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Layoffs - Have you been through one?

edited October 2014 in Not Engaged Yet

We had a team meeting at my work last thursday and my manager announced to our group that we will most likely be having layoffs before the end of the year. he didn't say when, how many people or if there are specific teams/job titles that will be targeted. He kept giving examples from his past of layoffs including 30% of staff...so I'm thinking these will be fairly extensive. Our company has had a bad year and I was expecting some changes, but in my 8+ years here, we've never had layoffs before.

I truly believe I'll be safe. I'm young, hard working, have had a lot of face time with upper management this year for positive reasons and I'm the lowest paid individual for my job title here. I'm really not worried about myself. However, I know layoffs suck whether you get to keep your job or not. Plus, if i'm honest...the fact that i'm pregnant during all this scares the bejesus out of me. I haven't told anyone at work yet, and I'm planning to keep my mouth shut as long as I can. I'm hoping if we do have layoffs it will happen sooner than later so that my pregnancy is not part of that decision (even though it shouldn't be anyway - but let's be realistic here).

Have any of you been though layoffs at your job? Whether you were layed off or were able to keep your job, how did things change? How did you handle it? I'm curious to hear other people's experiences with this...

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Re: Layoffs - Have you been through one?

  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
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    At my previous workplace, we went through layoffs just over a year ago. I was a student employee, so I was cheap labor and I kept my job. It was a very toxic time (PM if you want more details). Um ... it sucks. That's all I can say. Things were toxic before and toxic after, so there wasn't much change. People put their heads down, kept quiet. I guess just ... you adjust if you keep your job.

    Sorry, this probably isn't very helpful.
  • Oh yeah, big law firms went through massive layoffs all around during my 8 years in private practice.  I survived each one but it was stressful knowing others were getting fired.  I kept my nose to the grindstone and my ears open.  I also communicated with my direct bosses about the layoffs.  I think everyone hates to talk about them and wants to ignore them as long as possible but, personally, I'd like to know if my head is being considered for the chopping block well in advance if that was the case.  Thankfully it wasn't but open communication set my mind at ease.  I'm sorry you are going through this...it is a very stressful thing (even more so with being preggers).
  • eilis1228eilis1228 Southwest member
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    I haven't, but a few friends have. One friend lost his job, the other didn't. The one who lost his job found another job within the same day at a job fair, so he lucked out big time. The one who didn't was actually planning on leaving to go back to grad school, and, like you, he had to keep his mouth shut until the last possible minute about his plans. It's really a tricky situation, and the workplace became fairly toxic after the layoffs were announced because everyone was in the, "Well, what's the point?" mindset. 

    How soon will they start the layoffs?


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  • Hummingbird125Hummingbird125 New York member
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    edited October 2014
    I worked for a large company that went through several rounds of layoffs. It was terrible. I was a manager at the time, and was given no prior warning. Coincidentally, I was home sick on the day it first happened. I got a call from my best friend (who was one of my employees) telling me that everyone in the office (about 100 people) had been sent meeting invites for one of a few different sessions, and that the first session had just ended, and a bunch of people came out crying - they had all, at once, been told they were laid off. That session included two of my employees. In the other sessions they were told they were NOT being laid off. The worst part was, upper management had had meetings with all of the managers that morning, and explained that some people were being laid off, and assigned a couple of managers to each session to "help" - the 2 managers assigned to the first session thought they were just there assisting, until the HR person let them know that they too were being let go. 

    I felt TERRIBLE not being there, and heard later that one person on my team told everyone I must have known about it, and that's why I called in sick that day. It sucked.

    ETA: I was not laid off, but we went through another round of layoffs before I left that department. Less than a year later, that whole office was shut down.
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  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
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    At my last company, I worked for a branch of the company that was sold.  My job was going to be eliminated but I had a timeline (They were eliminating in phases, I was in the last phase - so that was 12-18 months).  I ended up finding a job back in the core business with that company.

    During that time that I was in limbo - I have to say it was very very stressful and it was super hard to not take it personally or even say 'this isn't my fault, I did not do anything wrong.  This is because this portion of the company is sold, not anything I could do or avoid'.

    I can say the other bad part about this is the media found out about the sale of the company before the company let us know.  So it was really great driving into work that morning we found out from the radio that the portion of the company we worked for was sold. 


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  • speakeasy14speakeasy14 member
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    edited October 2014
    I was laid off from a job a few years ago, with this company they basically got rid of everyone except 5 people, and then those people were laid off once there was no more business.   It was a really bad company to work for, they were completely unorganized and only had one customer, so when that contract was up they crumbled.

    That being said, this is how they went about layoffs: those close to retirement were offered early retirement.  After that those hired most recently were laid off (where I fell).  After that it was based on job performance, and reviews, until it was down to the 5 people. 

