The ugly truth of layoffs: 5 facts that no one is talking about
With economic slowdown and layoffs, the corporate world seems to be on a roller coaster ride currently. This resulted in experts and leaders deliberating on various facets of the economic crisis, which led to mass layoffs. While some condemned the actions of big tech giants, others called it the need of the hour. The internet is filled with write-ups on why layoffs are happening, how to stop them, and the steps one should take if he or she gets kicked out from their company.
But, are we talking about the ugly truth of the corporate world? The facts which define the very existence of businesses and how they function? Probably not! To discuss the same, People Matters spoke to Vineet Mangal, who is the Managing Partner of Beewise Consulting, a boutique HR Consulting which focuses on HR advisory, leadership development, and career coaching. He talked about some of the hard facts of the world of work, which are mostly brushed under the carpet.
1. Profit is the universal God
Yes, we all heard that diamonds are forever, but in the corporate world, the reality is profits are forever. “It is a universal fact that profit is the God that everyone worships. No matter how much the world is going to argue and how dirty the word profit sounds to the ears, it is here to stay forever. We are in the capital era where the basic objective of setting up the business is to make a profit. All things around this (like mission, vision, culture, value, etc) are just incidental to supporting the ecosystem of the organisation,” stated the Managing Partner of Beewise Consulting.
2. Market rules everything
Like all other resources required in the value chain to do business, the employee is one of them. How many to hire, how long to hire, and at what cost to hire are all determined by the market dynamics. “If the demand for talent is more than its supply, employee rules (like the beginning of moonlighting after Covid). If the supply of talent in the market is more than the demand, the company rules. This is happening for ages (the great depression of 1929 is a classic example). Therefore, the market is a ruler - plain and simple math,” said Vineet Mangal.
3. Skills matters over jobs
Most employees find it difficult to separate their careers from their job. Job is a subset of career and not the other way round. “What makes a career are the skills acquired (and sharpened) over a period of time. The trick in this is to be ahead of the market curve in terms of skills that matter to the market. If you have those skills, your existing company will entertain you, and your new employer will also welcome you with the open arms. If your skill is not that relevant to the market, you will always struggle to keep the job and also to get a new job. So, pay attention and change focus - skills matter more than the job,” Mr Mangal told People Matters.
4. Loyalty - a false safety net
A lot of the terminated employees have been in those organisations for a long period of time. They have given the golden period of their career to these organisations and never looked out in the job market. It is understandable for them to feel cheated that their loyalty never got respected. “It is unfortunate but the hard reality of life is that this is the safety net they presumed to be there but in reality, it was never there. Longevity in the organisation does not matter much these days. The real safety net is the skills that will protect professionals from all turbulence,” advised the Managing Partner of Beewise Consulting.
5. Money matters – mostly
One life lesson that one needs to learn from such layoffs is that “more than anything else this abrupt loss of a job has the biggest impact on financial survival. To run family expenses, financial prudence, and financial independence both matter. Most of the time, desperation arises when professionals realise that they have the burden of EMIs/loans and their life savings are depleting fast. This leads to uneasiness and frustrations which complicates the matter further. Therefore, accept that these layoffs are real and can happen to anyone, anytime. Focus on building financial safety through money management and passive income generation,” suggested Vineet Mangal.
The person who lost the job has to face the world all alone. Society, friends, and relatives will empathise, but beyond a point, they will not be helpful. Unfortunately, sympathy never runs the kitchen, but money does. Advises will flow from all sides, but often from people who have no first-hand experience of layoffs.
Hence, accept the loss of a job and plan your strategy to get the new job. “Be flexible, be adaptable (few compromises in terms of role, compensation is absolutely normal). Do not continue to look at the loss of your job from the angle of morality, but look at it from the angle of practicality,” concluded Mr Mangal.