Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lessons learned from repeated "reorgs"

It's been quite a peculiar year work-wise last year, actually the last 3 years. Somehow I've gone from bright eyed and bushy tailed, newly minted B-school graduate to experiencing multiple "reorgs/reorganizations" (corporate speak for layoffs). It's almost the end of the year and since the company is not making it's top line due to unsuccessful product launches, it is resorting to decreasing costs to meet the bottom line. The positive is that the stock prices is going up however the negative is that this is the umpteenth "reorg" we have experienced this year.

Looking back I have learned so much: who I am as a person under stress, what defines my "worth," how companies treats people, how I would like to be treated, and in turn how I should treat others.

My first sense of this began when a layoff was announced 3 months in advance, I was unbearably stressed to the point where I was losing sleep and on an emotional seesaw. It was almost psychological torture: why take 3 months to announce a layoff!?!? Why not just rip the band aid off cleanly? (On the other hand I could have also circumvent some of it by applying for jobs (another story for another time).) My sigh of relief was short lived when I:
1- found out that I was "safe"
2- went on unanticipated postponed vacation a few days after the pronouncement 3- came back from vacation to see company announcement of X% layoff of workforce by 20XX!

It was funny, replete with all the ironic glory, and made me realize this: I take pride in my work but it doesn't define me as a person. If I knew ahead of time that I wasn't "safe" I wouldn't have been so stressed during the first round! Change is continually happening. With this competitive global market that is not necessarily growing at the rate that supplies new graduates opportunities, the trend will most likely continue. My environment, team, and role has changed 3 times in 1 year. I am grateful for all the experiences, place, and people my work has brought to me however there is no "safe." In the end it's important to be proud of what I do and the value of my work because if I don't value myself, most probably others will be less likely to value me. Same goes for any relationship. The trick is that you need to show someone your value and make them value your values. Now say that 10 times faster!