A good friend of mine was laid off a few weeks ago.
He received notice via email. After-hours. On a Friday.
The email said, “Please see the attached about your employment status.” The attachment was a letter said that “we are restructuring…”
Talk about spineless.
My friend is a brilliant strategist, awesome creative, and the type of guy who consistently performs beyond expectations.
He left a secure position at an agency that was well established and growing. He was recruited away by a smaller agency with the opportunity – and promise – to build a department to his vision.
It seemed to be the right thing to do – at the time.
Early on, he found that management – that had admired his vision and courted him for over a year – didn’t seem to embrace changes. He brought something they really wanted, but for some reason, were unwilling to make the changes necessary to move forward.
Where he thought he’d be reporting directly to the partners, he found – after two weeks on their payroll – that he reported to someone lower on the chain of command.
That person, his ‘boss’ required that he run everything past her. And that’s where all ideas, innovation and progress stopped. He brought the issue to the partners, who told him they still supported him. And then his boss began to take issue with his day-to-day performance. So much for support.
At that point, all he could do was his job. And look for another.
Another job didn’t come before he got his email.
So this goes back to management. Do you want to make changes? Who in your organization is preventing you from moving forward? Your “most trusted” managers? Or perhaps...you?
In this economy, in agencies – or any business – your ability to grow, much less survive, is not only shaped by your vision, but by the agendas of individuals in your organization to whom you have given control.
You gave them that control and they can sink you.
My friend? He’s taking care of his family, looking for work and ‘living’ on unemployment. He is also over 50. Ageism is alive and well in advertising. But no one will admit it.
I wish him best of luck.