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I Dodged a Layoff... I Think


Ravenous Wolf
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Last week we heard that there was a layoff at my job.

That was devastating because there was a layoff last year that closed down our local site except for four people. Our corporate headquarters which was out of state lost half of its vice-presidents along with a lot of steep cuts. So for a year the four of us at our new small office worked well together and did a great job!

This Monday, we were told that there would be a 20 percent layoff. We were hoping that our small site would be spared especially since we lost about 90 percent of our local office last year. Also, I figured that I was on the top of the list if anyone was to lose a job.

However, one co-worker got the axe. I spoke to my supervisor at the corporate headquarters who is purely administrative (I have a different boss that manages my projects) and he said that I was safe but that the cuts elsewhere were very deep including some in top management and lots of supervisors.

I was still very jumpy because I needed to hear that my boss but now he is on his way for an out of town business trip. Even so, that supervisor told me that I would have known before the end of the day just like everyone else. So I am reassured but I am still a ball of nerves.

It sucks because I have a good paying job and it is something that I do very well. And if I have to go somewhere else, then I will get a huge pay cut because I make more than a lot of my peers who are managers. But what is worse is that I am a paycheck-to-paycheck sort of person because of the debt that I am trying to taper down.

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Rav,

I'm also going to tell you to "hang in there", but now may be a good time to figure out YOUR exit strategy (instead of their exit strategy FOR you).

Everyone leaves a job, firm, employer for 5 reasons:

- Death

- Disability

- Retirement

- involuntary termination

- New opportunity (new employment or new business opportunity)

The question is: How are YOU going to do it with the most profit and most advantages to you?

EVERYONE should have an exit strategy.

Before you take a job, you should plan how you're going to get OUT of that job. If you go into a business partnership, you should plan how you're going to get OUT of that partnership.

[i'm not sure about using this idea with marriage, but sometimes a pre-nup is a very good thing for people who have substantial assets. A pre-nup plans the exit strategy from the marriage in advance.]

Today's job market just isn't what it used to be and being able to maneuver through whatever life throws at us is key to having a feeling of security.

If you have trade associations you can join - do it. Network with others. Read the book: "Dig your well before you're thirsty" by Harvey Mackey. This will give you ideas on building your personal network of contacts. Build this network and you can call people who may know other people to help you land your next job, promotion, business opportunity, etc.

You may not need your exit strategy at this time, but I always feel better knowing that I have it and can execute it at anytime.

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You may not need your exit strategy at this time, but I always feel better knowing that I have it and can execute it at anytime.

UPDATE

My boss just called me this morning (we get every other Friday off because we work nine hour days so I have a four day weekend and I don't have to take any vacation time for it). He said the cuts were over and not only am I safe but that I also got a promotion. There is no extra money in it but it involves getting trained for an additional role to my existing duties which will make me a much more versatile employee.

We are still going to get this contract in the near future (which is one of the reasons that caused the layoffs because we didn't get it a few months ago) but that my employer will now use me to inspect our sub contractors; one is right across the highway from where I work at and the other is up the highway in Austin (an hour and a half away).

My boss also said that is why the company is going to sign a three year lease for our small office so that way we can keep tabs on our sub contractors. It will take that long to finish the contract once we get it.

The upshot of this is that this additional role adds much more security to my job. And thanks for everyone encouraging me to hang on.

And this was also a wake up call for me to have an exit strategy in place. I lost my resume almost two years ago when my hard drive crashed and I had no back up. This layoff was sudden and completely unexpected so I was scrambling for the last few days to write something up. Although I have three screaming kids ages four and under, I need to make time to beef up my networking with people in my industry that I have lost contact with. I need to resume the lunches and drinks after work, etc, because I need to be in the loop with the people I used to always be in contact with (before screaming children). And I got to keep an updated resume always handy.

Having little kids seriously eroded my free time but I now realize an exit strategy is absolutely essential because the unexpected can happen. It is just that my current job is the longest that I have ever worked at. Four out of my previous five jobs have completely closed down or closed their offices in this city and the only reason the fifth didn't was because it was the government. I was always ready to hit the ground running for my next job but I suppose I was lured into a complacency because I have worked here for a while and I liked to good pay and the perks. But now I know better.

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I had the same thing happen with all my data. I've since backed everything I think I'd ever need on a flash drive and locked it in the safe.

