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Tips to overcome the fear of Pink Slip-Job Firing due to Global Meltdown

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Tips to overcome the fear of Pink Slip-Job Firing due to Global Meltdown

Since the last quarter of year 2008, the economy all across the globe had been declining. The meltdown due to sky high oil & food prices all over, substantiated by the burst of housing bubble in the US has pushed almost the entire industrialized world into a deep recession.

To ease out the great financial pressure from all quarters, almost all business houses found the easiest way of downsizing their manpower giving birth to another demon i.e. the unemployment. Thus almost everyone in the service class had been passing through extremely tense moments full of fear of getting a Pink Slip or losing their job any moment.

This article is aimed at providing a scientific solace to everyone especially the IT Sector professionals surviving the fear of Pink Slip.

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First of all

let us find out as to what is a Pink Slip?

According to Wikipedia, Pink Slip is an American term referring to being fired from one's job & the person being fired is said to be Pink Slipped.

What are the possible reasons of one getting fired from a job or getting a Pink Slip?

There are just three reasons or circumstances of one getting fired from a company, which are described below.

Situation No. 1: Lack of competence in the employee: Every individual is fully aware of his own strengths & weaknesses more than anyone else. A poor performer with lack of professional competence in his designated areas of operation will not have many regrets in getting a Pink Slip.

Situation No. 2: Operation against company objectives: No company will ever tolerate an employee functioning against its corporate objectives. This may include espionage, indulgence in corrupt practices, leaking of company secrets / confidential data and in-discipline etc. Such an employee knows very well of getting a pink slip immediately on getting exposed and thus have no reasons to regret in getting a Pink Slip.

Situation No. 3: Company is sinking financially:
If the company is sinking, may be due to any reason & is unable to foot the bill of the employees. In such events the companies try every means to cut down the expenses by curtailing its manpower, cutting down the company overheads & many other expenses, without having major impact on its operations.

If someone can suggest a reason other than the three described above, please share with me for inclusion in this article.

Why the monster of Job Firing is born all of a sudden?

Due to continuous decline of economy all across the globe, there is hardly anyone, whether an individual or corporate, that are passing through nervous moments for last couple of months. Thus the present situation is more appropriate with situation No. 3 described above

Financial sector is shaken badly due to steep fall in disposable income and liquidity crunch, stock markets are tumbling, sales all over are declining causing great uncertainty everywhere. Every company, whether big or small, is unable to bear the financial crunch & planning to cut down the costs by downsizing the manpower to the barest minimum. Consumers are also not left behind in this race and are cutting down expenses on essential commodities even the food products. Manufacturing companies are also cutting down their expenses in every corner.

Who are the people most affected by the present Global Crisis?

Serving class of people is the worst affected and is forced to live in an environment brimming with fear of losing the job. Even the supposedly safer High -Technology areas like IT sector, which had been on its blasting boom till a couple of years ago, is now passing through rough weathers & great turbulence. No one is certain as to when such situation will come to an end.

In industry, low performing staffs are found to be most vulnerable to layoffs. After laying-off the low performers, companies tend to cut down the costs across the areas not directly affecting the operations of the company, such as HR, Marketing, Publicity, Communications etc.

Remember that in most of the layoffs (especially in the IT Sector), aimed at reducing the head count; long experience & corresponding high salary is likely to make you a vulnerable target for pink slipping.

Where do you stand among the present moments of crisis?

If you are one among a band of such IT guys, who either has already got the pink slip or got a hint from the HR personnel of the company; there is no reason to get panicky or getting depressed & staying under the constant apprehension of getting a pink slip anytime. Remember that tough time comes to test our mettle & never stays forever, thus there is no reason to lose hope.

If you happen to be in IT sector, you can adopt several means of being gainfully employed even after getting a pink slip, and easing out your tension and migrate to plenty of new opportunities waiting for you.

Following suggestions shall be helpful in effectively tackling the devastating monster of Pink Slip approaching closer day by day.

Suggestion 1:
Create your own Network:
Your efforts in creating your own networks shall act as rich investment ready to pay back during the time of crisis. The more & more you go on expanding the size of your network, better it shall be. The networks being talked here refer to

a) Group of people you happened to work with:
This may include your superiors, colleagues or even juniors. You never know when any such person can be your point of contact in a company you wish to get into. You may need the help of these people in future, who are likely to be contacted by new employer seeking their opinion & recommendations about you.

b) Past & Present Business Clients, Suppliers / Vendors: Had you maintained healthy professional relations with such people, they will be happy to help you in the moments of crisis.

c) Present Colleagues: Even can be helpful any time in case of need. You may need the recommendation of some superior, colleague or even the junior for some job in the future.

d) Social networks: Social networking sites like Orkut, MySpace, Facebook and many similar ones can act as an excellent place to track and stay in touch with persons you know. You can build a community of several persons having similar professional interests. Such persons can be helpful during the time of crisis.

Suggestion 2: Polish & Publicize your Resume

Analyze the quality of your resume, which is extremely important for your hunt for the new job. The purpose of a nicely written resume is to project you as the best possible candidate for the position.