    The day I received my notification I applied for unemployment.  I was able to find some sort of work within two months, but it was the equivalent type of work.  Because I knew it was coming, I was stressed by the not knowing when, but I figured I would be one of the first.  
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  • Ollie08Ollie08 Central FL member
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    I worked for a new home builder for 11 years, including the boom and bust. For about 2 years I sat by and watched everyone around me get let go. In 2009, we seemed to have gotten through the worst of it, and that there were no more cuts to be made, but I was wrong. I ended up being let go the very week I finally moved back out of my parent's house post-divorce. It was scary as hell. Thankfully for me with my severance, and the unemployment that I received, as well as not having child care expenses, it really helped me break even. I was unemployed for about 6 months to the day before actually being re-hired with the company where I stayed until last year.  


    Layoffs suck. Whether you're the one being laid off, or one of the ones left behind. I felt on edge for those few years, just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Any time the corporate execs came into town, everyone was on edge. It wasn't healthy. Like @KeptInStitches said, people kept their heads down and tried to do whatever they had to do so they weren't on the chopping block.


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  • @eilis1228 - We don't know when the layoffs will happen. I would assume before the end of the year as they won't want those salaries to hit next year's budget...but that's just a guess on my part.

    @hummingbird125 - What awful circumstances! Nice that you were out that day...but also kind of not. I can see why people might have assumed that you knew ahead of time, but it stinks that people thought that. I actually had a dream that there were groups called for "training" and the training was just a meeting for a group to be let go. Your IRL story sounds eerily familiar to my dream.

    @dignity100 - I cannot believe your company didn't tell everyone first! That's a horrible way to have employees find out about big changes like that.

    @speakeasy14 - I'm sorry you went through that. If my company handles things the same way, I think i'll be safe for a bit. I've been here over 8 years. BUT...there are no guarantees.

    @Ollie08 - I can't imagine being on the hook for that long. I'm hoping this will be a one round kind of thing and then the company will begin to bounce back. Maybe i'm being naive...

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  • Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. I really don't know what my company will offer in the way of severance...but I'm hoping anyone who does have to go gets enough to at least get through the holidays and find another job. We really have great people here and it has been a great place to work...so to hear this kind of thing is going to happen is just a bit jarring. Obviously it's not as uncommon as I'd hope. Makes me sad that so many people have to deal with that kind of instability.

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  • This has happened to me twice (once from downsizing and once the company closed) and I just "survived" another similar situation. It sucks, for everyone! Waiting around to hear the news is a really bad place to be in, psychologically. Whatever happens, don't take it personally. It's business. Avail yourself of professional development opportunities (training, networking etc) that will be valuable no matter what happens. Try to avoid the gossip mill and be helpful and productive. Good luck!
  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
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    I know my old company, we always joked 'once the Christmas wreaths come out, so do the pink slips'.  Most companies try to lay off before the end of the year if they follow the annual calendar for their fiscal year.

    When I was on the chopping block, they offered me a nice severance package and they did what are called 'retention bonuses' for those who did not leave early (they also offered them to employees that were chosen to stay as they didn't want to replace them). 

    In my case - the company that acquired the part of the business I was in, did offer me a job in their acquisitions/data conversion department but I would have had to move (but it was nice to know that they liked my work as this was very uncommon for them).  In the end, I wanted to stay with the parent company I was already with.


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  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains member
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    As a student employee during the round of layoffs at my previous company, I was not offered any sort of retention package, nor would I have been offered severance if I had been let go. I am unaware of any retention or severance packages being offered to anyone, full-time or part-time. It was toxic before, it was toxic after, and I would not be surprised if there really had been no packages.
  • Something similar to a layoff happened at the company I worked for about 7 years ago.  It was retail and I was a manger during the housing bust in CA.  The location I was at was doing terribly (and to be honest had been since its inception).  We knew a little bit ahead of time that they were planning to close the store and myself and the 2nd manager fought HARD to keep the best designers and get them to another location.  It was terribly stressful..to the point that I walked in to my bosses office right before they confirmed they were closing us (it was rumor before that) and just quit.  I'd started formulating a plan and was dating my H long distance at the time so it ended up working out.  I gave 2 weeks but the DM (and one of my BFF's) asked me to stay for 4 weeks to help shut the store down and then I took a 50% pay cut and worked full time at what was once a 2nd job until I moved an hour and a half away to live with my H.
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  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
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    My office has been through three rounds of layoffs this year. After the first round, upper management assured us that there wouldn't be any more layoffs. Then our holding company demanded that they cut labor cost even more since we had lost some business, so there were two more rounds. The result was that management has lost everyone's trust. The one thing my company did really well was helping the people affected to find new jobs.

    I want to think that there won't be anymore layoffs and that my job is safe anyway, but I've been reading up on how to negotiate severance benefits just in case.
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  • blabla89 said:
    My office has been through three rounds of layoffs this year. After the first round, upper management assured us that there wouldn't be any more layoffs. Then our holding company demanded that they cut labor cost even more since we had lost some business, so there were two more rounds. The result was that management has lost everyone's trust. The one thing my company did really well was helping the people affected to find new jobs.

    I want to think that there won't be anymore layoffs and that my job is safe anyway, but I've been reading up on how to negotiate severance benefits just in case.
    Not a bad idea...maybe I should start doing this too...

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