Thursday, November 27, 2008

Another way to avoid getting laid off

Assume you are hiring someone to do your job. Can you picture your perfect replacement? What would he/she be like?

Now, be that person.

Tip of the hat to Fish Tales!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What would you love to do?

Girl getting her hair doneImage via WikipediaSo, you've had the misfortune of getting laid off? Don't worry, this need not be the end of the world for you. Let's look at how this can be made into a positive event!

First, set aside your worries. Now, tell me, what kind of work would you love to be involved in? Is it in the same area as the last job you were holding? Were there other avenues you would have loved to explore, but did not seem lucrative enough or easy enough? Have you got interests and hobbies that require a high level of skill? Are there activities that you are naturally good at?

The happiest people are those that are doing what they like best - and earning their keep in the bargain! Here is an opportunity to join that elite gang - don't fritter away this chance of a lifetime. Get out there and do what you have always dreamed of doing. There are thousands of "non-traditional", "alternative" vocations that are interesting and can be lucrative.

Do you love to write? Maybe you could become a journalist, or even write a book. Start of with a blog on your favourite subject. This will cost you nothing.

Do you have an area of expertise? Register on squidoo and create your page.

Do you love talking to people? May be you can be a RJ or a show host?

Love taking photographs? Interested in wildlife and conservation? Green jobs are happening all over the place. Go find out how you can save the earth.

Love fashion? The vanity industry is one of the few booming industries now. You could design clothes, and jewellery, or you could be a hairdresser, a makeup artist, or whatever they are called these days.

Love to act/model? Go ahead, get your portfolio done. Meet directors and ad agencies.

Good with numbers, have business acumen? Set up a shop, start a business.

Love to cook? Start a restaurant, run a take-away from home, cook and deliver food in your area.

The opportunities are endless. Go ahead, give it a shot - what have you got to lose?

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Support for the laid off

I have been keeping an eye on how people are finding this blog. Over the last month or so, a whopping 80% have come in through google, searching for "how to avoid getting laid off".

And since the time I wrote about the (lack of) support infrastructure in India for people getting laid off, I have been scouring the web for a place where these people can go to, in order to find online support. Nada! There does not seem to be a single forum or message board available!

So, we've put together a site and a forum quickly using wordpress and phpbb where people can go and share their experiences, find advice and jobs.

I hope you find it useful. May you get your next job soon!

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cost of layoffs

Here is an article about the recent shooting of top executives of SiPort.

I am really worried about how Indians are going to react to layoffs. If you are planning layoffs in your company, think carefully about how you can support the laid off people in their endeavour to get their next job.

Take care.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Are we geared for layoffs in India?

Airbus A340-300 in an older colour scheme in 2005Image via WikipediaLayoffs and pink slips are not new to the people of the US. From the time of the great depression, layoffs have been a permanent fixture in their corporate environment. People there understand that getting laid off does not signify the end of the world, nor is it construed as a permanent, personal black mark on their resume.

However, back here in India, layoffs have not been part of the culture so far. To get laid off is still seen in many quarters as a social stigma, a direct reflection of the individual's lack of capability. Not even people such as Karthik Rajaram, who have/had made their lives in the US, have been able to rid themselves of their cultural baggage.

And for the first time in the history of India, it appears that layoffs are inevitable. Everyday, we are hearing rumours of layoffs - in TCS, Wipro, Satyam, Infosys and many other big corporates. Jet Airways has already laid off people (and reinstated them because of government and political pressure). A quick look at google insights shows that India is a close second to the US in the number of searches for the word "layoff", with bangalore, the IT capital of India, leading among the cities.

As a nation are we ready for layoffs? Will the people who get laid off have the necessary support and understanding from their family and friends? Without a dole system or a 401(K)-like plan or some other form of insurance to fall back on, how are people going to manage financially? Will companies induct a laid off person even if (s)he is well qualified, without hesitation?

Are there support groups for recently laid off people? Are there on-line forums and groups available for these people to get advice, share experiences, find an understanding shoulder to lean on, and maybe find their next job?

In a nation where children routinely commit suicide for failing in exams, what are we doing to stop many more Karthik Rajarams?

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Be careful

I just read a blog entry by Seth Godin. I would urge everyone to read it.

The advice he gives is equally true for job hunters. During times like this, when people are getting laid off and job openings are hard to come by, please be wary of people guaranteeing you jobs in large enterprises. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

Every other day, there are news articles about people getting scammed out of thousands of rupees by fly-by-night recruiters who promise jobs, visa, passports, and anything else in demand.

If you have been just laid off or are fresh out of college, remember this is not the end of the world. There are still jobs available in the market. Use all the legitimate avenues available to you including
1. Recruiters who are well established and who don't charge you.
2. Job sites where you can freely upload your resume
3. Career pages of the companies you are interested in.
4. Cold calling the hiring managers
5. Your friends network
6. Your alumni network
7. Your ex-colleagues, relatives, acquaintances, and other people you know well.

Never pay someone who promises you a job for money. These people are the scum of the earth feeding off good people in desperate situations.

Keep your money safe. You'll need it now more than ever!

Keep looking. Your next job may be just around the corner. All the best.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Who to believe?

There is an article on rediff today that proclaims
IT firms are back and hiring big time!
Says Som Mittal, President, National Association of Software and Services Companies, while reflecting on the economic crisis that has ravaged the entire world:

Do such adjustments mean compromising on salaries?

They do. But then isn't getting a slightly less salary better than being jobless. Also, as I said before, the impact of the slowdown is only temporary. It will pass soon, may be within a couple of years and things would look much brighter then.

Also, let me put on record, IT companies are back at campuses, hiring big time.

Follow this link for the original.

No corroboration, no references, no quotes,... is it just to make people feel good? Will it work? Unlikely based on the comments and feedback under the article.

What gives?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Most companies look for candidates who already have relevant work experience, especially in a down market. If you have not already been recruited through your college's campus recruitment program, then getting into a company without any work experience can be difficult. You need work experience to get a job and you need a job to gain relevant experience - another typical catch-22 situation. However there is a way to break this mutual dependency - Internship.

Many professional courses earmark a part of the final year of study for gaining work experience - the idea being that when you are out of college, you will come out with at least some real work experience in a professional environment. What you need to do is to find a company that will take you in as an intern. Once you get it, not only do you gain valuable experience, if you perform well, the internship can even transform into an employment opportunity as soon as you successfully complete your degree.

For students studying in tier 2 colleges, getting internship opportunities are still quite difficult. One of the steps you can take to improve your chances of getting an internship is to register on, enter the degree you are currently pursuing and specifying your requirement for an internship. That way, companies searching for interns will be able to find you and reach out to you.