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Wedding Woes

"Thanks for letting me know" and then bean dip.

Dear Prudence,

I work for a large multinational company that occasionally goes through layoffs. I’ve been here for seven years but am still the most junior member of my team by decades (people who don’t get laid off stay forever because the benefits are fantastic). Several of my colleagues, who are generally nice people, approach me from time to time to tell me they’re “hearing rumors” about another round of layoffs. This inevitably strikes fear in my heart because, as the most junior team member, I am the most likely to be let go. I find my anxiety growing, and it gets hard to concentrate on my work. I spend part of my days job hunting and being distraught that I won’t find another job as great as this one. I would really like my colleagues to stop spreading these rumors (which have so far not resulted in my being let go, but there’s always next time). How do I politely tell them to knock it off? Or do I just have to learn to tune them out?

—Layoff Rumors Don’t Help

Re: "Thanks for letting me know" and then bean dip.

  • banana468banana468 member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    You need to tune it out.

    Large companies go through layoffs.   It's part of what they have to do.   

    Also, if you're junior but there are many senior members you also need to consider that many companies will start to do things like offer retirement packages and bonuses to boomers who are aging because they may be costing the company more and these are going to be those looking to start not working.

    Hold on, continue to do your best and ensure your resume is always up to date. 
  • short+sassyshort+sassy member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited May 16
    I agree with @banana468 that he needs to take the rumors with a grain of salt.  Keep the resume updated.  Keep an eye out for other as good/better jobs.  Hopefully the LW makes enough money to save some up for a rainy day.  But, yes, companies often offer retirement packages to long-time/older employees.  And sometimes choose to layoff employees making higher salaries for similar jobs (see more below).

    I'm wondering if the LW works at my company, lol.  Actually, things are good now.  But we went through about TWO years where things were real dicey, layoff rumors all the time, I wouldn't have been surprised on any one of those days to have been laid off.  And some of those rumors were true.

    Looking back, I'm shocked I'm even still here.  Not a doubt in my mind that my head was on the chopping block a few times.  As our workforce started shrinking, I was cross-trained in a few departments!  I know that was in an effort on the big boss's part to keep me.

    And here's the sad part also, though good for the LW.  Sometimes companies DON'T layoff the newer employees.  They layoff the employees making the larger salaries for the same/similar jobs, which are usually going to be the employees who have been there a long time.

    I hate to say it, but I think that happened at my workplace also.  The department I was originally hired for is Procurement.  At one point, it was just myself and another coworker in this department.  Much more experienced.  Worked here for years.  I don't know what his salary was, but I'm sure it was a lot more than mine.  He was laid off and I wasn't.  Probably some of that was the other work I was crossed trained for, so I was also more versatile.  In fact, I still work roughly half my time for Procurement and half my time for a different dept.  But still.  I have my suspicions more emphasis was put to keep me because I'm cheap (relatively speaking) and underpaid for what I can do.
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  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Words!  Plus, sometimes they'll buy out senior staff because junior staff is cheaper to keep on.  

    But also, always keep the resume current and "What would you do if you couldn't work here" plan ready to go because of either getting tired of dealing with the rumor crap or simply because it's time to make those opportunities happen.  Also, LW needs to start thinking savings and personal investment plan sans company to build wealth so if they do end up being laid off, it's not as big of a hit in the short term while getting the next opportunity lined up.  
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  • OurWildKingdomOurWildKingdom in the 216 member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Besides keeping the resume updated, saving money, and bean-dipping, LW should take advantage of the employee assistance program if their company offers such a thing. It’s typically free (mine is), and it’s always confidential.
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