire game gets delayed.
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Old 02-19-2016, 06:47 AM   #16
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I'm 26 and the same thing happened to me here in Chicago last year. Knew for 18 months they were outsourcing most of the finance department at megacorp and there were no jobs to be had for those of us affected. I spent the time getting my MBA paid for and prepping my resume for the job search. Honestly other than feeling bitter for a few days it was great, people knew I was a dead man walking so most long term projects went to other people. I spent the last 2 mo the on the job openly applying to other companies while at work as well. On my final day I received a 3 month pay severance packaged and a paid for MBA. Started a new job the following Monday so last year was a very nice bump for me.

You said you're 30 and in finance, that seems to be a sweet spot for companies hiring right now. Do you have any certifications like the CPA? Knowing this far in advance would let you grab another item to help you stand out in the job market or even get a little bump in pay as well.

With time to plan you can make this layoff a real plus for you. It's not like they told you today that you're all fired and there is no severance
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:04 AM   #17
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Look at this as a positive opportunity. It is never fun being laid off. You have at least a paid 6 month head start on finding another job.


Others mentioned about networking if you want to stay in the Oil and Gas Industry, maybe there is another industry you may want to work in, Health Care, Manufacturing.... There is a lot out there and you have been given a chance to carefully think, consider your options.


Slow down a little bit and make your plans, then work your plans.


These next few months are going help you get better at handling life, it happens to us all, bad news can be made to work for us instead of against us.


I've been through similar experiences as this since the late 70s. I also started off being laid off from a job in the Oil and Gas industry.


Just keep moving forward on your goals, count your blessings along the way, you will be a better employee or employer because of this happenstance.


Best of Luck to you.
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:11 AM   #18
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if I were in that situation I'd try and get a job with one of the big accounting firms


do you have a working relationship with your company's external auditor? that's where I'd start
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:15 AM   #19
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My opinion - you're likely fairly junior and so at age 30 and in accounting in oil and gas, 5 months of salary is a drop in the lifetime income bucket and probably not worth sticking around for. Especially after taxes get withheld.

You're not likely the only accountant being let go in oil and gas. If you want to stay in the industry and/or in the current location, you're better getting in line quickly while the line is shorter...for the next opportunity ...

Even if you're mobile and willing to go anywhere and do anything it's better to move on with life. A 30 year old shouldn't be "worn out and tired" from work yet -- don't fall into lazy trap and hang around wasting your time for a tiny severance. Look for a new job. You may even make more and offset that small severance in no time. It's only February. December is a year away. Recession could happen. Etc etc

The fastest way to financial freedom is through income .... If you don't have income, the entire game gets delayed.
To the OP, this is good advice. Not that I'd say run out and take the first job you find. I would use the near term to network with people in the field, sharpen up your resume in multiple forms (for different industries), investigate the areas that are hiring and figure out what you are really interested in.
I went though a location closure a couple years back. Most employees work output dropped dramatically. One guy was oblivious to the layoff... we figured it was shock. It likely took a couple months to a year before he figured out he was laid off . I cut my hours back to about 9 hours a day and kept working on the projects that I had for the company. I figured that is what they were paying me for. On my last day I was read out at 9AM, but continued working until 2:30PM, at that time I noted I need to pack my stuff (I was allowed to leave anytime after being read out (exit interview). I spend my down time trying to figure out what I wanted to do next as I could not move and my primary area of expertise was not in high demand locally anymore.

If you have to stay local, I would likely start looking quickly if there are many more like you becoming available. If you are mobile, I would really sort of what and where you want to be and work toward making that happen.

I ended up taking a remote job that allowed me to stay local but use my expertise. It did not require much more travel than my previous job.

Good luck on your future choices.
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:44 AM   #20
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if I were in that situation I'd try and get a job with one of the big accounting firms


do you have a working relationship with your company's external auditor? that's where I'd start
While the Big 4 do some experienced hires it is difficult to get in there unless one is coming out of school with great grades, has past Big 4 experience or has some unique experience (some of which the OP may have... don't know). I did move from industry to Big 4 consulting (with our external audit firm) in my mid-40s as a result of some unique industry experience and relationships from some professional committee work, but it is not common.

But there is no harm in chasing that avenue as long as the OP is prepared to work hard.
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