This is the third attempt at writing this post. Not because of sheer laziness or lack of something to say. Just that the mere subject touched a raw nerve. I had titled it Layoffs and scrapped it again.
I meant to write a post on Dealing With Getting Laid Off, but heh, how do I write without sounding preachy and shouting from the rooftop. So out it all went.
CONTEXT first: My placid morning got stirred when a friend skyped asking for openings and vacancies. Further prodding and sheer nosiness got this out- laid off for not meeting targets; EMIs rolling out and house expenses to be met. Can I help?
Racked my befuddled head (coz this friend was comfortably well off but a month back secure in the everyday job and the 10-11 existence and now!!!) and scoured my contact list-passed on a few numbers and got back to what I was doing..snoozing. I couldn’t though.
WHAT NEXT: Thanked God and the bosses-that-be it wasn’t me? Prepared a Oscar-winning speech for why not me and then came the memories of a nightmarish quality.
Circa 2000: Heated words and the “you can shove your job you know where” and the heroic walk-out. Come morning and I woke up with a flush. I had no job and a blissfully unaware family, mom and dog waving me out the office and a brother asking me to stay safe. So there I was, out the gate with a hundred in the pocket, no cubicle to go to and NO boss to report to.
Old habits die hard indeed as I took a familiar route and landed on the bus terminal close to work. Free ad in hand I walked to a park close to what was my office till that morning. Within no time circles adorned the paper and frantic calls to jobs I had no idea about. Anything to have an appt letter in hand and next pay cheque in bank. This routine continued the next 13 days along with walk-ins to organizations that friends suggested. I did what a sales guy called cold calling, and the product I was doing a hard sell on was ME.
My nourishment these 13 days was hope, a bottle of water that I got from home, bananas and buns. Suffice to say, I stayed healthy physically and started breaking out mentally. No calls from companies desperate to hire me and the only calls I got was from banks soliciting a client, if they only knew it was a jobless penniless client they were soliciting!!
Two weeks on and nearing to the EOM I got a call at my neighbourhood kirana shop. Why you ask? No landline at home and mine was a prepaid connection with the balance hovering close to the last rupee. Running out I answer with a breathless voice. Hello said the voice on the end of the line. “Can you come in today and write a test. We shall discuss the details once you are done.” What do you think?
Of course, I ran and reached the organization in as quick a time as the BMTC would take me. My hands were quivering as I took pen in hand to write the test (Eh youngsters we did not have a notebook (read Lenovo) to take our tests on, it was still paper and pen!!) and my head abuzz with Will they, Won’t They as I tried making sense of the paper.
Two hours later I submitted the completed paper and waited to hear the result. 30 minutes which seemed 30 years and more and I could already feel my hair turning grey and my knees clatter.
Yes I snagged the job and the rest of the story isn’t worth a telling. But lessons learnt:
- Words once spoken can never be taken back
- Do not jump out till you got a ship/boat under you coz the waters may drown you if you aren’t equipped to swim= if you don’t have savings/rich family background Stay put till you get a better job
- If something doesn’t go well, work harder. Perhaps you aren’t doing something right. Introspect before you start pointing at someone or something
- Choose wisely before you take up an offer. Remember after that the choice is not yours
- Always, always save.. a rupee, a hundred, a thousand. Doesn’t matter how much, but SAVE. You never know when it rains or there’s a flood. Always be prepared
- Constantly upgrade your skillsets
- See your saleability in the market
- Enhance your knowledge base
- Be better than what you are
- Do not get emotional about the organization or the people you work with. Make friends but remember being true to your job and good at your job matters more.
- Build relationships that go beyond the workplace
- Weigh loyalty: Check if the organization values loyalty, see how they treat people across board – from the office boy to the MD