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Job Boat is Rocking in the wrong way!
Old 07-21-2011, 03:35 PM   #1
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Job Boat is Rocking in the wrong way!

Over the last few months, I've grown concerned about the direction of my job (not career). I've always known "telecommuting" within my organization caused career limitation, but I've gained 18 months of increased quality time with family, especially with my DW and young kids.

On Tuesday we had our normal monthly team meeting where everyone travels to the office from different parts of the US to meet to discuss common goals and approaches. During the meeting HR was bought in to inform us that all our positions were being eliminated. New positions will be drafted and we will be allowed to submit our resume, all candidates will be considered. (Didn't get the warm and fuzzy that internal staff would get any preference). We have 30 days in our current jobs to see how this plays out.

Disclaimer - there have been some personality issues on reporting structure by many people which I excluded myself. I've always worked in a matrix structure and everyone is my boss or client. I feel this is the easy way out for management. Currently, I'll be applying for internal and external positions. Also, a friend in Finance told me that Leadership wants to see a 15% salary reduction for the company by 2013.

Now as I wait for the internal and external responses to application/resume, I have to consider:

Potential jobs... Manager/Senior Manager ($125k + bonus with travel) role vs. Specialist ($110k + smaller bonus no travel with pension potential of 10% annual contribution - two different companies)?

By simple math, it's $125k vs $121k if the pension is paid. The severance pay would allow me to be breakeven for a few years so it's not terrible.

I'm studying the benefits impact on my current PTO bank, health, dental, 401k, FSA, HSA, etc. I'm good with 6 months emergency fund with access to another year without extreme reduction of lifestyle.

Any suggestions for me to consider?

If you've been in this situation, what did you consider as total job compensation... beyond just salary.

Side note - At current pace, I would be FI in 6 years, but that may be impacted.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:49 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about the RIF....

I think you have a good handle on the situation....

I would not even consider the difference in salary as they are so close... I would look at quality of life and potential.... to me, quality of life is more important and when I was RIFED I took a job with a small company at a lower salary.... but the commute etc. are much better...

Funny, but in a way I was telecommuting at my office... I reported to someone at corporate and only met them when everybody got together... if they would have allowed I could have done the job from home.... but alas, it was not to be...
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:51 PM   #3
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:04 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear about the job

I had theis happen to me; we got a new CIO and she posted everyone's jobs and told us we need to apply. Everyone applied, but only 4 of the 40+ people got a job and she brought in all new people. I was asked to stay and train my replacement for a month. My replacement offered me a contract position which I took since I did not have a new job. That lasted about a month than I got a new job and had to quit the contract.

What was good was they paid my bonus, vacation, sick time, and serverance, 401k match, and corbra, and contract pay; these things helped since I was able to put away about 30k to offset the decrease in pay on the new job.

I don;t think I would ever allow myself to be screwed over like that again; I would have just been ok with your job has been eliminated and let me go, just MHO.
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:32 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear about the job

I had theis happen to me; we got a new CIO and she posted everyone's jobs and told us we need to apply. Everyone applied, but only 4 of the 40+ people got a job and she brought in all new people. I was asked to stay and train my replacement for a month. My replacement offered me a contract position which I took since I did not have a new job. That lasted about a month than I got a new job and had to quit the contract.


I don;t think I would ever allow myself to be screwed over like that again; I would have just been ok with your job has been eliminated and let me go, just MHO.
I very glad that I am not working in this economy. The lunacy of RIFing somebody and than have that person train their replacement just baffles me. I would think that you'd have almost no incentive to do a good job.

If you are going to RIF somebody in order to bring in cheaper employee fine. But pay the person severance plus a month to train the replacement, and then a contract for a month?! The payback period on a cheaper employee would be measured in years.
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:03 AM   #6
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IMO - Assuming the positions are not being outsourced.... It is going to come down to who is valued by management. They will take this opportunity to clear out people they want to get rid of... BTW... valued does not necessarily equate to solid performer. Who they want to keep.

