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A New Way to Deal with Layoffs

I’m working on the resume of a 20-something-year-old client who was recently informed by human resources that she’s out of a job come December 1st. That’s 29 days before her destination wedding, the one all of her coworkers and leadership team were made aware of. But no worries, she has excellent credentials and has accomplished quite a bit in her young career life. Still, that doesn’t change the brutality of the news she received after she returned to work from a paid leave.

Turns out her company has just hired a new CEO, someone who enjoys bragging about his past career as a hedge fund manager. His main priority is to cut costs and to take the company to higher levels. Nothing really substantial was shared with the staff members present at his presentation, each who had carried the company through COVID, inflation, and internal challenges, only that the bottom line was all that mattered.

So what was the strategy? Well, thousands of employees have been cut in two different phases, notably right before quarterly and yearly public financial statements were released. It appears that the company’s restructuring was based on the illusion of growth and expanded profits, and not namely on the hard work of marketing, sales, and new customer relationships.

It’s a hard pill to swallow (as they used to say back in the days). I mean, every time I think about what this client is facing, I am sick to my stomach. Did I tell you that she dodged the first phase of layoffs by giving up her remote hours and one week of yearly vacation time?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this situation, as well as the cases of scores of other clients who find themselves without a job for one reason or the other. Being the problem-solver I am, I’ve come up with a solution. Why not make it the company’s obligation to help such dedicated and loyal employees find a job before letting them go? Something tells me these companies will stop to think about the lives they upend over the profits they greedily chase, all at the expense of the people who stayed around and helped their senior leadership weather challenging storms. Since the hiring process is apparently no longer a financial burden, then let’s take this a step further and make sure these companies no longer punch the economy in the gut through higher rates of unemployed and financially strapped Americans. Sounds like a deal to me.

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