An impressive cover letter is of great significance in attracting the HR managers in the first go. A good resume offers factual information in a systematic manner, which any HR manager would like to see. A quick glance at the top of the first page of your resume should be so much compelling that HR manager must get the temptation to go till its end & should get charged with an impulse to have further discussions.

For polishing the resume & preparing an impressive cover letter, help from popular sites like or or many more similar sites may be useful.

Remember that although a nicely written resume is of significance for hunting any job, however it may not be able to bring you to the interview table due to crisis almost everywhere. In such a situation, it is better to exert maximum force on exploring avenues through placement consultants, using your own personal connections and by selling / promoting your talent & experience through the latest publicity channels like Blogs etc. Once the resume is posted in blogs / forums / mailing lists, you can expect to get great amount of traffic, some of which can be to your advantage, may be an employer may hit your resume out of the blue.

Suggestion 3:
Enhance your Skills & Diversify

The strategy of up-gradation of your skills works well for all categories of persons right from the beginners to experts in the IT field.

If you are a beginner with zero to 3 years of experience at your back, the convenient approach is to look for jobs using your already held experience as a foundation, on which you can build castle of new area or technology. For example a testing engineer can try to learn application development, a programmer can learn & master other languages, a web designer can learn to write codes. Main advantage of people in a band of zero to 3 years of experience is that they have many options. They simply need more experience. If their job happens to last for over six months, they get another opportunity to learn other technologies or skill-set. Such people are in great demand due to being less expensive & are easy to train & mold in any culture as needed.

In case of persons with medium level experience in the range of 4 to 10 years, a pink slip is most frustrating as compared to all. This is the experience band where the persons become a sort of specialist in their domain & are likely to gradually migrate to project manager or similar senior level positions. Such persons prefer stable position in an organization. But a pink slip comes as a devastating catastrophe for them. Thus while anticipating pink slip, such persons should think of giving retirement to older skills in favor of newer ones. Due to their rich experience, such personnel will have better & quick understanding of new skills as compared to the persons in the band of beginners.

Options for senior persons with over 10 years of experience are more diversified. They can explore the possibility of starting their own company or taking a senior level position like project manager / program manager or like in a medium sized company or can even think of being an independent consultant.

Suggestion 4: Have a personal vacation

If you've just been pink-slipped, and you are bound to get a sudden grip of great emotions, anger, fear, depression tending to make you a bit crazy. Remember this is quite natural response of the brain to sudden shock & you would try all your best to defuse such emotional attacks.

The best approach at this hour of crisis is to calming down the emotions by going on a personal vacation for week or ten days, long drive, hiking tours, socializing with fiends & relatives, joining parties, fun clubs with an aim to develop contacts with persons from different walks of life. Although you may be financially tight on one hand and with an uncertain future on the other; still such de-stressing activities are a must for you at this hour of crisis.  

Suggestion 5: Migration from IT Sector

Think of moving out of the hard core IT sector by trying following options:

# Joining a consulting company where you may not get an opportunity of working like a programming or testing expert, but can get excellent exposure to many other challenging openings.

# Persons with expertise in database development can try migration to information management or analytic management.

# Persons with expertise in hardware development can try migration to general industrial engineering

# Persons with expertise in content management can try migration to library related systems or general publishing.

# Persons with expertise in development of Financial services can try concentrating on the mathematical side of the field like algorithmic development etc.

# Persons with expertise in web development can try building web site like covering the areas of your expertise with the masses.

Suggestion 6: Increase your Qualification
If you have strong desire to move into some management position, you can try to pursue MBA or similar degree & utilize your idle time for a useful cause. You may not want to have a full time long duration course, unless you are financially well off to support the family with no earnings during the periods of your study. Thus part time or distance learning options can be tried to draw the suitable advantage.

Acquiring certifications is another fruitful way of enhancing your qualifications & skill levels. Remember that such certifications shall be at the cost of burden on your own pocket rather than on any employer, hence go in for most useful certifications only after careful selection.

Suggestion 7: Cut down your Expenses

If you had been used to living lavishly, you need to do change your style a bit. Try to conserve your bank balance. You never know when you will this money in case any contingency happens to fall. While investing in mutual funds or share market, try to invest in schemes where you have easy availability of liquid funds in case of need. Never block your funds in long term fixed deposits etc., unless you have many other resources of generating quick liquid funds.

Suggestion 8: Start a Company of your own

Remember that majority of the software organizations take birth during tough times. Going by the known proverb "Necessity is the mother of invention", you can also accept the challenge of getting your venture upright. You may need to pool up with a couple of like-minded professionals who can contribute to the best advantage of the new enterprise.

If everything goes well, your product happens to gel, and many people start using it & recommend the same to chain of others. Slowly the enterprise start making revenue followed by profits. At this stage, little jerks on economical fronts may not be able to have sizable impact on the company since by such time it has made some strong ground for itself.

Alternatively you can build your own web site like covering the topics of your interest & share your expertise with the masses.

Suggestion 9: Try to develop Open Source products
You can try to do experimentation with new concepts & technologies by developing open source products. This way you can polish your skills of programming resulting into good product which can be commercialized later on to the best of your advantage.

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