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 22nd part of this series, Charan Sethi* discusses how he found himself out of a job last month.
Name: Charan Sethi (name changed)
Work experience: 5 years with an IT/Telecom companies.
My layoff tale is similar to Ankit Sharma's (huge liabilities) but the lessons learnt are very different.
I worked in the Bangalore division of a California-based WiMax startup. We had only 50-60 people in the Bangalore division. Due to bad economic times, our company started feeling the heat because the products didn't sell, the cash was burning and fresh funding was hard to come by -- in short, there was a money crunch.
How I lost my job
One fine day in February '09, two gentlemen from the US arrived and announced that the company was closing down its Bangalore centre. Everybody was shocked. We were given a one month notice period (the company was being nice !). I remember, for three months prior to this announcement, I worked day and night. Everybody was working hard. And when you give your 100 percent and you get this kind of treatment, it's really disappointing.
I have taken a home loan for which I pay Rs 35,000 per month as EMI. I had three lakhs to pay up as cash balance, thanks to my 'investments' in the stock market and courtesy my expenditure to build my dream home. I had put all my cash savings in the stock market in 2008 (buying at a lower price). And further, I had borrowed 3 lakhs from my family and friends for the interiors of my home.
Further, we were in talks with a family for a marriage alliance for me. No job for me would have jeopardised the talks. It was a very rough period.
Tough job hunt:
I had been preparing for interviews for the past few months (in anticipation?). But I was always putting them off -- I thought, 'I'll take the plunge (launch an active hunt) after 10 days or 15 -- I am not just prepared! I need some more time'.
I made all kinds of excuses for myself. I had been doing this for two-three months.
Luckily, even with procrastination, I had scheduled an interview with a big giant in telecom even before my company closed down. It played out like this: late on a Friday, the company closure was announced. On Monday morning, I was interviewing with the new employer. And four days later, again on a Friday, I received an offer (with the same CTC) in my hand. And thus I was saved! But, due to procrastination, I was on the backfoot and not in a position to negotiate on my terms.
Don't procrastinate. If you feel that there is something to be done, do it. Don't put off your decisions to a further date.
Never ever -- I repeat -- never ever, put the money you need (or will need in some time) in the stock market.
Keep cash reserves handy for at least six months of your expenditure (including fixed expenses like EMIs etc) -- especially if you are highly leveraged (have huge liabilities).
The key to interview success -- confidence. No matter how much you know or don't know -- confidence is the key.
Work hard. Whether it benefits your company or not, it will surely benefit you.
Stay foolish. Learn, learn and learn more. Money may help you but knowledge WILL.
Stay informed. Keep your market knowledge updated. Stay current with what is going on, what's going on in your company. Else you might be caught on the wrong foot.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh
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.