IT Employment

Shocked: 'Indispensible' IT pro gets laid off

TechRepublic member jdclyde recounts his experience with being laid off, including his thoughts and next steps.
This post was written by TechRepublic member jdclyde.

Over the last two years, I‘ve heard about people across the country getting laid off and companies going out of business. Even living in a state with the highest unemployment rate, I never thought it would happen to me. After all, I was the only one at work that knew the networking and security, and the top execs came directly to me when they had an issue. They could never lay me off, because they needed me, right? As of 9:30 A.M. on Friday, January 30th, I found out otherwise. I got laid off. Not some faceless number -- me.

My first question was, "When?" They responded that I had until the end of the day, which meant I had 6 1/2 hours to pack up and say my goodbyes. I think the people left behind were hit harder than I was, because the waiting was over for me but just starting for them. My fate was sealed, but they were waiting to see if they would be next, because they knew how big of a part I played, and yet I still got the axe.

I sought out some friends at that point. It was important to stay positive, and I received more encouragement than I expected. In fact, I continued to get phone calls through out the night. The key was remembering this was a layoff -- not getting fired. I didn't do anything wrong. I had not failed. It wasn't my fault. I keep telling myself that.

On Sunday, I borrowed a van and went back to finish cleaning out my office. It was a lot easier with only one other person there, and she was in another section of the building. I just didn't want to see or talk to anyone. I filled the van with all of my stuff, including several books and tools. I HATE when I can't find the tools I need, and so I always use my own.

The next phase was to pull things together. I am the single father of twin boys (age 16), and they rely on me as their sole means of support. How would I be able to take care of them? How much could we cut back to make ends meet?

I decided I would still get up, take a shower, get dressed, and then drive my boys to school. If I didn't keep things as "normal" as possible and stay with a regular routine, I would just sleep the day away, get nothing done, and sink into depression.

First thing on Monday, after taking the boys to school, I applied for unemployment benefits for the first time in almost 20 years. Strange not having a job to go to. I won't find out how much my benefits will be for a few very long days.

The next step is my resume. I can list previous jobs and teaching experience, but I don't remember the dates or addresses. That means I'll have to dig out the old PII400 I was using when I got hired 10 1/2 years ago, because I'm pretty sure that my old resume is saved on the hard drive... I hope.

How am I holding up? I'm looking at this as a good thing. I used to have an hour commute each way to work, and I was tired of getting home at 6:30 P.M. every night. To be honest, I was just waiting until my boys graduated before I took the risk of finding something closer to home. After all, I was secure in that job, right? This is giving me the boot in the (you know what) that I needed. Maybe I'll even find something within biking distance.

Have you or someone you know gone through this? If so, how did you/they handle it?

More posts from jdclyde:

256 comments
alainch
alainch

starting in electronics, then computers, then telecomunications... when a wonderfull job (unique in a world leader american firm) ....I was Rif'd. 20 months doing menial consultancy....... " but daddy dont be so worried to be without a job" _you dont know little blond head (only 8 years old)- "Daddy you do like to drive, uh ? " - well, yes sure ... - "daddy, what's the problem, BUY A CAB !!!" ... and now I drive my own cab in the 19:00>>07:00 night shift Sure I'm not happy but AlainCh ( life goes on PS: never feel refused by life, society, or whatever!! thats the first step to survival ( I supose you'r on the right path :-)))

robbie
robbie

I have been in the ICT field for 38 years and been made redundant 7 times, the first at 22! The strange thing is that practically every time 'one door closed and another opened'. As time goes on we have more marketable skills and experience that does become valuable and in great need. Tough times but keep options open and consider reviewing your skillsets and look in other fields whether sales, training or some such associated field. Best of luck.

rajib_k_das
rajib_k_das

Hi jdclyde, I hope you are doing ok if not better by now. I was also laid off and I was the system/network admin and thought pretty much the same thing about my job security as you did. My experience was uncannily similar to yours. My reaction was also uncannily similar to yours. The only diferences were that my wife has a job and we have a daughter. My friends helped me a lot in staying positive. I was studying for MCSE 2003 before and it was slow progress. I started with renewed vigour, formed a routine, sent resumes (so many that my hands and eyes used to ache by 4 pm..!!!!), went to interviews, started to look around for new avenues of opportunity, exercised and did yoga regularly. It all happened in December and now I have just got an offer letter from a much bigger and better company. So, I guess I made it through....Hang on, you will also do it...BEST OF LUCK...CHEERS

