If you were shocked by the announcement last week that Microsoft was laying off 18,000 workers, you weren’t alone. Even Wall Street was caught off-guard by the extent of the cuts, even if it did expect some job losses.
There was an email sent out by the company CEO about why the cuts were necessary. What will get lost in all the explanations and rationalizations are the individual stories of people’s lives that are affected and left in the wake as the corporation moves on.
Severance packages will help ease the blow, but depending on what stage you’re at in your career, it could mean starting all over again, or trying to ride it out until retirement.
You hear so much about youth unemployment these days and in such a business environment, it’s not difficult to figure out why young people are so frustrated in their attempts to land a job, but what about the people getting towards the end of their careers who are let go?
Salary expectations and the fact that their careers are starting to tick down mean that the 50-somethings are less attractive as potential employees once they’re let go from a company they may have employed them for years.
Once people are let go from a job, the letters that explain such moves become necessary just to calm the troops that remain even though there is no guarantee that they too won’t one day feel the guillotine of job cuts themselves.
Last September, I felt the cut personally when, after nearly 14 years, I was let go as golf columnist for the Toronto Sun. Mind you, I did the column on a freelance basis, so it wasn’t as if I was being let go from a staff position.
Still, it took a big chunk of change away and there was no severance, so there was a financial sting, but it went beyond that. I thoroughly enjoyed doing a column that had just before me been written by the late, great Rick Fraser.
I received a phone call from an apologetic sports editor and his words were kind, with no reason to believe that he was anything other than sincere.
Truth be known, there had been several waves of job cuts that took place at Sun Media over the years and I wondered how I lasted as long as I did. As a matter of fact, I had been writing more columns than ever when I got the phone call to inform me. Just like that, it was gone after 14 years.
That’s the way it’s going in media these days and I’m not the only golf columnist, or editorial type for that matter, to feel the blade as a result of budget cuts. Still others that I’ve known over the years have had their positions eliminated entirely as they were replaced by technology.
I also consider myself one of the lucky ones after starting GNN, which is now about to go into its seventh year of operation and something I also enjoy working on.
Microsoft, newspapers and other industries and businesses all have their unique challenges and I needn’t list the long list of challenges that affect all aspects of golf these days. In this industry like many others, job security is a concern for many of us.
How many? That’s the topic of this week’s GNN Poll.
You can vote below or on the GNN home page and if you’d like to expand your opinion, please do so in the Comments section below.
How would you describe your job security these days?
- Shaky (37%)
- Solid (34%)
- Day by day (18%)
- I'm out of a job (11%)