Friday, November 2, 2012

Meet or Beat

Is my company's guidance for this quarter - we have to Meet or Beat our revenue guidance which as it stands, is to remain flat over Q3. Im almost wondering if we're hopecasting - Setting ourselves up for failure.. but that remains to be seen.

Layoffs finally happened last week - on Thursday. It was one of the most emotionally turbulent days I've had in a while. Despite the fact that my building wasn't hit as hard since all the C-Level execs / Worldwide Business Management and Finance folks sit in this bldg, I had a hard time putting on my big girl face.

We lost 4 people from my team of 25 - of which one person was someone I was very close to. I am meeting him for lunch tomorrow so I'm feeling better already, but it was tough to know he had been laid off. He was a senior manager, and we dint work together, but interacted a lot over team lunches and book discussions.
The atmosphere at work on layoff day is like someone has died - the air is thick with grief almost, the silence is sickening, the presence of additional security is unnerving and seeing empty cubicles where people used to sit a few hours ago is eerie. I went out the entire weekend - to drinks with J, C, and B on Friday, shopping at the Outlet mall on saturday, dinner with MBA peeps on sat night, brunch with a meetup crew on Sunday and finally dinner at home sunday night - JUST to get my mind off things. 

Life in corporate America is a far cry from working back home. Here, everyone is an individual contributor - the culture is individualistic vs the more collectivist culture back home. It takes some getting used to - but I can see how being accountable and having to stick up for every number /slide /word that you put out / say / present makes you work smarter, harder, and clean up your own mess as opposed to knowing there's a team behind you as a fall back option.

Life is also stressful in that layoffs in America are so commonplace that sooner or later you ought to expect the axe to fall on you. The last few weeks were unsettling, uneasy and restless for me - knowing there will be layoffs, not knowing when they will be or who they will affect. I had been given enough feelers by my director that he valued my skills to know that it was unlikely that I would lose my job, BUT STILL. I am the kind of person who believes actions > words, so until something doesn't ACTUALLY happen, you can say something to me a bazillion times and I won't believe you. It serves me well, in professional and personal settings, to have low expectations and not to have my hopes riding on people's words. 

I'm glad we're past the bloodbath - we're not in another state of turmoil - of 'reorg' and 'realignment' and skill set mapping and what not - but at least we're past the major cuts. I can breathe easy for a while..

My director keeps telling me that I'm gonna be a corporate warrior once I've advanced in my career - that because I've gone through so much stuff so early on in my career I'll develop a thick skin.. For my sake, I hope he's right.. It was hard being so upset all last week, there was almost nothing I could say or do to make myself feel better or stronger. I know this is probably being naive, but I'd love to never have to go through a layoff again, in any capacity... 


muthu said...

hmhm... I am remembering the movie -this george cloony movie UP- And yes, modern day corporate has made us pretty thick skinned but what s to be sen whether its a good thing or a bad thing..

CrazyDiamond said...

I know that gloomy feeling. It sucks...
You know I specialise in the cynical side of life, especially when it comes to corporate america, but I'm also in the field that's seen layoffs every month for the last 4 years. The whole individual contributor bullshit gets old very fast. I'd take the collective team based, less layoff culture anyday.

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