Saga of Job cuts and Promotion reversals

Case 1: Content manager (C) with a leading advertising firm

C joined this advertising firm four and half years back as a content executive and was promoted to the position of a content manager and his job profile was revised. The new profile included supervision of juniors and some amount of decision making as well. However, six months ago C suddenly woke up to the fact that although designation still continues to be that of a Content manager, his profile has reversed to that of content executive – the reason being retrenchment. Three content executives were laid off and their responsibilities had to be shared with others. Knowingly or unknowingly, it has come to C and he has no option but mutely follow instructions, else he knows he’ll be shown the door, and the current market scenario isn’t really favorable for a job change.

Case 2: Software professional (P) in an IT firm:

P have been part of this organization for over three years,. Through these three years, the performance feedback P has received has been positive. As the market came crashing down, his company also took to lay-off and cost cutting. P was told that his name is being considered – the reason being P was planning to go on a leave for three-four weeks for inevitable reasons. P was told that unless he decides to cut short his leave, it will be difficult to retain him. P chose to give in to the demands of the management, as he knows that as a junior employee he was vulnerable. The sad part of the story is that during this whole episode, at no point in time was the service P rendered to the company even considered. Although he was totally frustrated and de-motivated, P still continues to drag him self.

Case 3: A private bank employee (B):

B is single and a mother of a two year old who pines for her attention. But being a working mother, she is unable to give her the kind of time she wants to. B spends over three hours commuting to her workplace. While she is looking out for a job in her locality, it is difficult to find one as not many companies are recruiting these days. Moreover, her job includes long working hours and late sittings, and it really bothers her to see other team members pass on their responsibilities to her and conveniently sneak out of office.

The saga does not end here. From salary cuts to promotion reversals, from unfair practices to exploitation – the story goes on! But the fact remains that all these professionals have chosen to keep mum and pull on, hoping for a brighter tomorrow.

With recession setting in and employment opportunities taking a downward turn, the tolerance level of employees has shot up.

There is an underlying fear of losing one’s job. The idea being it has happened to him/her and next would be me. This is especially the case in the middle and senior level management. People fear being unemployed due to financial obligations, dependencies or even just the stigma of being jobless.

Thus, not much need to be said about the tolerance level of employees being at an all time high, thanks to the recession and the subsequent lack of opportunities in the job market.

People are trying to adjust to the circumstances. Tolerance would be putting up with a situation willingly. That is not the case here. Here, people are compelled to hang on as there is no surety of the future.

Although it is important to take control of the situation and be patient, to what extent can you actually stretch yourself? Till it does not get or hurt you at a physical level. When you start facing physical problems like aches and ulcers, it is time to take note as they may be indicative of a burn out.

Acceptance and awareness is perhaps the solution to the problem. Understand the situation and work around it. Adapt measures like yoga and meditation that will help you strike the right balance. Motivational reading can also help to great extent. In such situations, it is important to be mentally strong. It is just a stage, and it will phase off. So do not look at yourself as a victim.

Being positive is half the battle won. Quitting is the simplest and hanging around is the most difficult – it is difficult, but not impossible. The markets are picking up consequently followed by usual demand for man power. People who hung on will then be considered as loyalists and efficient people (because they might have carried out the jobs of their colleagues who left their jobs under pressure).