You are here: Rediff Home » India » Get Ahead » Careers» The Layoff Tales
Search: The Web
  Email  |      Discuss  |   Get latest news on your desktop

Previous | Next

The Layoff Tales: 'I'm suddenly feeling like an outcaste'

February 9, 2009
We asked Get Ahead readers to send their layoff tales and we are getting mails from employees belonging to different sectors of the Indian economy. Surprisingly, the flames of layoffs are not only singing young people with 2 to 3 years of experience. Senior professionals with more than 20 years of experience are getting the sack too.

In the third part of this series, Ashwin Lobo, a pharamceutical industry veteran, reveals how he was sacked by his current employer despite sales and marketing experience of more than two decades.

Name: Ashwin Lobo (name changed on request)
Company/Sector: Pharmaceuticals
Educational qualification: BPharm
Work experience: 24 years


I am a marketing professional with 24 years of experience in the pharmaceutical sector. I have always been a performer -- starting my career as a rookie salesperson to heading the business operations. I have worked with leading MNCs during my tenure with an average span of 6 years in each organisation.

Corporate life is highly politicised even in MNCs. Each person irrespective of rank, function or position is trying to save their chair at other's expense. A management change at the global level led to a series of shake-ups which forced me to quit rather than face a political blame game and work with opportunists.

I bet on my experience and market reputation to get another job and within a week I was selected by the top player in the industry. However, I am now facing the brunt of the global slowdown as they cannot get me on board. Despite initial claims that the company was too big to be affected they came back and stated the reality. Now their only suggestion (solution) for me is to 'wait' for things to brighten up.

My efforts with other leading companies got me a similar response... we are in the process of consolidation... We have a headcount freeze... we have been asked to manage with existing resources... senior management recruitments are not approved, only junior sales positions.

The change

  • This is an excruciatingly painful experience -- the change from being chased by (headhunters & competition) to becoming a chaser
  • From carrying a healthy to a wafer thin wallet
  • From being driven in a big car to being driven in cabs, trains, buses
  • From being looked up with admiration to being looked at with pity
  • From being socially active to becoming a social recluse


    I have risen through challenges in business environment for the last 25 years and this attitude is still keeping me afloat. My greatest challenge, however, is to maintain my self esteem.

    I haven't got many calls as most companies are not increasing their headcounts right now.

    Family support

    Coming from a family of highly successful professionals working for some of the top global companies, I suddenly feel like an outcaste. It has becoming embarrassing to engage in any conversation with these successful people despite being family.


  • Refrain from wallowing in self pity
  • Do not take solace that I am one among the affected many
  • Forget social status
  • Operate on a tight budget and spend on basic necessities
  • Do not hesitate to approach people for a job
  • Engage in knowledge upgradation. Catch up with reading

    I believe in the old phrase: Tough times don't last, tough people do.

    Illustration: Dominic Xavier

    Do you have a layoff tale to tell?

    Have you lost your job? Do you know someone who has lost her/his job recently and is trying to come to terms with the situation?

    If you, your friends or relatives have a layoff story to tell, to inform readers about the lessons that you have learnt, please write to us at Your name and identity will not be disclosed unless you want it to.

    Previous | Next

  • © 2009 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.Disclaimer | Feedback