jedmundson
jedmundson

I was the sole Site Support Specialist for a small manufacturing site. I had been there 9.5 years. On January 29, 2008 I was told that the company my employer (CSC) was outsourcing to said that they were terminating the part of the contract I filled on February 29th. The first thing I did was start packing my stuff and making a list of what needed to be done for the transition. I believe that one should leave a job gracefully leaving your employer with a positive image. Some of the items I had listed they had not known about. One should: Leave a list of your existing UserNames and Passwords for your replacement. Leave a list of your duties and software installed for support of those duties. Leave a list -- and, if possible, diagram of the locations of all equipment you are responsible for throughout the site. Make sure that you will be willing to answer questions for your replacement (up to a point). The next thing I did was create a database for recording the applications I had submitted to the various possible employers. Then, I created a small database as a communication log for phone calls, e-mails, letters, etc. (it came in handy 1.5 months after talking to a possible manager). I agree that you should keep a regular work time for looking for your new job. I put in 8 hours every day doing so. After all, it is a full time job looking for a new position. After 11 months, I got a call from someone I had talked to a month and a half ago. The call sounded like they were trying to sell me a new position. After several calls, I accepted the job with the same company I had worked for. I start Monday. Don't go (as described in Animal Farm) Tharn. Don't give up. I've gotten several jobs during a recession over the last 20 years. You will live through it.

sn.roy
sn.roy

Join an Indian IT company in your country - companies like Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. are also facing difficult times, yet they don't layoff employees for no reason. On the contrary, they recruit local hires for their language & IT skills. 10% of their workforce is non-Indian. Local hires are helpful for clinching contracts too. By the way, the word is "indispensable". Regards.

j.ringham
j.ringham

Hi There JD, I very seldom respond to any posts, but I do check out a lot of stuff on this site. I have appreciated your posts in the past and know that you are very good at what you do. My sympathies on your lay off. It does sound as though you are going to come through it just fine, you have a plan, and a lot of support from the members here. We are downsizing all of the time where I work. I have come to realize that publicly traded companies focus is on the investors, not always the people who provide the value. I have been very lucky so far, and have had opportunities to work in many areas, and on some special projects for the company. It is a good place to work. Do I keep my resume up to date? You bet. Do I ever look to see what's out there for other jobs? All the time. I have a son in his last year of college and that keeps me in this position for now. That now, has been 22 years..... Just keep plugging. I know that you will find the right thing for you and the twins.

