I'm looking out the window of my office and I can see gray clouds coming in from the west. It's been gloomy here lately, but I think it's pretty timely.
Last week we had to lay off four people from our office, including one of my direct reports. I was not involved in the decision, nor was I responsible for telling him. The pain on my boss' face was hard enough, and I can't imagine having to go through that...or put someone else through that.
There's times when you let people go and once the deed is done, there's some relief. They didn't perform well, created a toxic atmosphere, or any other reason why you may want them gone.
Then there's the ones that you don't want gone. It comes down to needing to eliminate a certain number of positions, and all else being equal, a case of last in, first out. To put it bluntly, it really sucks. You offer to pass along leads, offer to write letters of reference, tell them to stay in touch. But the relationship is never the same. And in an industry that's like a small town, it's awkward and heartbreaking...you see siblings and spouses on the street, parents in meetings.
But, we move on. And hope for better opportunities for them, companies where they will thrive, even more so than they did here. As the industry cautiously climbs once again, from the depths, as it has so many times in the past, they will be better equipped to deal with the future than the lucky ones.