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.
In the seventh part of this series, Naved Ahmed from the information technology sector tells how he trusted his company's chief technology officer and paid dearly for it.
Name: Naved Ahmed (name changed on request)
Educational qualification: BCom
Work experience: 14 years
I had joined an IT company very recently (September 2008) as a senior manager, IT, and at the time, the company was doing great, or so was told to me. The CTO (chief technology officer) of the company while in the final round of interview told me that the company is set to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years and I had given the company a verbal commitment of a long term relationship of at least 4 to 5 years.
How I lost my job
Suddenly, in November 2008 the stock markets crashed and since the company is listed on the National Stock Exchange, the shares fell from Rs 250 to Rs 35 in 3 to 4 days. I and another 100 employees had to bear this brunt and were told to stop reporting to the duty from the next day.
This was in spite of tall promises from the CTO of the company informing all the employees that they do not have to worry about the jobs and the company was doing well.
After this message, the sacking started within 15, 20 days. A very wrong message was conveyed to all the employees. If the CTO would have informed everybody to start looking for a job at that time itself many of them would have been in a better position to secure one. But alas everybody trusted the CTO and fell prey for his tall commitments!
I already have a home loan and had taken another loan hoping that it will be a long term relationship with this company. I am almost paying Rs 33,000 as monthly loan amount and now there is no other source of income and I don't know how to go ahead with it.
Plus, there are other home expenses and since there is no other earning member in the family I am under tremendous pressure to secure a job again. Nothing is working out and although I am from Mumbai, I am ready for relocation anywhere in India or abroad leaving my wife, my 5-month-old daughter.
However, there are no calls from IT recruitment agents yet. While I do get 2, 3 calls in a week, they inform me that they would come back to me (after discussing the job opportunity); I have never heard from any of them till now.
Social impact of my layoff:
Just like Anuj, I do not go out anywhere with friends, family, quarrel over petty things with my family. I even do not answer any calls on my home landline number, fearing that they would be any of my relatives and would ask me how come I am at home during a weekday at an odd hour.
I even go out of the house and roam around when I come to know that any of my relatives are visiting my house to see my new born daughter. Once the relatives leave, my wife calls me and I go back.
Lesson learnt from this episode:
Make sure you have enough money to sustain yourself and your family for at least 4 to 6 months in such emergencies.
During this crisis, if possible, have another offer in hand, just in case your company decides to sack you. This happened in my case and I just like many other employees trusted the speech given by CTO and did not look for other job opportunity. In fact I refused a couple of offers during my tenure with this company since I felt I had given my verbal commitment to the company to stay for at least 4 to 5 years.
Never trust any speeches or commitments given by senior management employees during such financial crises as you never know when they might go back on their word.
If possible try to save every penny that you spend on yourself and family. Try avoiding lavish spends since you will come to know its importance if you are laid off and have some money to spend during your unemployment period.
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 email@example.com. Your name and identity will not be disclosed unless you want it to.