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

My sympathies to you, JD. I have not been in your precise situation. But I have been in similar ones. i.e. I was a career Navy man, and intending to stay active duty for at least several more years, had 23 years in at the time. When my wife was involved in an accident that handicapped her severely for the rest of her life. At the time my kids were between 10 and 14 years of age. No way my wife could take care of herself, alone, much less the kids. The Navy expected me to do my duty, and I was up for rotation to sea duty, haze gray and underway. And it was a period when the military in general was being cut back in numbers severely. The Navy expressed its regrets, but stated (as they must) that I should prepare to ship out or tender a request for immediate retirement from active duty. So I found myself suddenly out of a job, quite unexpectedly. Yep, I was due my Navy retirement pay. But if you think that's adequate to support a family with kids all by itself, think again. I was active duty military, not a Congress Critter. They get quite the attractive retirement plan. For far fewer years of service, without the long separations from home, and without being expected to do the things expected of me that resulted in my carrying around numerous scars and not having quite all the body parts I started life with. And, of course, I had no medical for the family. At first, I must confess I was running around in circles, trying to figure out what to do, worrying, and not sleeping much or well. It was early 1992. Not a good time to lose a job. Unemployment was high (around 7.5%) and we were in a recession. What was I to do? How the heck did my skills translate into civilian equivalents? Terminology for things was different, precise duties were different, and so forth. Well, I allowed myself a couple days of self pity and useless worry (useless because it accomplished nothing). (I did not let my family see this tho) Then decided that was getting nowhere. So decided to tackle the issue the way the Navy taught me. Jump in with both boondockers, tackle the issue head on. And just keep plugging away at the problem, a piece at a time ... and forget the fact that all those pieces made up a rather formidable mountain. Libraries were my friend. Had to figure out how my knowledge and skills translated into civilian terminology. (There is a CONSIDERABLE difference between the two) Handing a prospective employer my work experience record (duty assignment sheets), copies of my military professional performance evaluations, and a list of military technical schools I'd graduated from wasn't helpful. They simply didn't know what all that stuff meant, in THEIR terms. So I learned to translate all that from one terminology to another. Write a resume using words and terms a civilian might understand. As my Navy jobs, duties, and responsibilities were of a much broader range than you'd find common in the civilian world. I wrote several variations of my resume. My primary Navy job classification translated out to well over a dozen separate job categories in the civilian world. Combat ships can't carry a separate crew member for each kind of civilian job specialty. Not enough room. The ships would have to be several times larger than they are just to accommodate the extra people. So most Navy "Ratings", primary job classifications, translate into numerous separate civilian job classifications. Not to mention that many of us carried secondary job classifications for other specialties, some of which weren't even related to our primary jobs. And had formal education and actual experience in those areas, also. So, anyway, once I got that far. I started my attack. And it was nothing less than that. I sent out resumes by the hundreds. Per batch, and there were several batches I mailed out. I bought not only local newspapers, but newspapers from other cities and states. Read EVERY advertised job availability in each. Wording by who ever writes that stuff is often vague, to say the least. And what turns out to be essentially the same job might be called a dozen different titles by various folks. Etc. If it seemed that by any stretch of one's imagination, that I MIGHT qualify for a job I read (and it wasn't a minimum pay job or something I definitely did not want to do) I sent them a resume. I've got no idea how many resumes total I sent out. I stopped keeping count after 1000. No, I'm not exaggerating. Even had a file system set up on my personal PC (XT, with black and white screen) with names of whom I'd sent resumes to, plus brief description of company and job offer description. So if and when I got a response, I had something to refer to to refresh my memory. And I annotated the records with whether or not I had gotten a response. What that'd been. Etc. In addition, I went through the yellow pages for the city I was in and the closest other ones. Seeing what kinds of businesses there were local to my area. And if, by any stretch of the imagination, I thought they might be able to use my sorts of talents, I sent them a resume, whether they were advertising an opening or not. Who knows? Maybe ... As it turns out, I found out that a lot of folks have openings they DON'T advertise in the newspapers. Or on job web sites. It's like the company I work for now. First they try to recruit from within. Then they go the route of asking current employees to recommend someone. They fill MOST positions like this. Advertising to the outside world is the method of last resort. Being the impatient sort, and not much given to sitting around, I also started just driving to places that seemed like they could use someone like me. And asking ... face to face. And while going to a known place whose name and address I'd looked up, if I saw some other place that looked likely, I stopped there, too. Got turned down, a lot. When turned down, I'd ask if that person knew any other businesses that might be interested in my kind of person. People in particular lines of work, tend to network. They often know a considerable number of people in the same line of work, or in the same business. I got a number, not a lot but some, of good referrals that way. For instance, this guy didn't need me, but he knew "Joe" over at this other company had an opening. So I'd go talk to Joe. Also during this time, I'd figured out that certain certs, licenses, and so forth were favored by civilians. Investigated some of those. Picked up a couple. Not necessary at the level I'd hoped for. But it was something. Piece of paper that prospective employer understood. For instance, my primary Navy job had been marine power engineering. I also had more than a little knowledge of general purpose office computer systems. And of PLC's (programmable logic controllers). Had an old, late 1960's, AS in computer science. But this was the 1990's. So I signed up and took the testing to become a CCP. Certified Computer Professional. I was a bit doubtful as to the real usefulness of that. However, as it turned out it helped. It established, at least in the mind of a couple prospective employers, that I had some sort of verifiable knowledge of current computer systems. Net results. Positive responses from all my efforts were few, as a percentage of the overall number of contacts I'd made. But they started to add up. To the point that at one time I spent a full week running around like crazy trying to make all the appointments I had for interviews. I couldn't have accepted another interview if I'd wanted to unless someone wanted to hold one in the evening. Yep, most of those didn't work out. Some rejected me. I rejected some of them. But a few were interested, and so was I. And we started working through further negotiations, etc. But then I got a call based on one of those innocuous, vague ads. One that I couldn't even really figure out what they REALLY wanted. A small ad. Very vague. No name given for the company/corporation. Turns out that one was the winner. Total unemployment time, about a month. Which I figured was pretty good given the state of the economy at the time. I worked for them for 10 years. Liked working for em a lot. Only moved on because they sold the branch of their business that included me, to another corporation. Those new people, I did NOT like at all. And I gave em my walking papers. FWIW, when I then went looking for another job. I went to my PAPER records, my filing cabinet, where I've neatly filed away PAPER copies of my previous resumes, school transcripts, certification papers, course diplomas, copies of performance evaluations, and so forth. Updated resumes, made copies of pertinent stuff, etc. Keeping all that stuff on a computer may sound fine. But, for instance, that old PC XT of mine died long ago. Even if the old floppies were still good, I might have trouble finding a disk drive that could read them. Would have to find cable adapters, etc to try to read that old hard drive. If I still had it. Technology changes. But those old PAPERS are still easily read and copied. The most important of them I have copied and keep in another location besides my home. Just in case. It's like one old school I attended. One might think yah could write em or call em and ask for copies of my records. Nope, they no longer exist. Or there is the case of my Navy records. Sent to a central storage facility after I retired from the Navy. They were in the process of digitizing some of those when something happened and a portion of my records were lost. I got a letter about it. Before I'd actually walked out of the door the last time, I'd have my entire service jacket photocopied and stamped and signed verifying the copies were legit. So I sent them copies of what were now missing from my records at that archive. Forget the size of the problem you're facing. Take it one step at a time, and keep plugging away. My best wishes to you and yours. As soon as I finish typing this, I'm going to take a little time to do more work on a computer based course I'm taking. Most of the course is computer based, done at home. Later I've got to attend a real classroom for a couple days (lab portion of the course). Then take a test, and pass it. To get another certification. I don't actually NEED that certification, at this time. But ... yah never know. I could be looking for a job sometime soon. I don't THINK I will be. But I figure its better to be prepared than not.

