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xMRogers

Something that's never happened to me...happened

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As I'm thinking through things, I think there's two things that are just really bothering me about it that are gnawing at me

 

- the money angle - i had a contract that guaranteed me a decent sum if they did this .... unfortunately, the bankruptcy somewhat got rid of that (in a few months, i'll get 5 to 20% of what they really should have paid me)....but the true severance was 2 weeks - reason being the wierd way it went down - new company said "not selling, don't need him" / old company isn't really a 'company' anymore - just some peopel to close out the estate (which i'm not needed for, although one part of it may allow me to work for a few weeks more). - so at end of day, while I will get some cash out of my bankruptcy claim on my contract, i really end up with two weeks....seems a bit light for my contributions over the years

 

- the "laid off" angle - being in this business for many years, I've survived a ton of layoffs, and in most I had to layoff people myself. Truth of it is that, outside of whole depts being functionally shut down, you always culled the worst performers. True in any industry I'm sure - when they tell you to take out 20%, you don't take your top people out. So while in this case it was a functional issue, i still can't help feel the "wait, I've been a top performer my whole career...how did this happen". I'll get over it quickly, and in theory the quick replys from a lot of my contacts about finding somethign else have already showed me something....but the "never been fired/let go" box on the mental resume can no longer be checked....it's just an odd feeling

 

Appreciate everyone's comments - normally pretty self contained on things, but this sort of forum helps in occasions like this I think

 

 

Sounds like a unqiue situation. Two weeks seems a little light in the pants, however.

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"checked my oil" :D Now I'm not saying it was nearly as bad as what your going through,

 

Actually, I'd say it's a close call between us.....

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I work for what appears on the surface to be a white-collar business staffed by professionals, but in personnel matters is a slaughterhouse. As my last boss was just laid off last week, I took stock, and in the past seven years, I've reported to eight different people -- six of them have been laid off. I haven't missed the joy myself, either -- on my "best" day, I had the pleasure of laying off 27 people in one day -- around Christmas.

 

My day will come, and I'll be none too sad when it does. I'll get about six months of severance, though, so that's a nice cushion.

 

So, I'll throw out a few things and hope something helps ...

 

1. I disagree (in my experience) that the "underperformers" are always the ones who get axed. I am in fact still amazed at how we set up assessments on the one hand, done "objectively" to satisfy the legal department, but the driving force behind the "objective" assessments are still things like personality conflicts. Age is also a big factor -- people have learned how to mask that issue, though. Plus, I've found that in business, like is attracted to like. So, if you have dim-witted assh0les making the decisions about who to keep, they'll tend to keep people like themselves -- in other words, more dim-witted assh0les.

 

2. Sounds like your worked for a company plagued with that good ole focus on the short-term. Clearly, at least with the new people this was the case. It's good to remind yourself there is no deep thought that goes into these matters -- who is best for us long-term, who brings the most to the business, what's best for our customers ... none of that crap matters. It's just a short-term solution by short-sighted people. That's all.

 

3. Savage has great advice up there: Although you probably don't feel like it, this is the perfect time to take assessment of all your objective accomplishments while you were there, so on your next interview, assuming it will be objectively based on behavior -- meaning, you have to give specific examples of what you've done in the past -- you'll be ready for it. Once you get that job done, you can begin to just forget about those f-kers, because you'll have all the info you need to go forward.

 

4. Then take some time off. If you go to a gym, go every day. If you don't go to a gym, start going, even if it's just to sit in a steam room for a while. You'd be amazed how that simple act will help you from getting too down on yourself. Absolutely nothing is better than a little exercise to get your mind off your troubles, and there's mounds of evidence to prove that. Think of the old WWII POW movies, where the POWs would insist on shaving every day just to maintain their dignity and self-esteem. Kinda the same thing.

 

5. Personally, I'd avoid anyone who tells you to network. It's a cliche now, and while there is some truth to it just based on human relationships, I've seen people get wrapped up in support groups that tell them to network, yadda yadda, and two years later, they're still in that support group, and all their friends are sick of their attempts to look for work. Harsh, but true (and again, these are professionals I'm talking about).

 

6. No matter how objective you are in assessing the situation, know that you will take it personally and you will feel like crap about yourself for a while. Allow yourself to wallow in it a bit -- not too much, but a little. It's sorta like needing to grieve for the loss of a loved one. Don't pretend you don't need that time, because you do.

 

7. Blind-siding people is the preferred method. One of my VPs showed up for work the day after New Year's a couple years ago, and his swipe badge didn't work. He went to security to get a new badge, and security told him he no longer worked there. Happy New Year.

 

It sucks. If nothing else, you've gained perspective on what it feels like on the receiving end, even if the decision is "nothing personal, strictly business." Tony Soprano says the same thing before someone is whacked. You'll be a better manager/supervisor in the future because of it.

 

Best of luck.

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Just to add good luck wishes and to confirm that what others have already said is likely true - these things can be a blessing in disguise.

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Yep- Good tips and advice already given- Tough one, keep yer head up and when you do get into your new search for a gig- put work into it.

