Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

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slog
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Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by slog » Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:24 am

I won't make a decision until the last minute tomorrow so why not get some additional input :P

My journal had mentioned a 10% reduction in pay and corresponding award of flexible time off, which had me ready to enjoy the summer with more than my usual freedom. But, we are now presented with another layoff. There's an opportunity to Self Select and I'm tempted. Let me just list out my thoughts:

Self Select
------------
-Position may not be safe anyways so why not just jump in
-coming up on 4-years at a company I have never seen a future at. The need to move on is dire
-4 weeks severance pay
-I'm seeing the state of stress this will put me in as an asset for making changes (finding new work)
-Things are not getting financially better for this company any time soon
-Better honest narrative while job hunting (I decided it was time to move on vs. I was deemed non-essential during a layoff)

Don't Self Select
-----------------
-It's feasible to job hunt while employed
-Engineering careers seems to punish time off. Might mean I end up feeling rushed to take another unsatisfactory job if unemployed.
-less strength at the salary negotiation table if unemployed.
-If unemployed, likely eating up some savings because doubt 4-weeks is long enough for me to find/start a new job.

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BRUTE
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by BRUTE » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:58 am

4 weeks of severance seems really low. other wise it's a wash. brute recommends going with what feels more comfortable personally.

denise
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by denise » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:40 am

I would say, if you're comfortable with your skills, self select. I am in civil engineering and urban planning and looking for a job and there a lot out there (in the US). I have had 10 interviews so far and have a couple second interviews lined up, with a few more first time interviews to go as well. The east coast, south and west coast (California and Washington) are really hiring, and that's just from using governmentjobs.com, if you don't want to work for government, I've seen a lot of private firms (what I used to work for) hiring too on indeed.com. Do a quick search in your field of engineering first, then decide if you can swing a layoff for a while. If you're thinking of the government sector, it'll take a good 2 months to get hired because they've a slow process. Private sector only takes days. Whatever you do, good luck!

ducknalddon
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by ducknalddon » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:56 am

BRUTE wrote:4 weeks of severance seems really low.
Yes, I'd be inclined to push for more.

saving-10-years
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by saving-10-years » Tue Jun 21, 2016 5:04 pm

@slog, how many (what proportion of the workforce) are being laid off? You need to look forward to what the organisation will look like afterwards. For example are all the stars talking about leaving, those who do work and create opportunities for others? Would less people mean more opportunity or more stress for you and your job? If so who is left and what does that mean for you? - suggest you look at what others are intending when considering what you will do.

JamesR
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by JamesR » Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:35 pm

I had a recent thought about job hunting while working full time. I think it would be a lot easier to schedule interviews if there's a time zone difference between your current job & the new job. Like if I'm on the east coast, and hunting for a job on the west coast, that 3 hour difference makes it a lot easier to schedule interviews. I thought I'd share just in case you had any interest in relocating.

I wouldn't really worry about the engineering/time off thing, I don't think that's particularly true? Engineering is pretty much always in demand. Especially the 4-year degree version, and as long as it's not super specialized into some weird little subfield. I guess in the US, engineering can be a bit more loosely defined than in Canada?

slsdly
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by slsdly » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:50 pm

I got nearly 6 months salary in severance when I was let go. IMO, a month isn't really worth the wheeling and dealing to get, *unless* you really want out of your current job and prefer unemployment.

slog
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by slog » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:25 am

The 4 week severance is pretty bad. Unfortunately its not negotiable the company is big enough that its all laid out in procedures and the people making the decisions will have no clue who the people are that they're getting rid of.

This layoff is going to be 5% but may be over represented by my department. This is following a stream of personnel reductions that has started since last year. I'm no business analyst, but rather than acting as brush fire and opening up new opportunities I'm concerned it's leaving the company weak and creating great justification to outsource jobs and use contractors. It seems like bad news just keeps trickling down and if I stay I'll be expecting some other problem to arise later. A rumor (rumors have been pretty damn clairvoyant) is we will be asked if we would be willing to relocate during our mid-year reviews. I would not move for this job. I'm curious if they can weasel out of a severance commitment if they can make you party to the decision by refusing to move.

I *do* want to leave the job but being non-FI I cannot say I would prefer a unemployment (a couple months would not kill me though). After a shitty commute yesterday I was about 100% ready to be done with it but once my blood came back down the apprehensions creeped back in.
Appreciate the feedback everyone. The form is sitting in my desk draw. We have our Quarterly meeting this morning so I guess I can have a last look at how we're doing. Going to have plenty to think about today.