santeewelding
santeewelding

You appear to have landed more than a full-time job. If this keeps up, you will need to hire staff to manage the thread.

ThumbsUp2
ThumbsUp2

I received the news a day before you posted your blog that my job has been targeted by the Legislature. I'm not gone yet, but I have to wait on pins and needles to see if I'll make it through this round of budget cuts. I'm not sure which is worse, knowing or waiting. I was just as shocked as you to find out I'm not indispensable. After all, I'm the only Field Tech for the whole department. How are they going to keep 20 or so field offices going without me? I guess the Legislators will find out what happens when the field offices are all forced to go back to pencil and paper to keep records and they don't get their reports in a timely manner. ;) Keep your chin up JD. Don't let this get you down. You'll survive it and probably look back on it as a positive life changing experience.

melekali
melekali

From my experience in getting fired (the dude who managed the contract expected me to do more than what was in the contract), I learned a couple things: 1. Keep the resume current 2. Continue looking at different job openings 3. Allow friends to help you 4. Don't believe you lost your only job! Now my story... I worked for Dyncorp IT as the lead helpdesk technician under a government contract. The guy who administered the contract was the same guy who wrote it. Came the day of reckoning when he informed me I wasn't living up to the contract by not doing things in proportion to what he wanted, despite the fact that this stipulation was not in the contract. Instead of working with me, he complained to the company who summarily dismissed me that day (a Friday). Nice way to start the weekend. So I started work on my resume I didn't think I'd have to work on for at least a couple years. I was at a Church function the next Tuesday and we were talking about my firing and one of the folks said she knew someone who hired contractors to do IT and other work. I started working as an independent contractor that week and when the rebids came around, I won two contracts, one managing their IT stuff for half a day and the other counseling students. No matter if one attribute this to God or not, talking with friends about woes can be a great help.

williaa6
williaa6

I found myself on the street in the recession of the early 90's. To say it was a shock is grand under statement. I kept myself active, well aware of the depression trap, pepperred the job market with resumes and applications and took any work that came my way, ie. factory work. These humbling circumstances, and the squillion applications I had sent out, led to my family and I finding ourselves in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, where we stayed for 5 years. It was a life changing time. If I had not lost my job and endured the hardship, we would never have gone to the Middle East. The silver lining is there, but sometimes it takes an open mind and a lot of looking to see it.

