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Don't let Layoffs affect your career!

Last updated on: August 28, 2013 17:16 IST

Don't let Layoffs affect your career!

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We asked Readers to share their layoff experiences and the lessons they learnt from it.

Here, a former employee of a media company revisits the time she felt helpless when she was was laid off without prior notice in 2009.

She shares the lessons the experience taught her. Illustrations: Uttam Ghosh


Age: 28
Company/Sector: Media Professional
Educational qualification: MA in Mass Communication and Journalism

How I got the job

In 2008, I was just out of college after having completed my post graduation in mass communication and journalism from Pune.

In June, I moved to Mumbai with a friend and started working for a leading publication.

Since it was my first job, I gave it everything I could.

I used to sit back late after office to learn more about the subject and the kind of writing style the publication wanted.

I did everything I was told to by my seniors so that no one could ever point a finger at me or my work.

Today, while writing this, I clearly remember the day that changed my life and career.

It was February 5, 2009.

That morning I had gone for an assignment to meet one of the most popular names in the field I then worked for.

I was ecstatic because I had got an opportunity to interview this personality at such an early phase of my career.

The layoff

That afternoon, while I was at my desk, I received a message from HR, asking me to come for a meeting.

I was clueless because someone from the HR department would usually call to request personal details or documents for administration purposes.

When I went for the meeting, I was surprised to see the CEO sitting there along with the HR personnel.

I knew him as a cordial, disciplined and employee-friendly person. And I respect him a lot.

That day, he had a different role to play, which to my knowledge he played to the best of his abilities.

When I sat down, he explained, "The company is undergoing a restructuring process and we can't afford you anymore!'

Those words came as a rude shock.

I blanked out for some time and tried hard to focus.

I wanted to discuss this with my immediate boss, but perhaps it was too late.

The HR personnel was ready with a typed resignation with my name on it and I had to sign it immediately.

Looking back, it was ruthless and unprofessional of them to take such a surprise step.

Had they politely explained the situation to me, I would have volunteered to write the resignation myself.

They chose to write it with their own terms and conditions to avoid labour issues or protests from employees.

I was too young to see through all this at that time.

They told me they would settle my dues immediately which they did, but such an attitude towards an employee left me with a lot of unanswered questions.

So much so that even today when I come across an opening from the same company, I can't think of what happened on February 5, 2009.

That same day, I learned that other employees across various divisions were given pink slips.

I broke the news to my parents since I was living in a different city.

"Don't worry," my parents said, "We are there for you."


Do you have a layoff experience to share?

Have you lost your job? Do you know someone who has lost her/his job recently and is trying to come to terms with the situation?

If you, your friends or relatives have a layoff story to tell, to inform readers about the lessons that you have learnt, please write to us at getahead@rediff.co.in. Your name and identity will not be disclosed.

Please click NEXT to continue reading...


Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

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'it is important that you tell the truth'

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Finding another job

I didn't know where to look for a new job.

I went home and spent time with my parents, to get their moral support. My friends were always there to motivate me.

After two to three days, I started working on my resume and started posting it on online portals.

I looked for opportunities, met organisations to find out if they were looking for people, but was left disappointed since the economy was badly hit and positions were frozen.

This went on for a little more than two months. I started becoming flexible work-wise. Being at home and having no routine to follow was depressing.

After a while, I started getting calls from consultancies for short projects. Though I wasn't too keen, I started meeting people and giving interviews because not doing anything was making me feel horrible.

I got a call for a correspondent's role at a trade publication.

Though I was unsure how I would manage working for a trade publication, it worked out for me. I was back to working in three months.

During job interviews, I was asked: Why did you leave such a prestigious publication and organisation?

I chose to tell them about what happened instead of giving them convenient answers.

If something like this happens to you, and a future employer asks you the same question, it is important that you tell them the truth.

Remember your employer is also a part of the industry and probably know things better than you and I do. They have been in the business longer than us.

Please click next to read more...


Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
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'Don't cut off ties with the outside world. Networking helps'

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Lessons learned

The period from when I was asked to leave to when I got another job wasn't really an easy one, especially emotionally.

But I had my family and friends to pull me up whenever things didn't work out.

Financially, it wasn't a burden because my family was there and I wasn't the sole bread-winner unlike many others who are laid off.

The best advice I can offer people is: Do not shut yourself and cut off ties with the outside world.

You should, in fact, try and reach out to as many people as possible.

Networking helps. Today, thanks to social media and LinkedIn, it does help to know people, to get introduced and get possible leads for a prospective offer.

Do not lose hope and let this one incident affect your career.

As they say, it is always the darkest before dawn.

To all those who are reading this, I wish you good luck!


Do you have a layoff experience to share?

Have you lost your job? Do you know someone who has lost her/his job recently and is trying to come to terms with the situation?

If you, your friends or relatives have a layoff story to tell, to inform readers about the lessons that you have learnt, please write to us at getahead@rediff.co.in. Your name and identity will not be disclosed.


Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
Tags: 1

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