Specialist vs Management. Do you have management experience? Do you want management responsibility? Do you think your management sees you as a manager? Or is there some desperation to get managers where they are very accommodating to experienced and dependable workers that are willing to take the responsibility?

IMO - I would go with my strong suit (as viewed by management). I would play to my strength. If I was interested in shifting jobs.... and the new desired position was not my considered my strength (or experience)... I would try for that after I secured a job.

Of course, no one knows your company like you... It would be impossible for you to describe all of the circumstances and dynamics of the situation (if you even knew all of them).
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:40 AM   #7
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The payback period on a cheaper employee would be measured in years.
That's no how this PowerPoint management works.

((Salary & Benefits Old)-(Salary & Benefits New)) x Number of people x 3 years = (Cost Savings) If they are think they will be challenged, they will throw in something like an efficiency improvement factor. Or that by relocating they will magically slow the cost of wage inflation.

"Bottom line, my senior management friends-, heres a big number! Give me some accolades, a promotion, and let me step up half a notch. Most importantly, let me get onto the road to my next big success before all of the challenges with this new staff actually hits the floor."

I have seen a number of MBAs from the big schools come wandering through. Some of them are really sharp. Some of them are just dangerous. It is easy to be bold with somebody elses money, somebody elses business, and especially when you know you are only going to be there for three years max.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:30 AM   #8
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That's no how this PowerPoint management works.

((Salary & Benefits Old)-(Salary & Benefits New)) x Number of people x 3 years = (Cost Savings) If they are think they will be challenged, they will throw in something like an efficiency improvement factor. Or that by relocating they will magically slow the cost of wage inflation.

"Bottom line, my senior management friends-, heres a big number! Give me some accolades, a promotion, and let me step up half a notch. Most importantly, let me get onto the road to my next big success before all of the challenges with this new staff actually hits the floor."

I have seen a number of MBAs from the big schools come wandering through. Some of them are really sharp. Some of them are just dangerous. It is easy to be bold with somebody elses money, somebody elses business, and especially when you know you are only going to be there for three years max.

Sooooo funny... this is what happened to me and the group that I was in ... a young MBA that was a favorite of a top exec was put in place to 'learn'... over 2 years laid off everybody older than her, but hired more people than she laid off so there was not savings... but, still moved on in 3 years to a new position before it blew up....
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:02 AM   #9
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If they are going to 'put you in play'. Submit your resume to them and the open market. If they keep you, so be it, but keep entertaining offers and I would bolt on any offer close. I would also not be part of any training your replacement unless mucho $$ is exchanged. Tell them, nothing personal, just business. I have a service to provide and you need to pay for it.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:11 AM   #10
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Thanks for the comments, suggestions, experiences, and PMs. Much appreciated.

Since Tuesday, I've networked with about 25 senior management people within the organization (Fortune 50 company). They were all surprised and supportive. I'm glad I've always been fair even when communicating bad news or audit/security issues. I've contacted a few previous employers/co-workers and had a few informal discussions on opportunities, some with travel, some without. Lastly I created a short list of new opportunites on various job boards that I will be forwarding cover letters/resumes to after I see if I have any contacts via professional networking boards.

DW was wondering if our August Orlando vacation was at risk. I told her, honestly I looked at the calendar and thought about extending it. She smiled and said "You did that when Arthur Andersen closed and you lost your job". I smiled and said, my full time job is to make life happier for me and my family. Sometimes I'm successful, sometimes I'm not.

BTW - I see several positions in Tampa, maybe I can schedule an interview while in Florida and write off some of the interview/vacation expenses. Tampa has been an area of interest for semi-ER.

I came home yesterday afternoon after a few networking meetings. My son and daughter hugged me so tight... almost like DW told them, but they r too young to understand the situation. DW is a stay at home mom, but she updated her resume and asked for help applying for a few openings. Wow, I'm lucky.
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:55 PM   #11
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When considering moving to other management teams within a large company vs accepting a position elsewhere, there is a 'better the devil you know than the devil you don't know' element. It is easier to research the leadership style of an internal manager before making a move.