JimInPA
JimInPA

I'm real sorry to hear that JD. So far I have not had the experience but things are getting scary around here as well. The hospital across town just laid off a bunch of people. Our hospital's official statement is no layoffs here but I know of at least one person who has been let go and all open positions basically need to be rejustified. I don't know what I would do if I was laid off because there are not a lot of positions in this area for what I do. About 12 give or take. If I check out the job boards I see there are opening all over the country but due to some personal circumstances I would not be able to move. We are living in some scary times right now. I really try not to think about it because it is depressing. Best of luck my friend.

jck
jck

i've been through it. sorry you are. and ironically, i may quit my current job soon. the current situation has changed from how i was told it would be (by my direct supervisor), and i'm being held to a different standard than other staff members when it comes to accountability. more news as it happens

sboverie
sboverie

I have been laid off a few times, at first it is a relief and then it turns into a roller coaster ride of exhilerating highs and crushing lows. Each time, the job market changed and the methods to find work changed. My best advice is to use your network of friends, ex co-workers and other contacts to find another job. Use the time to take a hard look at your work history and identify those moments that you felt to be peak moments of accomplishments. The one thing to be aware of is that when you do find a credible job offer, the benefits may be much less than you had. If you were getting 3 or 4 weeks of vacation you may find yourself back at the basic 2 weeks. You should try to negotiate the benefits and it is possible to improve the basics.

shadowagent
shadowagent

Something similar happened to me in 1998. I had been with the company 12 1/2 years but it was bought out by another. Folks didn't believe I was impacted, and 2 weeks after I was gone folks were still looking for me because they needed my help and were shocked to find out I had been laid-off. It took me 6 months to find another job, things were tough around that time, but not as tough as today. The new job was contracting, something I hadn't done before, but I needed the work. I got paid slightly more than my previous job when I was tasked with 1 specific job...related to Y2K. 3 years after the contract started I went perm with the company and will be celebrating my 10 year anniversary here in May. I've even survived being laid-off (although they called it a redistribution of workforce at the time) in 2007. What got me through all of it was staying focused on finding the next job. Staying positive even though it seemed I wasn't finding anything or hearing from anyone. My network of resources helped steer me to potential openings and gave me references that helped me secure the role. You can't let the search get you down otherwise you start down the slope of depression and self doubt. I have friends who have been laid-off over the last couple of months and they're becoming stuck in that depression rut.

J Alley
J Alley

Hello JD - I am not a regular poster but I have often read your posts and enjoyed them. I was laid off on Jan 26th and was in a bit of a daze when I first saw your position listed as 'student' and didn't connect until this morning that you had been laid off too. For me after the HR guy said 'You are probably wondering why I asked to meet with you ...' the room started to spin, stomach churned and I don't think I really heard anything for the next little while. I haven't felt anything like that since I was dumped by a girlfriend about 22 years ago. After all the stress hormones calmed down a bit, I realized they were treating me OK. For me too it was a lay off and I didn't have a clue that it was coming. I spent a lot of time the next couple of days wondering who knew what in the weeks before it happened. Like you, I have two teenagers - mine would absolutely hate it if I had to move so my job search is local but I am optimistic. I was lucky to get a package including the services of a career coach. I was surprised at the current expectations for resume design. I think it is well worth getting whatever coaching you can on this. I think my coach has significantly improved my resume. One piece of advice they gave is to only put in the stuff from the past 5-10 years - so there is no need to revive that old PC. Keeping the current stuff allows you more space to focus on your accomplishments over the past few years. They say it is all about accomplishments, not responsibilities so focus on measurable results. It remains to be seen what that means in terms of getting those job interviews. I definitely agree with the suggestions about LinkedIn. As I worked to build my network, I realized how many people I knew that I could get to help me out. And that has produced some leads already.

JohnOfStony
JohnOfStony

Hi JD. You have my sympathy. I've been laid off 3 times, every time due to cashflow problems in the company I worked for. The first time, 1987, I got another job in less than 3 days. The second time, 1991 (recession), I was out of work for 13 months. The third time, 1998, I was out for 6 months. In all cases, I got my next job because of who I knew, not what I knew. In 1998, after 6 months I got 2 phone calls within an hour offering me work! I did have the advantage of no dependants, so the financial pressure wasn't as bad but I would suggest you spread the word among your friends and ex-work colleagues and something will come up. I'm in a position where I've written all the software on which the company's existence depends, so I think I'm pretty secure but as I'll be 60 this year, early retirement would be a possibility if I were to be laid off. Finally, keep a positive outlook and find something IT-ish to do at home while you're looking; a prospective employer will always be more impressed if you've got something to show for the time you've been unemployed. Meanwhile, best of luck in your search!

jkameleon
jkameleon

Oh, brother... That guy was really emotionally attached to his job. When... yea, I think it's just a question of when... I get sacked, I'll finish cleaning in 5-10 minutes tops. Empty my drawers in the garbage, eventually throw the junk from my desk into shredder, and that's it. I got my current job when I was self employed about 10 years ago. I accepted the permanent position at one of my customers, and that's how I still regard my employers: As sort of customers. If so happens that they won't need my services anymore, it's OK by me.

