Survivor Guilt

In Her Words Survivor Guilt Coping with layoffs at work By: Kristin Johnson My company was recently bought out. We all knew what was coming after that. The goal of any company when it purchases another company is to make money. One of the quickest and easiest ways to make money is to reduce head […]

In Her Words

Survivor Guilt

Coping with layoffs at work

By: Kristin Johnson

My company was recently bought out. We all knew what was coming after that. The goal of any company when it purchases another company is to make money. One of the quickest and easiest ways to make money is to reduce head count, especially in the current state of the U.S. economy.

Survivor GuiltWe went through our first round of big cuts in November, which we anticipated. We even knew what day the layoffs were going to be announced. Our department lost a few, most of them expected. Thankfully, I wasn’t one of them.

Last Friday, my entire department was dismantled. We lost seven people total and in four months have whittled a department that was once 16 people down to three. We have been sliced down to the bare bones, and our responsibilities have been reduced to almost nothing. We will cease to do any more marketing as a company, which was the majority of what we handled. It’s a big blow.

I am one of the three remaining. The people who were let go have a few months to finish up projects, but come the end of June, we will be three. That means I have to come in each and every day and work side-by-side with people who have lost their jobs. I’m overrun with guilt because I still have a job, even though I had no choice in any of the decisions.

I’m at a loss on how to handle the guilt. I have been laid off twice. This is the first time I’ve ever been on this side of the table. I don’t like being in this position. While, yes, I am thankful to still be gainfully employed, I also know that having been laid off before, I can bounce back. I know losing my job is something I can recover from. I’ve done it in the past, I can do it again.

I’m sad for the people who have spouses and children to support and will no longer have a steady paycheck. My heart breaks every day for the person who has worked here her entire adult life and only knows this company. I would gladly switch places with her in a second because I can’t handle wondering if she will be able to bounce back. It pains me to see the people affected by these cuts, just so that we can have a smaller bottom-line.

Tell us: How have you or your coworkers been affected by layoffs?


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