The difficulty now is actually finding a job from which to get laid-off from !

Do we ever really know when we are likely to be laid off ? Can we see it coming ?

Depending on the circumstances, sometimes you can. If the economy is going through a bad time, if your firm is bankrupt, if your parent company decides to shut your area down, if a CEO does a Bernie Madoff, then sometimes you don't need a crystal ball. But not always. 

I knew I was going to lose my job several years back, when I was working for a small derivatives company in New York. The new owners of our parent company said that they were shutting down our division, which took a while to do, so I had some time to come to terms with my new circumstances.

Fast forward to London almost two years later, and I was working in a now-government controlled bank, when my manager one day called me into a room and said: 'I have a vision for the team, and you are not part of that vision'. Ouch! I had been on that team for a paltry three months, and it was my first job in London. That sucked.

I was put through the ringer again last year at another bank. After having my temp contract renewed several times, I was told I was no longer needed - with one week's notice! That was last October.

And what about being told that you are no longer needed by a boss who has never laid off an employee before ? Earlier this year I found myself working for another firm which was also going through tough times. It came as no surprise to me when my boss asked me to step into an office one sunny Wednesday morning. As he said that I was no longer needed, he was nervous and his voice was shaky. I guess it sucked being him too.

At this point, I have so much experience getting laid-off, I should put in on my CV! I now find getting laid off easy to deal with -  because I'm used to it, and it's out of my control anyway. The hard part these days is actually finding a job from which to get laid off from!


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