dbm1rxb
dbm1rxb

Happened to me in 1994 after 30 years with the same company and with one son in college and another getting ready to go and a stay at home spouse. No one, but no one is indispensible when it comes to the bean counters! I too was shocked, then realized I didn't have time for the depression that was setting in. The company was good enough to have a job counseling, resume writing-printing center that I could attend. After 30 years and at 54 years old who has an old resume? Anyway, at that time the job climate was much better than today, so I did get some interviews. Most of them involved a 2 1/2 hour commute each way and much less pay. I got lucky, a major company only a few miles from home needed my particular skill on their databases and I was hired and started immediately with no time off. I feel for anyone in today's job climate who loses their job. God bless you.

Anita Y. Mathis
Anita Y. Mathis

I quit working for Corporation X a few years back because of the threat of being laid off. They never let me go. They always found someplace else for me to work with the same pay and more variety in the work. As a result I got to meet a lot of great new people and have new experiences that have contributed to my development today. I knew it couldn't last forever and I wanted to be in charge of the direction of my professional growth anyway. I was more upset about the "possibility" of being laid off than actually being laid off. Come to think of it, I quit without taking advantage of a snall severance package that could have paid my mortgage for a few months .Anyway, that's over and done. Sometimes, when things happen all at once, such as in your case, you don't have the "luxury of worry". I've grown tremendously through my potential laying off period, and as a result of it, I can't see myself being anyone's employee again. Enjoy your extra time with your boys. They're what life is about. It'll feel good to be there for them after school even if you can't do it long term because you'll be working again soon.

MagicTom
MagicTom

It is very dangerous to work for an organization where nobody even have a clue to what you are doing there. This situation happens very often in IT, and good men loose their jobs sometimes.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

Very similar situation. We both got layed off and hired on as contractors as I mentioned happened to me...same job with this one. I made it as manager and my long time friend that had graduated and started with me worked under me. I was told I had to let him go. Not really given any specifics as to why, other than poor performance and "doctored" performance evals to back it up. Man that sucked. I invited him to my house and we grilled out and had a few beers before I broke it to him. He was devasted and I felt like an ass. To be honest, I asked him if he wanted me to quit, and given my state of mind back then I would have went straight to my out of town manager's office, posted my resignation and punched him in the face. But my friend said he had grown tired of IT, anyway. He had received welding and metal construction training in the army. He had no kids, so he sold his house, his car, took the money and hopped on abus to Charleston, sc with all of his clothes...which was the only thing he hadn't sold. There he paid for instruction and certification for deep sea diving and underwater repair. He travels to oil rigs and ports now, all over the globe. He's gone 6 months to one year at the time and pops in to town every once in awhile to say hey or offers me plane tickets to go hang out in Southeast Asia where he says he's happy. Lol, there's a career switch! But the sob is happy and has a seven figure bank account since he technically has no home...or immediate family for that matter. Last I heard from him he was going to marry some girl out in south east asia and buy a freakin motel in a tourist spot. I also receive handmade pool sticks from time to time, apparently a local thing. Mother of pearl is common there, so these things have the most extravagant hand carvings and pearl inlays I've seen. The mother of pearl artwork extends from the base to the nut where you dissasemble it. He says they cost him $20 and the shipping actually far exceeds that. Anyway, my point is that you never know...sometimes layoffs are a blessing in disguise and a forced career path change.

XnavyDK
XnavyDK

Status update! I am sorry I have not been following tr very well lately and I am sorry to hear you got laid off. I hope things are well now?

jdclyde
jdclyde

that this was far from an isolated experience. I do wish it were more rare than it is thought..... :( Congrats on making it through a hard time, and thanks for the well wishes. jd

reisen55
reisen55

I note you are from India which makes it very easy for you to recommend this. But jobs in the United States are somewhat harder to come by. Your country, by the way, is being cruelly used and exploited by the whole outsource game. YOUR people are being paid a fraction of what truly qualified techs are worth. I note the word qualified because my experience with India has been dreadful. You will have some good people as in any population pot. But do not think that US techs are going to run and uproot their families for the glory of a job in Bangalore with Tata et al. Oh, I have two jobs by the way. One full time that is ten minutes from my home with an IT department that is AMERICAN and internal and the other my outside consulting activity which has been a 12 year income producer and that I am expanding. Both are wonderful because I am in control and not some procedure ridden monster like CSC, ACS or ACN.