 

On the bright side- the economy is good, and in my business and area of the country there is a lot of hiring that goes on in the spring, so timing-wise ya have that goin for ya.

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Sorry to hear the news Xm. But like TimC said, a much better opportunity is out there with your name on it.

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I'm sorry to hear that, but I'm sure you'll be fine. You have a lot of experience and you headed a division, so your skills will be in demand.

 

A buddy of mine worked as an engineer/sales engineer for about four different companies during the dot-com boom/bust and it seemed like he was getting laid off every other year. He landed on his feet each time, and I'm sure that you will as well.

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wow. tough day. I think you've been given some good advice in this thread.

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I am sorry, hopefully another door will open for you.

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You're talented enough to run a sales division, you're talented enough to bounce back on your feet with something. The company sounds like it was in a tough spot as it is, and unfortunately those who go are those who make too much $$$. Hang in there. Silver linings abound.....

 

 

 

Well said..Good luck bro

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5. Personally, I'd avoid anyone who tells you to network. It's a cliche now, and while there is some truth to it just based on human relationships, I've seen people get wrapped up in support groups that tell them to network, yadda yadda, and two years later, they're still in that support group, and all their friends are sick of their attempts to look for work. Harsh, but true (and again, these are professionals I'm talking about).

 

6. No matter how objective you are in assessing the situation, know that you will take it personally and you will feel like crap about yourself for a while. Allow yourself to wallow in it a bit -- not too much, but a little. It's sorta like needing to grieve for the loss of a loved one. Don't pretend you don't need that time, because you do.

 

Best of luck.

 

 

Good advice

 

I would suggest using your background to explore different industries.

 

BOL

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I wish I had advice for you, but I don't. All I can offer are my best wishes that this ends up working out well for you.

 

Yep.

 

Hope you have a lot better luck than me.

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7. Blind-siding people is the preferred method. One of my VPs showed up for work the day after New Year's a couple years ago, and his swipe badge didn't work. He went to security to get a new badge, and security told him he no longer worked there. Happy New Year.

 

 

This is so true. Comcast's preferred method is an "off-site meeting." They'll rent out a conference room at a nearby hotel and bring people in a couple at a time to meet with the HR person and a supervisor. They have your severance materials all right there, they collect your stuff and send you away. You don't get to go to the office at all. For my husband, his boss called him at 5pm Friday for a meeting off site first thing on Tuesday after a long weekend. So we stewed about it all weekend...and then it happened. It took them 10 minutes.

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This is so true. Comcast's preferred method is an "off-site meeting." They'll rent out a conference room at a nearby hotel and bring people in a couple at a time to meet with the HR person and a supervisor. They have your severance materials all right there, they collect your stuff and send you away. You don't get to go to the office at all. For my husband, his boss called him at 5pm Friday for a meeting off site first thing on Tuesday after a long weekend. So we stewed about it all weekend...and then it happened. It took them 10 minutes.

 

 

 

That Sucks! A holes!

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7. Blind-siding people is the preferred method. One of my VPs showed up for work the day after New Year's a couple years ago, and his swipe badge didn't work. He went to security to get a new badge, and security told him he no longer worked there. Happy New Year.

 

Pure bloody cowardice. I had the unpleasant task of laying off 7 people back in 2002 and I had me and a couple of my staff (who were staying, obviously) practice for days beforehand so we would get it right, with maximum dignity.

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As was mentioned, but ever let it bother you that you were laid off. It has nothing to do with talent and value in all cases. When I worked for a corporation that was downsizing (like perpetually), everyone used to speculate who would be let go and as I told them "you cannot assume that they will make the best decision". You can be the best worker in the world and be the first to go - I have seen it before.

 

Best of luck and keep the chin up - don't let the failures of others be your own.

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I got laid off a couple years ago.

Lady came to California from Georgia....we all knew something was going on.

My department off 3 was closing. Pretty much a shock is we were highly profitable, well until this company bought us 6 months before that we were.

Lady calls us in, said well, you guys won't have to worry about getting up to go to work in a couple weeks.

That was nice.

What was better was that 3 months after that the company closed down.

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Sorry to hear about your job loss. I also used to work in telecom (AT&T) and was laid-off 2 years ago after being with them for 10. My last 4 years was spent under the constant threat of being laid off. From time to time you would usually hear through the grapevine that there was going to be a layoff on such-and-such date and you would spend all your time worrying about whether or not your time was finally up. There were many times that I didn’t sleep at night. There was a point when I thought I was going to even have a breakdown. It’s a cruel way to treat people. So before I got let go I promised myself that if I ever lost my job I would make sure I never put myself in the same situation again.

 

After getting laid off I started my own IT consulting business and have had steady work ever since. I’ve even had to turn work away. Best of all the work I do is not related to telecom. So my advice to you is this:

 

Don’t panic. Doing so will only cause you to make bad decisions in the months ahead. Also, don’t be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone (telecom). When I lost my job with AT&T I had plenty of contacts out there at various telecom companies that I could of ran to looking for work. Remembering how much I hated my situation at my old job kept me from doing so. From time to time I’ll touch base with some of these folks and most of them are miserable.

