Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Life after a Layoff


My blog post “Acceptable Losses” elicited a record number of responses in the form of comments, phone calls, text messages and e-mails from both friends and strangers alike. I suppose the post touched a chord in most readers, because it talked about layoffs, a matter of much concern in these times of global economic slowdown.

Sanjay Dattatri was one of those strangers who wrote to me. He said:

“As part of my work, I talk to a lot of companies and people. Very soon I realized that there are a lot of layoffs happening in India, but mostly under the radar. Companies are not interested in exposing themselves to political pressure (like in the case of Jet Airways) and hence are finding excuses to fire people (Transfer them, drastically reduce salary, scrutinize their resumes for inconsistencies, look at their expense reports, dress code, anything at all that can be used to fire people on disciplinary grounds or make them voluntarily quit).

On the employee side, unlike you, most people are averse to letting on that they have been laid off, especially when some charge has been foisted on them. Indians are still not used to the concept of layoffs and there is a fair amount of social stigma associated with it.

Thus I found that people who got laid off had no support, neither societal, nor governmental (like employment benefits), or from corporates.

This prompted me to start a site with a built in forum where people can come to share their experiences, get/give career advice, find job openings and generally get support. This is a purely not-for-profit venture...”


Later, Sanjay came to see me at home. After successful stints in Bangalore both as an employee and as an independent entrepreneur, Sanjay is currently based in his home town Chennai, where he has founded a very interesting jobsite called www.jobsbyref.com, very different from the “monster”s and “naukri”s of this world. Please do check it out.

But the real purpose of this post is to request you to direct any colleague, friend, acquaintance or relative who has lost his job recently, to the http://laidoff.in site and also encourage them to participate in the forum (http://forum.laidoff.in). These are still early days for the site and the forum, but over time and with active participation, it could well grow into an important support resource for those who are fired, sacked, retrenched, laid off, down-sized or right-sized and need help.

Whatever is the term or euphemism used, people who lose their jobs suddenly, need all the help they can get. By directing them to Sanjay’s site, you can help their cause in a small but significant manner.

Cartoon Courtesy: www.lowcred.com

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rada:
Like laidoff.in, there is a US-centric site: The Layoff Support Network -- lots of good articles and posts.

Joe

Cynic in Wonderland said...

This is a great initiative. Can jobless consultants like me who dont get any money go there?

Sanjay Dattatri said...

Thanks Rada for covering us. I am sure your readers will ensure this message reaches the right audience.

The forum at http://forum.laidoff.in provides complete anonymity to people so that even if they are reluctant to identify themselves, they can still share their experiences.

Let's hope this helps at least a few people.

Thanks for your awesome post!

Ravi said...

If India or Indians want to emulate the USA and the way we American citizens live, then they will have to reconcile to one fact of life-a hire and fire policy-NO JOB GUARANTEES.PERIOD!

This is a country unlike any in EUROPE, ASIA and very different from CANADA, AUSTRALIA or NEW ZEALAND. Of course I will not mention the middle east as according to me, only people with no self esteem would go, live and work there.

Your friend's site is nice, however to a person who has lost his/her job, there are bills to be paid and till the next job comes along-there will be no peace of mind. To me what is sad, is the social stigma attached to being laid off, in places such as India. All I can say is welcome to Americanization. You have to now take the good with the bad :-).

Choose socialism and become the pit that Europe is now. India is at a crossroads and the choices will be difficult, but will have to be made.

Rada said...

@ Thanks, Joe! How's the art site coming up? All the best!

@ Cynic: U kid me, child! :-)

@ Sanjay: You are welcome!

@ Ravi: Sweeping comments. But I suppose you are entitled to your views. Btw, your Dad did work in the middle-east for a few years!

El Furibundo said...

This post is very helpful.. Really loved the sketch!! :D

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Stepping Sideways... by K. Radhakrishnan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.