joel.aigner
joel.aigner

Hey JD, I'm a bit of a lurker as well and to be honest I'm not really even a technical guy. I'm a Business Development Manager for a firm that does both project work and staffing. With that said a big part of my function is to identify certain decision makers in an organization, then ascertain their contact information and then get their attention for long enough to learn what their challenges are and see if my people can provide a solution. The big key may be taking a two prong approach for each prospect, i.e. going the pedestrian route of submitting yourself to hr or the agency but sometimes the key is to bypass them with a second effort that goes directly to the hiring manager. Ping me if you'd like top chat and I can give you a 10 minute debriefing on some techniques I've developed nd a couple of helpful hints on how to do it "softly" without seeming like you're trying to cut out the middle man (even though you are). Either way, just be the Jedi that you are, put the blaster shield down and may the Force be with you.

jdclyde
jdclyde

minions to do my bidding.... :D

jdclyde
jdclyde

Guess now is the time for you to get that resume updated, to get ahead of the curve so you are not caught flat footed like I was. Good luck.

jdclyde
jdclyde

As I would give up some pay to get more vacation time. I also need someone that is flexible, because I do NOT miss my boys school events over something as silly as a job. My last position allowed me to work over one day so that I could leave early on another.

jdclyde
jdclyde

to "hermit" but that wasn't in the pull-down menu. :( I wasn't hit as hard as you, because I have seen the business struggling for over a year, though I admit I expected the doors to close the day I was walked out. Thanks for reading, and always feel free to join in ANY discussion. We are always open to more "regulars" to join in the fun. B-) Good luck in your job hunt.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

From the OP: [i]I filled the van with all of my stuff, including several books and tools. I HATE when I can?t find the tools I need, and so I always use my own.[/i] If you don't packrat stuff in your office, you are one of the very few in IT who doesn't.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

"I was more upset about the "possibility" of being laid off than actually being laid off." I've been there! After dodging the "downsizing bullet" for 3 years at one company, I think being laid off was somewhat of a relief. Sucks that it was in the third round! The company planned a 3 year lay off streak, no notification until you got your pink slip on friday afternoon. That created one of the most stressful work environments I had ever seen. This wasn't the case for jd, though...sounds like his experience was one of those times when you get blind sided.

sidekick
sidekick

I wouldn't say India is getting exploited. Can a U.S. or European company fill the same job role in India for 1/2 to 1/10 the price? Yes. But these jobs in India are a step up for them. Indians are able to get better paying jobs and raise their standards of living. Oh, and when India decided to join the global community, they started making it easier for entrepreneurs to start companies, eventually started improving their roads, etc. As a result of all this, they have one of the fastest growing economies in the world. If anything, they are getting the good end of the stick here.

sn.roy
sn.roy

I have read with great appreciation the various responses you have posted to blogs & other readers' comments. What you write makes sense everytime, but only from your perspective. The world is a very big place with lots of developments that Western media with its fixed notions (of India as a place of elephants, snake charmers & slums) will not allow you to know. Have they told you about India's successful Moon mission Chandrayan-I? Firstly, you have missed the words "in your country" in my comments - you can join an Indian IT company in your own country; you don't have to go to Bangalore. By the way Bangalore is a very small speck of Indian IT & I am 2500 kms. away from there in Kolkata. I have mentioned that these companies take local hires in every country (around 65 countries) for their local language & IT skills, presenting a local culture & accent to the customer and for good public relations (the idea is not to take away jobs from locals, rather to provide them more stable employment than Western companies would provide). Secondly, about cruel exploitation. Anyone is free to leave or join. IT professionals in India draw among the highest salaries in India. I can draw much more if I join a foreign company in India or go to the US. But is it worth it? In both cases, I would fear getting laid off. A rough calculation. If I should get 80 & get it & am employed for only 5 months in a year, I get 400. If I am cruelly exploited & get only 50 round the year, I still get 600. I would prefer the latter, since it is a tension-free option. Thirdly, you missed Puchasing Power Parity (PPP). In India, you can live a royal life with all luxuries & servants with the salary you would get. You could work for a few years & then retire to pursue other interests, having built up a fortune due to low expenses. I went to Australia & spent 26 AUD on a haircut (INR 1040 at that time) while I spend INR 20 in Kolkata. Ridiculously inefficient, economically speaking. In the US, I believe it is $10 (or INR 470). In a pure capitalist economy, everyone's profiteering & so the citizens pay through their nose for the economic inefficiency of their country. In a globalized world, this simply is unacceptable. Fourthly, it is easier to survive a downturn in a cheaper country. I am told that one million people go to bed hungry every night in the US. Fifthly, if the US client wants cheaper workers (juniors), you get 'dreadful' experiences because you asked for it. Pay higher & you get the truly qualified Indians (including those from US universities with US experience) or even US citizens. Good things are always scarcer and so more costly but the lower-end work can be done by the cheaper workers. I have a good idea about the US because 50% of my company's revenue comes from the US. Now you must open up to the other world, going beyond the stereotypes. Care to come & see India for yourself?. Thanks & regards.

