15 years ago, my father lost his government job. He was not alone. The central govt. of India decided to shut down the factory. Thousands of workers lost their jobs. It was a national news for many weeks. Till date, there are talks of reviving the Sindri fertilizer factory. Before shutting down, the govt. had given notice to all employees. But labor union played politics and stuck to their demands. The factory was running in losses. That lead to a decision to shut down the factory. The people were in awe. Losing a govt. job was unheard of. Nobody would have thought, not even in their dreams that govt. would take such a drastic step.
I was in college and my brother was in school, ready to go to college. It was a huge financial trouble in the family. Luckily, both my parents were working so our family survived. As my dad recalls, the first morning after voluntary retirement, he was sitting on the porch, angry and hurt. He was concerned about the future. He wasn’t prepared for the news.
The job loss is a big hit in a person’s psyche. He suddenly loses his self-worth. Relatives and friends came in to say sympathetic words. Some of my father’s friends/colleagues couldn’t survive the shock. They either went into depression or lost their lives (due to heart attack). The beautiful and peaceful sindri town turned into barren land.
15 years forward, I started working in corporate/MNCs. With the advent of globalization, anyone can open, any shop in any part of the world. A lot of people including us were benefitted because of private corporate jobs. The income level of lower middle-class rose. A happy and prosperous life was smiling. Children studied hard so that they could secure a high-paying corporate job. Climb the corporate ladder to become future leaders.
Then came, 2008 crisis. Many jobs were lost. Many dreams were shattered. A large chunk of banking and finance related jobs got cut. It had a ripple effect in other sectors too. Since then, corporate leaders learned a new method of running the business profitably and that is through “restructuring“.
When bottom lines are hit, they would cut a certain percentage of the workforce. That’s how they can continue to show profitability and raise company’s value. This is more prevalent is companies that are 10-15 years old.
Job losses are part of modern corporate life. It is inevitable. It has nothing to do with how hard you have worked for the company, how many years of experience you have, how many promotions you go that year or for that matter, even if you have been awarded “best employee” in that year. If your CTC (cost to company) is high and you are not aligned with company’s future, most likely you may have to say “goodbye”.
Parents and loved ones should understand that job loss is very common. Best is to lend support and help the person recover from the loss. Resilience is the only way to survive.
It’s necessary to have a solid financial plan laid out. One can continue to maintain a certain lifetsyle. Don’t associate self-worth with job and have a hobby that can be turned into business.
One of the biggest hurdle is the willingness to start afresh. Especially with age, ability to learn new skill diminishes. That must change. People should be ready to re-skill and start all over again. There is NO other choice. Every five years, job requirements change. In case you want to be relevant and continue to work for long, that is the way to go. Else news like 10,000 jobs would be lost due to AI would continue to haunt you.
Why can’t we make job loss a cool thing?! You never know from where and what kind of opportunity will knock on your door. Next time when you hear about anyone’s job loss, don’t JUDGE. Just lend a hand.
Job loss may also end up opening entrepreneurial doors for you. After few weeks of consideration, my dad joined my mom’s business and expanded it. And for last 15 years, they are successfully running the business and are proud of it.
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