Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Top Five Companies?

Interestingly, there was a headline in the news regarding the top 5 companies, but it wasn't about the best 5 companies a person can work for. It was the 'best performing' companies. It had nothing to do with the employees, but with as with all companies and corporations, it comes down to: money. Best sales growth, revenue, capital and who is making money. These companies are: Coach, Gilead Sciences, Allegheny Technologies, Verizon Communications and Questar.

There was another link from CNN listing the top 100 companies to work for. Now this is something that should be of interest to us. See the link below:

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2008/full_list/

Take notice of the job growth and the numbers of US employees and you can also click on the other categories above such as benefits, turnover, size.

Monday, March 31, 2008

The End?

Company B sending over their representatives to get introduced to their new job; my old job, email requests for information that should have been thought of weeks ago, non-stop conference calls discussing last minute details and that's just it. Everything is thought of - at the last minute, everything is asked about - at the last minute. Requests are made - at the last minute.

Company B wants to come in and completely take over without considering the implications. They have no idea of what's in store for them and not to be mean, but they deserve it. No prior research, meetings or questions asked - until today, the last day, literally up until the last hour at work today, this is what took place.

My feelings were bittersweet up until three days ago but after seeing how both Company A and Company B communicate and how they expect things to be done, my feelings are now of great relief. Relief that I can now take charge of my professional life when I was unsure of how to do so.

We all need to come to a realization of this. Each one of us should be in charge of our lives, in every aspect: spiritual, mental, emotional, phyiscal and - professional. Don't leave it up to someone else to have the say, say yourself in the best way that you can. As the expression goes, "Do you"

One of the managers said to me that he hoped that I would be ok and that I find another opportunity. I looked at him and smiled with a nod and said 'Of course I am ok and I don't think I'll have any problems finding another opportunity'. Interesting, in times of downsizing, outsourcing and lay offs, the normal reaction is be upset or concerned. But we can't take it personally, although these companies make you feel like you should.

Being laid off right now was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. It's not the end by any means, in fact, it's the beginning and I'm just getting started.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Training Someone Else To Do YOUR Job?

The desk that I used to sit at is clean and clear of all my books, software and other IT material which is now sitting in three boxes stacked in my den. What's left behind already is memories of the past 5 1/2 years which I learned my craft, established a network of clients and colleagues; many of them I will never forget while there were some that I'd rather forget-:)

I learned today that someone from Company B will be at the work location on Monday expecting for the job duties to be 'handed off' to them. Handed off could be another expression for 'training someone else to do my job' which I have a big problem with. Not that I want to leave on a bad note, but at the same time, it would be very unfair to expect me to train someone else to do my job.

And although, I made the decision not to stay in this position, it's an equally bad decision for management to make and it's also one that I will NOT support.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Day #2 Reality Check

I decided to go to work early today to get a head-start on my packing. I actually ended up working on a few more computers and shipping them out to leave my desk totally empty. Tomorrow will be the official packing day and the last working day for me.

Several people have already asked me if I was ready to leave while others would walk by and ask me if I was alright. I assured them that I was totally fine, while thinking to myself that I am just bidding my time until I walk out of the building for good.

Realizing that your job is coming to an end can be difficult, especially when it is out of your control and not your choice. Your emotions and thinking can be on 'a high'. The slightest comment can set you off or make you laugh.

Accepting the change is the start of dealing with it. Reality is slowing settling in and it really isn't a bad place to be.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Day #3 Time to Start Packing

After looking at my desk, inside and out, I didn't realize until today that I have accumulated a lot in the past 5 1/2 years as an IT manager and I do mean a lot.

With the tons of technology books, reference materials, and out-dated software that I have, I realize that a lot has changed in the IT industry since I started. Everything seems to be leaning towards helping clients remotely with the telephone being used as the only point of contact instead of a live person. Automation has truly redefined and redirected this business.

Clients still need that communication with a real person. Nothing should take the place of that. I came across a Windows 98 boot diskette which is still gold and worth keeping - at least to me-:) I'm not throwing it away. Some useful things to keep for the next job:
  • software, documentation, user manuals
  • performance appraisals
  • letters of commendation from clients, co-workers, management, etc.
  • list of telephone numbers & email addresses of previous clients/co-workers, management to use as references, more is definitely better - it shows you have history with others
  • any type of tools or materials you use to perform your job

I'm making my list and checking it twice, leaving nothing behind.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Accepting the Pink Slip - Day #3

We received more email updates of what's going to take place on March 31, but the conference calls have ended. Everyone is quiet and continuing to finish up their job assignments. We've all accepted our pink slips graciously.

We had a luncheon at my office today and it was very, very nice to have everyone sharing in eating some 'home-cooked' food. Interestingly, it wasn't from management, we decided to do it ourselves and for ourselves. Not that we were looking for someone to say thank you, but it would have been nice if someone had said that to us. And that's just it, we have to make our happiness, we can't look for it from someone else.

That's when it seems that people come together; when they're sharing a meal-:) A way to a person's heart could be through their tummy. Worth a try, right? Any other time, it could be an annoying coworker or a manager who is getting on your last nerve; keeping you from leaving work on time -we can't take it. We quickly distance ourselves from that negative person or situation.

Why does it take something like a meal to bring folks together? One of the techs in the group (whose job is not affected) said after he ate his plate of food, that this is one of the reasons why we will be missed. It's by doing things like preparing food and sharing it with others that seem to break the ice and everyone forgets about the petty gripes they had against each other. I guess if it works, keep doing it.

Acceptance is finally settling in and it feels very good!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Wait No More - I Received The Pink Slip Today!

It's interesting how one second you feel one way and then that feeling can quickly change. While my other co-workers received their news before noon, my group gets the bad news later in the day. Not that it's a big deal, but it still would have been nice if everyone received the news - at the same time.

We receive the 'official' email and then it's followed up with a conference call to see if anyone has any questions. We're told to make sure we read through all the paperwork and to make sure we make the time to clean out our desks. And they still want us to work until the end.

I knew this day was coming and although seeing the 'official' letter made me feel a little numb at first, as the day went on, the numbness actually starting wearing off. It has come to this, a piece of paper letting me know that there is indeed life beyond Company A. I'm free, free from worrying if my position that I held for the past 5 1/2 years can be saved or will I have to start over.

When I leave on March 31, the work is then outsourced to Company B which starts on April 1. At that point, it will be over for Company A but it's not over for me. Yes, attitude is EVERYthing.

My Day #4 ends in the words of a beautiful song by Jill Scott called 'I Keep' - the chorus is the best part of the song and what I need to remind myself as I hang on to see this ride slowly coming to an end.

"I keep
Moving forward, pressing onward, striving further
I keep
Keep on laughing, keep on living, keep on loving yeah
I keep
Keep on dreaming keep on achieving, keep on believing
I keep
I keep smiling when I come thru and I cry when I need to".