When you get laid off you really want someone to blame. However, who deserves blame? The HR person? I’ve seen some of our HR people on layoff day find a place to go to cry. They hate it, too. My former company’s HR people have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help me since I was laid off, even offering to review my resume and give me pointers.
The first level manager? I talked to a number of them on layoff day, and they were very distressed by what they had to do. They’re usually told they have to reduce their headcount by a certain number, and they do the best they can. In my case, I suspect my job was the one that could be cut and have the least impact on getting our product release out the door.
Senior management? That one is easier, since someone “up there” made the decision to move the jobs offshore and decided that heads needed to roll in the US. However, I’ve had good relationships with senior management in the past, and they’re not evil people. Did they fight for me? I don’t know, maybe not hard enough, but maybe that’s partly my fault for not “tooting my own horn” enough.
The people in the new overseas R&D center? We like to dislike them, but I’ve worked with staff in several of our overseas offices and they are good colleagues, trying to earn a living for their families just like us.
I guess the bottom line is that there’s really no one to blame. It’s a tough business environment, and lifelong employment is a thing of the past. Playing the blame game does no good, only harm. I need to look forward, to the next opportunity.