Redundant

Well February 8 is my last day at my current company X (name ommitted for legal reasons), although officially the February 15 is my last day. Ever since I started working for the company there has been rounds of redundancy, downsizing, rightsizing, synergizing or what ever you want to call it. The first round I faced was actually while I was on holiday between finishing at my last company and starting at this new company. I was in the states on holiday (Orlando / New Orleans) when I read in the paper that the company was laying off jobs. I was really concerned that I would get back from holiday to discover that I was unemployed, but according to my boss the LIFO principal (last in first out) did not apply in company X. I think there have been about 6 rounds of redundancy since then and I managed to survive them all, even the 'big cut' of 2003 when we all thought that we'd had it.

However on September 15 we were informed that our department was being closed down and that no further R&D would be done in the UK in our product area as they were consolidating the sites and trying to reduce the number of developers. To be honest I can't say I blame them as from a business viewpoint its the correct decision. Another reason they said was that they were reducing development funding in the product area as no customers roadmaps included new products in our product area. I personally think this is short sighted. From a competitive viewpoint I also think that the company is shooting themselves in the foot. Most of the work is being transitioned to low cost centers like India and China where there is a high turnover of staff (as much as 40%). This brings two problems, the high turnover results in staff not gaining sufficient experience in an area to be truly productive and what experience they do gain ends up working for a competitor.

I was offered other roles in the company (in services and platform development) but declined as I felt it was a good time to get out. So I became one of the 272 people terminated by the company in 2007 in the UK. I think the decision to get out is a good one as I could not see any way in which to develop my career at company X (move into management / project management for example). The company seems to be in some sort of infinite redundancy loop, they are making more people redundant in the UK this year, which has led (I think) to a total collapse of morale. I was worried that the redundancy policy may be reduced to statutory minimum. Morale within the organisation is really low (not surprising with rolling redundancy year after year) as well so it would be nice to work somewhere more positive.

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