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The ship is going down! UPDATE!!
Old 03-14-2006, 07:20 PM   #1
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The ship is going down! UPDATE!!

The place where I work is doomed. Not the whole company (that I know of), but just my department.

We've had one customer for like 50 years. Now that customer has suddenly completely changed, and the new regime doesn't want to run things the same way they used to do it during the cold war.

Everything is being consolidated, concentrated and modernized. In the new scheme of things, there really isn't any need for the services that my company offers. Lots of people around the office realize its just a matter of time.

We've been having layoffs every year for the past couple of years. Other times, folks find jobs elsewhere, and replacements are not hired. There used to be about 100 people in the department, now we're down to 44. We might stay at that level for another 18 months or so, then there will be another major reduction.

Up until now, the layoffs have been pretty easy to take. But the latest batch has one of my best friends getting laid off. I'm so jealous! He's going to get a chance to look for a new job, and I have to stay behind and still do this work for as long as it holds out. Meanwhile, my boss keeps assigning me all these assignments that are meant to turn the tide. "Go out there and make yourself usefull! Find work that we can do better than anyone else!"

So I'm looking for a new job. I'd rather get laid off first so I can collect severence pay and unemployment while I look for something, but it could be years before they get around to laying me off. I just can't take that.

Anyone here ever rode the elevator to the bottom?
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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-14-2006, 07:40 PM   #2
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Re: The ship is going down!

Quote:
Originally Posted by slepyhed
Anyone here ever rode the elevator to the bottom?
Yes. It exits into the Early Retirement bargain basement...

But seriously, would your friend be able to help you blaze a trail through the job-search wilderness? Could you work it together?

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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-14-2006, 07:42 PM   #3
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Re: The ship is going down!

Sorry to hear about your situation.

Quote:
I'm so jealous! He's going to get a chance to look for a new job, and I have to stay behind and still do this work for as long as it holds out.
My sister just got "right sized" but appears to like the time to look for another job. If she doesnt get a job by the end of the month, She is going to move in with us to save on expenses and continue to look. Good luck.
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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-14-2006, 07:54 PM   #4
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Re: The ship is going down!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords

But seriously, would your friend be able to help you blaze a trail through the job-search wilderness? Could you work it together?

Well, we're sort of doing that. His layoff was revealed last week (but he still has to come to work and get paid for now. Its confusing the way they're doing this).

Over the weekend I sent out a bunch of resumes. I got an email monday morning for an interview on thursday.

So I told my friend about all this today. He says, "I think I have my resume ready. Can you look at it?"

Long story short, I'm blazing a path for him. I think he paniced slightly at the thought that I might leave before they get around to letting him go. He worried that he might have to stay! Then he smiled and said, "No way. I'm not staying. They can't make me."
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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-14-2006, 08:00 PM   #5
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Re: The ship is going down!

Well there's lots of jobs out there these days. There's no need to stick it out in a dead end job.

However let me tell you about my friend Ron. He worked for a large Mega Corp that was in negotiations to sell off his department. Most of his coworkers had bailed to find other jobs. Well that didn't look good so they gave Ron a bonus of 6 months salary to stick around through the sale as well as a good raise.

Then the new company took over, They promptly gave Ron another huge 40 percent raise as well as another 6 months salary to work for another year.

After the year was up Ron quit to become a consultant to the new company at around twice his last salary.

SO, my advice is.... There may be tremendous opportunity for talent in troubled times.
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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-14-2006, 08:51 PM   #6
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Re: The ship is going down!

I didn't used to heed the signs and got laid off a few times. Fired by two companies that don't exist anymore. I ignored the signs because I just don't like to jump ship. (I made several mistakes taking the wrong job when I was young.) When I was among the first to get the boot, I got first shot at the available jobs. This is very important in my little profession.

Now that I am a contractor, I do not stay until the bitter end. Just start looking again.
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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-14-2006, 09:14 PM   #7
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Re: The ship is going down!

Hey Masterblaster- I* your avatar.

How about a link?

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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-14-2006, 11:44 PM   #8
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Re: The ship is going down!

I was in the same boat when the company I worked for was acquired by mega corp. The layoffs began right away and have continued (sometimes in large numbers, sometimes by dribs and drabs), ever since.

I always expected to be next on the list. Given that I worked in high tech and the job market was terrible, I decided just to ride it out -- wait for the pink slip, the severance, and the unemployment, and save as much as I could in the meantime.

That was five years ago. I'm about to vest in the pension plan, and nobody is more surprised by that than I am. I've seen a lot of very good people go out the door and struggle with their work and financial lives, but I've remained. I don't know whether to be proud of my adaptability, or embarassed by my willingness to "settle" for steady employment and a job that sucks out loud.

I'm not sorry it turned out this way - I have saved a lot of money toward FI. But I've traded away five years in a disfunctional environment in order to do so.

And I do wonder what it would have been like to take a financial risk, quit, and search out a job I could love and excel at. If I'd been a few years younger, I might have gone the other way.

The answer is probably that there is no answer. I don't know anyone who didn't eventually get a job or find a vocation or otherwise bounce back. (Not a one of them wishes they were back here, btw!) Trust your gut, and trust that you're doing the right thing for you, no matter what that is at the moment.

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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-15-2006, 05:49 AM   #9
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Re: The ship is going down!

In former employment I saw the signs several months ahead.
So I did my best to find a GOOD new job.

When it finally happened I told HR that I have a chance to leave but have not decided yet and that they could save time and effort to get me out but I would need some money on the way. I did not say I was starting my own business but they assumed so.

