Don’t Be Blindsided Like I Was

JoanHeadApparently cyber bullying applies to blogs, too. I certainly acknowledge that anytime you post your thoughts online you will get different opinions in response, but I was not prepared for the passionate feedback I received after reading another author’s blog about a company going out of business and the many jobs that accompanied it, and openly sharing my reaction to it.

Call me crazy for thinking my role as both a recruiter and career counselor for almost 30 years had qualified me to write about this subject matter.

I wrote what I thought was a very inspiring response on the other side of being unemployed, and how if handled properly it can be a career-changing event. I did so because I’ve seen this situation play out firsthand, many times. Wow, did I get pummeled with negative responses. There was not one “You go, girl!” among the feedback. I was called a “Pollyanna Do-Gooder” (and that was the nicest one) and told that I must have my deep, deep pockets invested in a special interest employer group.

There literally was not one nice thing said to me. Nothing. Instead all I got was that this is all the fault of the big bad employers who use and abuse employees until they have no further use for them, and then throw them into the street.

Maybe, just maybe I did not highlight passionately enough in that commentary how as a recruiter I have an inside look into the brain center of organizations that are failing, as well ones that are thriving. Allow me to right that wrong with this post. It is rarely a surprise to an employee that his or her company is not doing well. If they’re not hearing it in the conference room, they’re hearing it in the background noise. But as a result the average person does not go into self-preservation or a strategic mode – they go into Hail Mary mode. They hope and pray that their partner (A.K.A. employer) can right the ship that clearly had been lopsided for a while. For all intents and purposes they believe in a stranger (senior leadership) more than they trust themselves to do the right thing. So they wait and pray, and wait and pray some more. After all, they’ve heard the stories of how the economy is not kind to the unemployed.

From where I sit, the first thing as we go into a year to be resolute about is recognizing that these people are not your family and they don’t have your back. Companies exist to make money and hopefully provide a product that contributes to mankind in some way. The middle class exists to make money (even though they are making less money than they did in 1989) and provide a service to a growing employer in some way. The better a person does at picking a specialty that will continue to grow in the next decade, the more they are protecting their future. But bring emotion into this equation and everyone loses sight of the real point here.

Stop giving the power of our future to someone or something else and you’ll find out what the thousands of people I counseled have found out. You don’t work for the mob and being forced out of the family can provide you the opportunity to finally look at your future in a completely different way than you have in the past. Let’s give the power back to the people. If you truly do a good job of building and managing your own background you never have to worry when your partner screws up. There will be a strong next step out there waiting for you.

So, call me whatever you want, cyber bullies. But I have the facts on my side…

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