I have never recovered from it. I lost all of my music, all the files pertaining to credit repair, email addresses, resume, etc. I didn't realize how much of my life was resting on my hard drive because it had been accumulating for years...

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And thanks because your last post made me realize that I really need to start backing up my home and work compter. Like you said-so much of my life is on them both. School work, credit and financial stuff, music, pictures, etc. :shock:

I learned the hard way how priceless so much stuff was, especially the pictures and the music since almost all of that is electronic nowadays... That was over two years ago and there is still so much that I can never replace again. In some ways I felt that my past and my identity had just disappeared.

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I learned the hard way how priceless so much stuff was, especially the pictures and the music since almost all of that is electronic nowadays... That was over two years ago and there is still so much that I can never replace again. In some ways I felt that my past and my identity had just disappeared.

Rav,

Did you try any data recovery on that hard drive? I was able to recover data for my police chief friend a couple of years ago when one of his bacon subordinates reinstalled an O/S for him. He wanted to pay me a lot but I told him a few PBA cards in his name would be fine....lol. I have also seen services that will recover data from a HD that just went dead due to bad sectors. All may not be lost if you still have the HD.

Anyway, yeah man, I have been in your shoes and know what you are going through. 9/11 pretty much had me experiencing what you're going through now. I have since made it a habit to deal with my resume every two years in case something "better" comes up.

Not saying you can't write a great resume, but if you need help, there are excellent resume-writing services you can use that are $175 and under. Give them a list of jobs you have had, write up a small summary and you get an instant $20k+ job...

http://www.resumeedge.com has helped out me and a couple of my friends. Very reasonable.

Whatever happens, my friend, hang in there. You are going to make it and when you start getting stressed, think of your family and kids (the good parts, not the parts that stress you out... :D ).

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Did you try any data recovery on that hard drive? I was able to recover data for my police chief friend a couple of years ago when one of his bacon subordinates reinstalled an O/S for him.

The data is never really gone. It just depends on how much you want to pay to get it back.

I called up over two dozen outfits in town that advertised data recovery. Most of them charged a huge flat fee just to run a diagnostic on the hard drive. And that fee had absolutely nothing to do with the additional cost to extract the data, which was also another obscene fee.

I then narrowed it down to a handful of outfits that would check it for free. They would only charge if they could extract the data. Those few places were nutjobs that did exactly the same thing I did when I was trying to recover the data.

So in the end, after wasting all that time, I didn't want to waste a huge amount of money because I am a paycheck to paycheck man, I decided that it was just cheaper to buy a new hard drive and install it myself. That meant that I had to start from scratch.

As for the resume, I am actually pretty good at writing them up and I have done resumes for a lot of people. However, the biggest problem is starting from scratch. And I use a much different approach.

For example, business jargon changes every year and I have to make sure that I have the best keywords in there. And that is because for the biggest companies, there is not a live human being that examines the resumes. It is software that screens the resume and looks for special words. Years ago, a lot of big companies got a hard on for the word "matrix" because a "matrix environment" was hot. Well guess what? I made sure my resume included that. Today, it is now six sigma and lots of other useless jargon (in the past it was ISO 9000). Of course, small and medium size outfits don't care about jargon.

And because my resume went to silicon heaven, I didn't update it every year like I should have, which meant keeping abreast with all the new trends. And that was my biggest drawback in that I didn't have an updated resume ready to go. It really has to be because a person is devastated with a layoff and it is difficult to get the creative juices going when you are bummed out. If it is already updated, then it is a snap to hit the ground running with it. And that is the lesson that I learned...

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I learned the hard way how priceless so much stuff was, especially the pictures and the music since almost all of that is electronic nowadays... That was over two years ago and there is still so much that I can never replace again. In some ways I felt that my past and my identity had just disappeared.

Totally. Isn't it funny how our whole lives are on computers these days? :shock:

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The same thing happened to me. I lost everything once (right after I had finished the final text for the latest version of Good Credit is Sexy). It cost me $1000 and I really didn't get everything back.

I've since invested in a $150 back up drive and now feel secure. I also copy all of the important stuff to DVD's once and awhile as well.

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The same thing happened to me. I lost everything once (right after I had finished the final text for the latest version of Good Credit is Sexy). It cost me $1000 and I really didn't get everything back.

That was always my biggest concern that I would pay through the nose to try to recover my data but that I still wouldn't get everything back. And just before it died, the platters all of a sudden started grinding so bad.

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