So I could negotiate the full lump sum that I would have received some months later if I had stayed.
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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-15-2006, 07:15 AM   #10
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Re: The ship is going down!

slepyhed, frankly, you are blessed to see what is coming.* Yes, perhaps things will limp along for years ... but, more likely not.

I saw this happen at an accounting firm years ago ... I left for a larger, stronger firm before my smaller firm blew apart. Just in time.

So you have the opportunity to save / invest, and search for that "right" next position.* Most folks don't have that benefit.

We know the emotional wrench of finally realizing the sands are shifting, but you will find the right alternative, as long as you deeply accept what the future most likely holds, and seriously look for your next working experience.* It's out there, and you'll be happier.

Best of luck.
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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-15-2006, 07:29 AM   #11
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Re: The ship is going down!

I was in aistuation very similar to yours about 5 years ago. I left pretty early on, finding a much better job that moved me along in the drection I wanted to go. The people who are still back at the old shop (few left) are limping along in the same old rut 5 years later. I think I made the right choice.
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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-15-2006, 08:59 AM   #12
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Re: The ship is going down!

I was in a similar situation a couple years ago. In my case, we were a subsidiary being reabsorbed by big brother. Management started dropping like flies. I saw the writing on the wall and actually was lucky enough to find a great advancement opportunity ( so it can work out to your benefit ). Meanwhile, the last 2 remaining members of my department have been basically twiddling their thumbs for the last 4 years. Your loss in terms of severance could be made up in terms of better salary or benefits at a new place. If you can't find anything worth giving up the severance package, you could always just stick it out. Good luck!

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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-15-2006, 09:11 AM   #13
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Re: The ship is going down!

Slepyhead, can you put your name in the hat to be laid off at the next round of rightsizing? That way, you get to leave, and you get your separation pay. Plus, you save some other dude from getting laid off.

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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-15-2006, 10:57 AM   #14
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Re: The ship is going down!

I didnt experience one of these but I've seen them.

It can be very lucrative to stick around. But theres a mercenary, dead-spirit feel to it as an employee. You know you're winding something down and success is just pulling the check for one more week you didnt think the company would be around to pay.

As an employer, I didnt see this on a resume as being a negative, but I sure asked a lot of questions about it. Someone that chose being a part of dissolution and maybe better pay over building or growing is someone I'd like to probe a little bit. Theres a difference between the guy who tears up old cars for scrap and the one building them from scratch. Not that there's necessarily anything better about either...they're just very different people that work differently in different jobs.

On the other hand, hanging around a while gives you a longer time to look at your other options, and other people who bail earlier may become well established in a variety of companies/jobs and help bootstrap you over.
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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-15-2006, 11:10 AM   #15
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Re: The ship is going down!

DH is going through something similar right now. His company has been bought by another and the takeover is expected to be finalized by this July.

He has no urge though to look for something "better" for a variety of reasons with the primary one being that he just received a 6% raise and is now making over $140K with great benefits. The plan is to ride the gravy train for as long as possible
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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-15-2006, 11:34 AM   #16
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Re: The ship is going down!

The decision to jump ship can depend on the availability of rescue resources. If there are a limited number of attractive cabins elsewhere it may be wise to start the search early. If the ship you are on has a limited number of life boats (cash to pay severance packages) there is no reason to hang back.

If you have a survival suit of your own you don't need to worry about either.
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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-15-2006, 11:52 AM   #17
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Re: The ship is going down!

I think the advice to follow your heart/gut is the best situation.* Think of all your opportunities, weigh the pros and cons and do what is best for you.* If you are really serious about leaving start tapping into your network.* Perhaps some one of your companies competitors or suppliers are hiring, use a branched approach to think of new employement opportunities.

As many have said, there could be benefits to leaving as well.* Whatever you do, try to negotiate going out the door to get as much as you can.* You might also want to meet with a good employment coach or recruiter to see what the market in your area looks like.* Someone also suggested volunteering for the ax!
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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-17-2006, 05:51 AM   #18
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Re: The ship is going down!

I went through this.
It had to be the worst time at my life to be let go. I had a child in college, one in high school and DH's job was reorganizing too. Did I mention what were we thinking and we had traded up on our house?

I simply found another job with better pay and left during the layoffs. Some people stayed, but in the long run, I really feel like I did better. My old company has severely butchered their pension plan and that is why people stayed. The new regime that took over the company was brutal in their treatment of the takeover employees. They extended working hours and they patrolled the cubes to make sure there was no personal business going on. What I found the worst was the morale. You never knew if you would come in and the door would be locked. We also did not have enough work so we did busy work. It was excruciating.

Your experience may vary of course, but it was not a pleasant time for me. Just because you are looking for a new job does not mean you have to take it.
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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-19-2006, 01:17 PM   #19
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Re: The ship is going down!

I have gone through this several times, sole wage earner, but Healthy Savings made the transition very easy.

In all instances, things worked out for the better.
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Re: The ship is going down!
Old 03-22-2006, 08:17 AM   #20
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Re: The ship is going down!

Get out.* Be an eager leaver.* Don't make a big deal out of it.* Just go.* Why be a bagholder?* Usually, the people who jump first get the best job and they certainly get over it quicker.*You've got 18 months or so before the next ax falls.* ** Morale in most orgs is low anyway.* But this situation will lead to a pall hanging over everybody who stays.* Get the best offer you can find in a non-deadend job.* Don't look back.
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