Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ceasing to exist

Raise your hand if you’ve ever worked for a company that (appears to) suddenly go through a ‘restructuring process’? (I say appears to, because to us it’s often sudden news, but to the powers that be, it’s been in the works for months.)

I know in this day and age, a lot of us have gone through it. I think it’s one of the reasons that very few people in our generation stick around with the same company for a lifetime – or heck, in many cases for even a decade. I personally, have been through it twice and have been fortunate enough to have never lost my job over it. And now, I’m going through it again.

Three times, in two different companies, since I started full-time employment in 1999.

Yesterday morning at 10:30 a.m., the director of HR came around to everyone in my department and asked “are you free at 11, the CEO wants to speak with you”? Oh, oh, that’s never a good sign.

At 11, the 14 of us in Marketing and Communications were told, without tiptoeing around the issue, that the department will cease to exist. The marketing folks will join the revenue and development team and the communications folks will join a yet-to-be-formed department – with some members of another department that is being broken up – called public affairs. The transition will take approximately two months.

The job loss because of it? So far, just one that I know of – the VP of Marketing and Communications. I guess your job becomes redundant when there’s no department to VP over anymore. She was told a week ago, which now makes sense why she hasn't been around for a week.

Needless to say, the news has been a real mood-killer around here for the last day and a half and a real motivation-killer. It’s really hard to feel motivated to work on something when you don’t know whether or not that project is going to be deemed important enough to carry over.

What’s worse is we still don’t know all the details of this ‘restructuring’. It’s easy to say the marketing folks go here and the communications folks go there – but what are you supposed to think when you fit into both portfolios? I’m lucky in that respect, I’m 95% sure I’m headed to public affairs – which for me could turn out well, because doing outreach and working on prevention and advocacy tactics are the parts of my job that I enjoy the most. But others aren’t so lucky and are feeling in limbo.

But just because I think I know where I’m going doesn’t mean I know what I’ll be doing when I get there.

And rumour has it that the restructuring is a lot bigger than just the dismantling of our department.

The official all-staff announcement will be made Wednesday – so things will start to become clearer then, I hope.

The hardest part for me and the biggest work motivation-killer right now, is the two month time frame is exactly when I’m leaving for my maternity leave. So, it puts the whole plan of hiring and training a replacement for me in jeopardy. Oh yeah, and did I mention that if I do move to public affairs, I’ll be reporting to someone who is on maternity leave until the end of February and she’ll be reporting to someone who is on maternity leave until June? Welcome to working for a company that is 88% female.

All I know, is that with less than 10 weeks left until my maternity leave, I was ready to start winding things down, closing out projects and preparing to transition other ones. Now, I feel like I’m tinkering away at everything and nothing at the same time and wondering if it’ll be April 2009 before I really know what’s going on.


Vone said...

Totally hear ya. Last time I went on mat leave they didn't hire anyone to replace me. I found out the week after I left that my department was no longer. I think I've been through 2 restructings in this same company and I have a feeling another will come when we move our offices. Just count down the weeks :)

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, everything will work out for the good, so just keep yourself well, and the baby to be healthy, without worrying about the long range future. The short range is much more exciting. love Dad :)