Posts tagged with: firing

Big job losses in Chicago

I call Chicago home. So it pains me to see so many people losing their jobs in the city I love.

According to a story in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago area lost 185,900 jobs last year. In May, the Chicago area saw its unemployment rate hit 10.7 percent.

I’ve seen it firsthand. At the publishing company where I work, the higher-ups fired about 65 percent of our staff. And every time I go to a family party or a friend’s house, I hear about or meet someone who’s lost their job.

I’ve seen people, too, who’ve had to go on forced unpaid furloughs. An engineering friend of mine has to take 10 days off without pay before the summer ends.

Are things getting better? I don’t see it. Is there anything you can do to keep your job? I have no idea. My only advice is this: Keep your resume’ circulating, even if you hold a steady job. You want fallback options in this terrible economy and job market.

Don’t get reorganized out of your job!

You may think you’re safe at your job. You’ve survived the layoffs, so far. You’re still getting a lot of work. You’re earning praise from your bosses.

But then you hear the news: Your department is going through a reorganization.

Oh, *&$#!

According to this story by the Wall Street Journal, reorganizations are extremely common during recessions. And often further layoffs accompany them.

Fortunately, the same Wall Street Journal story provides plenty of advice on how employees can survive a department reorganization.

The first tip, which I think is the best, is that employees should be bold. This means asking managers what the new department will look like once the reorganization is complete. It means clarifying your new role with your managers. Employees should also evaluate their own strengths. It’s important in a reorganization for employees to focus on what they can do to help the newly reorganized department. For instance, if you’ve led several successful projects in the past, be sure to remind — in a subtle way, of course — your new managers of this fact.

A reorganization can be scary, especially in today’s economy. But it doesn’t have to be disastrous.

Worried about your job? At least Pres. Obama won’t be firing you, right?

Think Rick Wagoner is happy that Barack Obama won the presidential election last year?

If you haven’t heard, Wagoner, the former chief executive offier of struggling automaker GM, announced his resignation early this morning. He said this move came at the request of the Obama administration. Yes, the president, essentially, fired the man.

You can read the grim news about GM and the other big U.S. automakers at this story by CNN.

As I look around at the office where I work on a full-time/part-time basis, I’m keeping my eye out for Obama. If I see him sneaking around the halls, I’ll have a pretty good idea that my own boss might be getting the ax.

I’m sure you’re worried about your own job. Everyone is today. But at least you don’t have to worry about Obama himself calling for your head.

How not to handle mass layoffs

The publishing where I work on a full-time/part-time basis laid off nine employees last week. That may not seem like a lot when compared to the massive layoffs taking place across the country. But in our fairly small office, it’s made a significant dent in the size of our workforce.

The higher-ups at my company make a lot of questionable decisions. They ended the layoff drama with yet another.

Before announcing the layoffs, management called workers into one of two conference rooms. One was the lucky room, the one where the people who weren’t fired went. The other, of course, was the unlucky one.

After management broke the news, the folks from the lucky conference room started heading back to their desks. That’s when they were stopped. More management people told them to leave their floor until the people who were fired could pack up their things and get out.

This, of course, prevented employees who in many cases had worked with each other for 10 years or more from saying an official “goodbye.” And it was all done to avoid any possible emotional scenes.

Here’s some news for management: When you fire employees, people are going to get emotional. You can’t just pretend that the axed workers never existed. Management, probably out of their own guilt for not firing the right (read, the salespeople who let everything fall apart in the first place) people, wanted the job cuts to happen quickly and painlessly.

Well, there’s nothing painless about job cuts. And thank goodness for that. Sometimes I think it’s the only thing preventing management from making even more callous decisions than it aleady makes.