 

You’ve got a chance to start a whole new career. Most people would love to leave their jobs and start fresh somewhere else but just can’t bring themselves to do it. For you the decision has already been made, albeit by someone else. Where you go from here is totally up to you. I’m a firm believer in the old saying, “the cream rises to the top”. You rose to the top of Sales and Marketing in telecom, you can do the same somewhere else. Good luck.

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I work for what appears on the surface to be a white-collar business staffed by professionals, but in personnel matters is a slaughterhouse. As my last boss was just laid off last week, I took stock, and in the past seven years, I've reported to eight different people -- six of them have been laid off. I haven't missed the joy myself, either -- on my "best" day, I had the pleasure of laying off 27 people in one day -- around Christmas.

 

 

You had to ax 27 people in one day? Around Christmas? :D That must have been brutal for you.

 

Plus, I've found that in business, like is attracted to like. So, if you have dim-witted assh0les making the decisions about who to keep, they'll tend to keep people like themselves -- in other words, more dim-witted assh0les.

 

 

 

This is pretty much what happened to me. I was not an underperformer, and to this day I will stand by my job performance and my work ethic. The new "boss" was a complete moran. I heard one of his new hires was one of his drinking buddies, and the other was his college roommate. Talk about dim-witted assh0les prefering to work with dim-witted assh0les.

 

 

Savage has great advice up there: Although you probably don't feel like it, this is the perfect time to take assessment of all your objective accomplishments while you were there, so on your next interview, assuming it will be objectively based on behavior -- meaning, you have to give specific examples of what you've done in the past -- you'll be ready for it. Once you get that job done, you can begin to just forget about those f-kers, because you'll have all the info you need to go forward.

 

 

 

Definitely good advice.

Edited by Wolverines Fan

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I just want to add that I'm sorry you had to go through this. I wish you the best in your effort to find a new job that's more rewarding than your last one.

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All the best to you...the best advise I read here was to take your skills to a new industry. Something fresh for you to enjoy... You got to where you were because you are a leader of people...all industries need leaders.

 

Take some time to think about what you enjoy in life, and perhaps there will be a related industry in which your skill set would be applicable. For instance, if you like to golf, perhaps contact distributors of golf equipment to see if there is anything that meets your financial criteria.

 

I graduated with a degree in marketing...after shuffling thru jobs selling office equipment/supplies for the first several years, it hit me that I should find a career doing something I enjoyed. I have always loved to travel, so I took a job with a hotel company as a Director of Sales for a single hotel (great, since I could stay free at any of their hotels nationwide). I quickly morphed into a district, then regional....then national sales position. With that experience, I took on a partner and we started our own hospitality consulting business about 7 years ago, and have never looked back.

 

Best of luck to you...and if the hotel industry is somthing you'd want to explore, PM me...my contacts within it are pretty far reaching.

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I just want to add that I'm sorry you had to go through this. I wish you the best in your effort to find a new job that's more rewarding than your last one.

 

There you go, XM, you can become a gynecologist. :D

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Appreciate all the thoughts. What's a bit different for me is I didn't hate my job really - from a certain angel (you know, the "my company isn't bankrupt" one and had a real budget) it was what I wanted to do. Don't think I'm in that 'reinvent' myself stage - my stronger skills (strategic planning mixed with a strong financial background and the recent discovery of a sales management streak) can definitely transfer industries, but outside of the topsy-turvy nature of telecom, think I actually like this one.

 

I've been relaxing a bit, thinking "ok, do i take some time and find my true love" - truth is, at this point my true love is : living here in St. Pete, my family, a job that i enjoy, and a healthy enough income I don't need to worry too much. Yea, if the Eagles needed a new GM but could only pay 20k a year, I'd take it and figure out the rest....but from the realistic standpoint, I kinda like the ins and outs of what i do and probably will stay in telecom.

 

Got a few things brewing already but just taking it easy for now - went to dog track today to watch a friend of mine's horse (think he's got a 1% stake in it) race - good time just being in the sun and relaxing with all the old toothless guys.

 

We'll see what happens - there are times I feel like the "out of body" thing is going on - just seeing how this is.

 

The one comment above about "knowing it from the other side" is a good one - I've been on the "sorry bout this" side a lot, but never on this side. Due to my position and location (I was the senior person in the Tampa office) there wasn't any of the normal bs as described (and believe me when I say I've seen all that and worse - worst thing I saw was a guy essentially fired by blackberry because he was on vaca, so they sent him and email, knowing he was checking it on the berry....came back in after vaca just pissed). I at least got some decency shown (although the people that showed it were essentially disobeying orders from the new management team we all found out later in the day).

 

So for now, taking it easy, see if I end up back there for a few months to get me through to next spot, and starting the process (one i realized I haven't had to do in forever, as both of my last two jobs (spanning over 11 years) essentially fell in my lap).

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