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Don’t write for my carnivals!

November 10th, 2006

Little change of plans – I’ll do the summary later (sometime this year) because I want to put more time into it. And, because something else came up… keep reading…

Last night I get a call from one of my carnival entrants. They had just gotten laid off. Irony of ironies, this person constructed a thoughtful response to my question starting YIKES (don’t worry, I won’t put the whole question here, its been in posts all week ;))… and they would do this and that and that and this. I imagine this person had a fitful night, and hope that they wake up and read through the other submissions that I’ve put in from Monday through Thursday. I don’t agree with all of it but I do agree with most of it (99%) – there are some amazing pearls of wisdom in there.

So, make a mental note to yourself, the next time I do a carnival, and it talks about how you would respond to an unfavorable situation… it is probably best to not participate :) :)

Really, though, here’s the issue. You are a hard worker. You are a valuable employee. You give 110% all the time, and more when required. You don’t waste your employers time or money. You are as loyal as they come. You add value, increase revenue, cut costs.

Honestly, I don’t care. And your employer doesn’t either. You are minutes away from losing your job, and many times for reasons that are completely outside of your control:

  • Company merger or aquisition
  • Poor management, immature management, micromanager has a bad day
  • Business strategy and/or execution problems
  • Your contract or project loses its funding
  • … you get the point.

I used to think that if you lost your job it was because you were incompetent. But I came to realize (I’m slow) that so many times people that are awesome employees get the ax because of things that are completely out of their control.

If I was sitting in a cubicle, or better, a corner office, I’d take the time to read through the carnival posts carefully and figure out a game plan. The imaginary problem is “let’s say I get laid off today at 5pm. What is my plan?”

Don’t believe it can’t happen to you.

8 Comments »

8 responses to “Don’t write for my carnivals!”

  1. Thom Singer says:

    Thankfully your topic wasn’t “YIKES, you just got hit by a truck driven by a guy named Joe”

    I wanted to tell you that your name came up in discussion today at a networking event in Austin, Texas. Everyone decided that you went above the call of duty in your execution of the November Networking Carnival. There is no prize for this, but know that in the coolest city on the planet (your words, not mine….yet I agree), there is a small group of business professionals that think highly of Jason Alba and JibberJobber.

    Have a great weekend.

    thom

  2. I hope this blogger continues to post so we can all support him in his search moving forward. So many people who are downsized due to business reasons outside their control take the downsizing personally and have a hard time articulating the reasons they are in job search to a perspective employer. They often communicate the loss as if it was only about their job and not part of a larger business decision. Job seekers should discuss the lay off in terms of the big picuture and not their individual job. Instead of saying “My position was eliminated” say “My entire department of 20 was let go” or “There was a company-wide downsizing that affected 10% of the global IT team or “Following the company merger, 300 positions, including mine were deemed redundant”. Whatever you say, put it in context with the business issues and you will improve your marketing pitch and general search strategy.

  3. Jason says:

    Thom – thanks for sharing that – I’ll be grinning all weekend!

    Barbara – great insight… I think its hard for most people to tell why they are in the market again “uh, I got laid off” “uh. uh. uh.” That was my experience, and I hear it weekly. You give great advice.

    And… the mystery person is none other than Janet – she is a master blogger, and has done an excellent job subtantiating her personal brand. I’m guessing her blog and the relationships she’s developed will have a significant impact on this job search – ready how she starts to deal with it here: http://newspapergrl.wordpress.com/2006/11/09/so-i-did-lose-my-job

  4. Fred says:

    Jason,

    I really enjoy your blogs and the comments! I am now employed again but will never, I mean never, let my networking go dormat like I did before (not I got laid off) but my position was eliminated. The wake up call was hard but worth while! How I found my current job was all about networking!

    Thanks again!

  5. Incompitance is but one of many possible reasons for being laid off (slowness being another…) Ironically, extreme compitence is another reason people get laid off by insecure managers.

    The good news is that I was laid off long ago and never went back. And I don’t plan on firing me any time soon! So, I’ll still be posting (lengthily) in the next carnival!

    Dan

  6. Jason says:

    I have to say that I personally know Fred and met him at a networking function.

    Having said that, Fred, I am pleased to see you following this blog. I’ve learned a lot during the JibberJobber startup, and from my blogging, and am elated to hear that you have had your own personal awakening. Not fun, but important.

    Daniel – I agree, too many managers are afraid to “hire above” or keep their subordinates who are more competent then they are… I was scared to death a few years ago when I hired my first full time employee (I was the IT Manager of a company) who ran circles around me. But it was the best thing I ever did at that time.

    Ah, I gotta come up with another Carnival question :) I’m not quite done with this one (I have a surprise up my sleeve that I’m excited to work on, and can’t wait to be done with!).

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