Overstock was Overstocked: 250+ layoffs

This makes me sad. I have had this tab open since yesterday and every time I go to close it, I hesitate.

I got laid off just a few months ago. It was really a life-changing, family-impacting event. Our financial plans were abruptly halted and modified. Our health insurance abruptly ended. The company-purchased life insurance (which was not my only life insurance policy) went away. There were other benefits that I was getting used to, but those were, I think, the biggest changes.

Oh yeah, I went from being a part of one of the hottest companies in my area, with a great title and being part of a super cool team that (almost) the whole company was excited about.  I lost my title and my position, which for many is their position in the world… their whole purpose.

This is what is happening to the 250+ people at Overstock. Their lives are about to change in a huge way. Perhaps it will be temporary… the market is hot right now and there are a lot of local high tech and funded companies. Some people, because of their hustle and network and skills, will have just a blip in their career path, barely feeling it. For others, though, some will barely (if ever) recover.

Listen, companies come and go. I was just looking at someone’s LinkedIn Profile and every company he worked at was like this: Company name (formerly ______) or Company name (acquired by / now _____).

Companies come and go. Good bosses (and bad bosses) come and go.

And both of those variables are outside of your “circle of influence.”

A company changing their strategy and focus, like Overstock is apparently doing, is outside of your circle of influence.

The impacts are far-reaching for you… but you can’t do much about it.

What can you do?

You can do what I call “career management.” You can be a continuous learner. You can build professional relationships (networking!). You can manage and dictate your personal brand. You can use JibberJobber RIGHT NOW.  You can be proactive in all of this stuff.

When is the last time you went to an industry or professional association monthly network meeting? I didn’t go, before my Big Layoff in 2006, because I felt like it was cheating on my company.

But when I got laid off, none of my loyalty mattered.

I should have managed my own career. Because no promise from anyone at my company mattered once I got laid off.

You have to take care of you. Just don’t wait to long to do it.