SimpleLife
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by SimpleLife » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:45 pm

I say find new work while employed. You won't have to lose money from savings and are in a better salary negotiating situation. You can always use the money saved to take unpaid time off.

slog
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by slog » Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:49 pm

@SimpleLife what you mention is more logical and safer but I ended up turning in the paperwork yesterday.
It's not a guarantee, they could classify me as ineligible because of business needs. But I would say it's as good as done.

I think what really ended it for me was imagining coming up on the summer of 2017 in the same place I am now. I would be so disappointed in myself. I might end up regretting this but it's forcing me to take action now.

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BRUTE
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by BRUTE » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:23 pm

brute congratulates slog. what's the plan now?

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Chris
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by Chris » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:30 pm

slog wrote:I think what really ended it for me was imagining coming up on the summer of 2017 in the same place I am now. I would be so disappointed in myself. I might end up regretting this but it's forcing me to take action now.
I doubt you'll regret it. You traded uncertainty for certainty (in terms of calendar date) and you made the decision yourself. A couple of years from now, when you go back and run the numbers, even if this move ends up costing you a couple thousand dollars, you'll still be glad you did it.

I'm projecting a bit here... I made a job move that did in fact cost me money, at least according to a spreadsheet. But when I really think about it, it's uncertain how long I could have lasted (mentally) at the old job. Gaining trajectory and momentum was worth it.

JamesR
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by JamesR » Thu Jun 23, 2016 6:37 pm

I laid myself off last summer in August. Then I went back to work at the same company the beginning of this month. I spent 9 months chilling, 6 months of that travelling abroad. Cost of living/travel was probably close to $12k for that 9 months. And I guess I could've earned some $35k if I had kept working, so a total opportunity cost of $47k (a solid third of my ERE goal). Still, I definitely don't regret it, and I'm refreshed and very satisfied with being back at the same job!

So enjoy your time off, and hopefully you land the job you want.. Or maybe you'll discover you have greater bargaining powers with the old job and they'll hire you back at a premium (more time flexibility or higher salary).

slog
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by slog » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:29 am

@ James & Chris thanks for sharing your stories. Good to hear things turned out well for you both!

@ Brute, well it's time to get to work! So far sent one application to a local job that I would probably classify as "dream job". Good mix of on paper engineering and hands on building. Their portfolio indicates high end one-off projects rather than the headaches you get with consumer product design or the drudgery in well established industries. This weekend I need to get my most recent role at my job turned into resume metrics, update the ol' LinkedIn and keep perusing Indeed. I also am in a good spot as far as playing the mobility card. I live with friends so subleasing my unit could be a pain but the timing will probably be such that if I left state the worst case scenario would be eating a couple months rent. No family, they're all up and down the East coast. A romantic interest sprung up through friends but she's in Kalamazoo so it's not poised to turn into anything and not weighting me down to leave it behind. I'm a free man. Partially inspired by discussions centering around 7W5's experiences in Detroit I'm wondering if it would be smart to move a city that's at a younger phase of gentrification. The competition in Chicago might keep me in the rat race longer than I need to be, even though I am aware of others on this forum making Chicago work.
I work as a Mechanical Engineer and am targeting to stay in Industry. However, I know a few folks working for some of the large consulting firms with offices in Chicago (Huron, Deloitte, Accenture etc.). If it would be possible to spin my experience I could probably deal with the extensive travel for three years or so if it meant increasing my savings rate.

And best of all, heading to the meetup on Saturday! Maybe I'll walk away with some previously unknown trajectories :D

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BRUTE
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by BRUTE » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:17 pm

sweet. sounds like slog is happy with his decision, and that's what's most important (extreme delusions might be an exception to this rule).

brute recommends not getting too emotionally attached to any companies before receiving an offer. finding a "dream job" and then having to find another one and another one until the 3rd one makes an offer is exhausting.

SimpleLife
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by SimpleLife » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:02 pm

slog wrote:@SimpleLife what you mention is more logical and safer but I ended up turning in the paperwork yesterday.
It's not a guarantee, they could classify me as ineligible because of business needs. But I would say it's as good as done.

I think what really ended it for me was imagining coming up on the summer of 2017 in the same place I am now. I would be so disappointed in myself. I might end up regretting this but it's forcing me to take action now.
Let us know how it goes. I've been there...

slog
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by slog » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:57 pm

I ended up landing a job a couple days before the 4 weeks of severance concluded. Being available actually created the opportunity. Thanks for chiming in while I was mulling this over. It seems so simple now but at the time my anxiety was through the roof.

saving-10-years
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Re: Layoff Self Selection? Thoughts?

Post by saving-10-years » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:59 pm

Thanks for the update - great that it worked out well for you.

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