Saturday, February 28, 2009

Job, part 9

The economic news continues to get worse. Multi-thousands have already been laid off, the financial disasters of banks, companies, and in personal lives just seemingly continues to expand.

What is the individual to do? To this date, I am still employed. You never know, however. I could be let go Monday morning, or I could still be there years from now.

Certainly, for someone who still has work, the one main focus is to save money. Fortunately, aside from my mortgage, I have no debt. That is a relief. And I do have some savings.

Should the corporate meat-axe cut me off someday, use of my savings will be necessary until I might find a new position. I should really say, "... if I find a new position."

So, are my savings enough? The answer obviously is: if it doesn't run out before the next job happens, then yes it was enough. If it doesn't last until the next job, then, no, it wasn't enough.

When the company makes decisions on direction, employees follow. I am fully aware that a corporation is not a democracy. So when the word is "... this is a company direction" or "... the company has decided that the new policy is...", then we go along, for the most part.

While I may disagree, I have little power. I can complain and raise my concerns to a certain degree, but after a point, diminishing returns set in. One can easily be seen as a hindrance, and thereby land in the 'high-maintenance' category, or a labelled troublemaker, readying oneself for the next lay-off action. And not being independently wealthy, I am beholden to my employer whomever that might be.

I have the choice to seek another employer if I disagree with some policy or decision. Of course, there is zero guarantee that the next situation will be any better then the previous one.

So prudence dictates that, should I become irreconcilable with company policy, I keep a low enough profile to avoid being kicked out to the wolves before I am ready to leave on my own accord.

All the while, however, should I disagree majorly with some corporate policies but decide to stay put, am I living a life of a lie?

Some years ago, there was an article in a publication that berated some who worked in the tobacco industry (if I recall correctly) with the title 'The Mortgage Made Me Do It." Meaning, the desire to pay the mortgage trumped reason and doing the right thing. Do I want to keep my head down, get paid, not make waves, all along disagreeing with what the company I work for is doing and as well wishing I could be somewhere else?

The battles over outsourcing have been fought for a long time, but they continue to reverberate. What to do when the corporate goal is to have 50% of staff outsourced from overseas? Ostensibly the goal is being met by hiring at the outsourcing company as opposed to laying off 50% of current employees, but that is not totally true as layoffs occurred late last year as this policy was being into place, and I have a hard time believing that more layoffs are not coming. (OK, that last part, about my opinion, is just my opinion.)

And when I say "What to do..." I really mean, what should I be doing?