The minus could be that your existing group may not want you to go and may try to keep you captive. Be aware of the power dynamics. If you don't really want to continue to work for your current management team and are confident you will land on your feet elsewhere don't play their game.. apply only for positions outside their span of control.
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:06 PM   #12
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Yes, I think I would take a pay cut for an offer from an unknown company rather than stay with this one.

The "cut all the positions and have everyone reapply for their job" style of management is not one that is going to create a good work environment. The good people will be leaving as fast as possible.

I would expect that this is a company that is on the way down.

Don't be the last person off the sinking ship.


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If they are going to 'put you in play'. Submit your resume to them and the open market. If they keep you, so be it, but keep entertaining offers and I would bolt on any offer close. I would also not be part of any training your replacement unless mucho $$ is exchanged. Tell them, nothing personal, just business. I have a service to provide and you need to pay for it.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:02 PM   #13
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A Fortune 500 company has many culture sub-sets. View it as a fleet of vessels with different roles, some with good skippers, some with the corporate equivalent of Cpn Bligh.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:39 PM   #14
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I came home yesterday afternoon after a few networking meetings. My son and daughter hugged me so tight... almost like DW told them, but they r too young to understand the situation. DW is a stay at home mom, but she updated her resume and asked for help applying for a few openings. Wow, I'm lucky.
You certainly are.
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I have a job offer to consider!
Old 08-15-2011, 06:24 PM   #15
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I have a job offer to consider!

Just an update & a quick thanks to the forum members:

I just received a verbal job offer from a local mid-bank. Solid salary, good benefits, 40 hour work week mindset (not something I'm use too), and new technology to play with. I've asked if there was any room for $$ as I have to commute now and a copy of all benefits/costs, etc to review, but excited to join the team.

I have a few 3rd round interviews with my current company this week and next week. I might withdraw my applications for consideration. I feel I'm a strong candidate for 3 newly created positons, but willing to leave the mess behind.

I have a few external 3rd round interviews this week, so I might have something to think about. Got a free trip (except my time) to Chicago and lunch for an interview.

Severance pay to start in 2 - 3 weeks if the company gets their act together. Still have not received my "end date", maybe 8/31, 9/2 or 9/9.
I'm hoping for 9/2 for insurance benefits, but 9/9 includes a paid holiday.

Now, I'll take 10% of the severance to have a better vacation in Orlando for the family next week. The rest will go into regular allocation, bump for my kids' 529 plan, flowers/gift for the DW, and a few bucks for my personal crazy fund.

Boy was I stressed, but never admitted to my DW as I didn't want to worry her more. I told her I would be more worried after the severance ran out.

Thanks again for the kind words/support and if this continues, FI is definitely on target for 6 years from now at 48. Let's see where I'm at each new year =) Bye for now as I want to take the family out for dinner.
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:36 AM   #16
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Congrats! I thought of this today (one of my favorite saying), when I read your situation, and your good news:

A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties. ~Harry Truman
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Old 08-18-2011, 09:04 AM   #17
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You don't sound like the type of person who will ever be wanting for work. People with your attitude are hard to find.

I made the switch from a 50+ hour week company to a 40 hour week company (37.5 officially) last year. The difference in quality of life is staggering. I feel like I am semi-retired.
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:28 AM   #18
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Thanks kaudrey. Life is full of opportunities.


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Congrats! I thought of this today (one of my favorite saying), when I read your situation, and your good news:

A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties. ~Harry Truman
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:32 AM   #19
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Thanks pimp. Fortunately, my mom taught me well as a kid, something I'm always grateful for. I agree the change in work hours will be a positive change. Sometimes I wonder how long it will take me to adjust to it. I'm willing to give it a try.

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You don't sound like the type of person who will ever be wanting for work. People with your attitude are hard to find.

I made the switch from a 50+ hour week company to a 40 hour week company (37.5 officially) last year. The difference in quality of life is staggering. I feel like I am semi-retired.
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Old 08-28-2011, 10:54 AM   #20
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Aiming, you sound like the kind of person I would want to have on my team. Keep the positive attitude and stay ahead of the game, and you will always land on your feet.
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