jkameleon
jkameleon

No books, no plants, no posters, no child pictures, nothing. Zilch. I don't want to get emotionally engaged, not even a little bit. It's far healthier that way.

jdclyde
jdclyde

will effect the amount of resources that are needed to perform that job. Because I wore several hats, there was a wide range of tools/books on hand.

SJMcD
SJMcD

All the best with the new job.

jdclyde
jdclyde

So far, it looks like just the right mix of hours and pay to allow me to enjoy my last few years with my boys before they head out on their own. Really am pretty excited, for a change. :D

jdclyde
jdclyde

I didn't go with a recruiter, so don't know how they handle their businesses. Hope it pans out for you. jd

SObaldrick
SObaldrick

I signed the paperwork in January, but still haven't got a start date yet. This is so common .. I'll get my resume in front of a recruiter for an advertised job, and the job is put on hold. Les.

sn.roy
sn.roy

Dear Reisen55, Every patriotic citizen shall be proud of the virtues of his country and every country has some issues. If Gandhi was assassinated in India in 1948, so was his follower Martin Luther King (II?)many decades later and so was Kennedy. Hindus & Muslims have lived in relative peace in India since about 700 AD. The partition riots took place because of Britain's divide & rule policy. Today India has the second largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia, has a secular constitution but is considered a Hindu country by the West. Yes, India has a caste system (whose ill effects can still be felt only in the rural areas of some states) which simply was a form of specialisation by birth. The advantage - perhaps next only to the Jews, some of the world's best finance brains hail from particular castes of Gujarat, Rajasthan & Tamil Nadu provinces of India. Some of the world's finest soldiers also hail from particular martial castes in India, trained in combat over 5000 years. And so on. A google search would reveal to you that India continued to be the richest country in the world till the arrival of the British. Remember Columbus & Vasco da Gama? Then Britain started shipping their loot in India to their home country. Today much of the initial wealth of colonising countries like Britain, France, Spain & Portugal is comprised of the rampant loot in Africa, Asia & Latin America. Even then, in terms of Purchasing Power Parity, India ranks fourth today in the list of rich nations. After the recession is over, India will be much better placed than the rest of the countries which caused it. Anyway, the point I was making in my earlier mail was only about joining an Indian IT firm in your own country. My idea was not to talk about the virtues or otherwise of India. Regards.

reisen55
reisen55

You point to the virtues of your country and it has a long and beautiful history, culture and ethos. Remember the bad too. The murder of Ghandi The partition bloodshed in 1948 and 49. The Caste system Abject poverty You.ve got some issues too my friend.

jdclyde
jdclyde

it SHALL be personalized with pictures and such. As for books, none were/are for pleasure reading, and are tools of the trade when I need to know something. I will not allow the AMOUNT of personal effects to get so high again, though.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

I saw software/application development and assumed so. Might make an interesting yet pointless survey.

Forum Surfer
Forum Surfer

We have a large IT department. We have one half that is mostly programmers, Mainframe developers and operators. The other half is the usual network and server/pc support. The majority of our programmers do like you described...no personal effects. The network guys (with the exception of the OCD neat freak pc support guy) have personal pictures and their kid's drawings. The only exception is the one programmer that I hang out with after hours who has Charley stuff plastered all over his office and a few pictures of the family. I wonder if this is a stereotype for IT? I myself keep pictures of my son. The picture is a reminder of why I'm working. Not to better myself, impress someone or make tons of money...but to provide. Also, if I get upset and want to tie someone up with network cables and beat them with a keyboard...the picture reminds me I can't do that anymore. I find I can't accomplish much in life through emotional separation, I've just never been the type. I've tried it and I tend to become a very focused individual when I do. But too focused....I get upset easily and I'm not pleasant to be around. For me it is quite a difference just to put a picture of my son up.

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