In the biz, we like to call what happened to ESPN a case of “getting out over your skis.” (Note: No one actually says that). The Worldwide Leader will throw around buzzwords like “over leveraged” and “synergies” but in reality they had a shitty product and the tribe has spoken. It’s Econ 101 really … if no one watches said shitty show, said shitty talent gets laid off.
Ok, now that we’ve confirmed life has given some ESPN reporters lemons, let’s make some lemonade, shall we?
This might come as a rude awakening to some of you, but nobody’s job is safe. Sure, this might sound like the intro of a 4 AM get rich quick infomercial, but by definition, most of us are employees at will. I’ll spare you the legalese but this essentially means you can leave anytime you want and your employer can throw your ass out on the street faster than the time it will take for you to explain why you were caught with your pants around your ankles in the copy room for the second time this month.
So next time you think you are too important to be fired because you do that one administrative task no one else cares to learn or because your boss always asks how your family is doing, know this: YOU ARE NOT. Like Beyonce said, “I can have another you in a minute.” Top talent gets laid off because they cost too much money, low men (and women) on the totem pole get set loose for looking at an MD the wrong way and everyone in between is only as good as what they’ve done for management lately. NOBODY IS SAFE.
I’ve happy houred with too many over-confident #CEBrOs and #Ladybosses to know an idiot when I see one. Never, EVER think you’re too big to fail, always remember that you’re just a number and keep your head on a swivel.
So if you don’t get anything else out of this article, keep this nugget in the back of your brain: cushioning isn’t just for dating anymore. Having your own golden parachute to land safely when the shit hits the fan isn’t a terrible idea. Networking and having prospective employers and recruiters “keep you in mind” won’t be the worst idea you ever had. I promise.
Open the Kimono on Layoffs
The part where real experts give some real advice.
Doomsday Prep: 7 Things Every Successful Guy Should Do Before a Layoff is probably one of the real-est articles I found about layoffs. I mean, it has “Doomsday” in the title … doesn’t get more real than that. It gives tips most soft websites won’t tell you about: “Act Like a Spy”, “Become an HR Insider” etc.