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O Sh*t! How I accidentally became unemployed, and what I'm doing about it.

Discussion in 'Hustles, Freelancing, Bootstrapping' started by 404profound, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. LittleWolfie
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    LittleWolfie Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I wonder if charging a price they will not pay for the 'extras 'could be a way of avoiding these situations.

    This is also why I would dislike having 1 client.
     
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  2. Tom.V
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    Tom.V Tom Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    It can. Personally, if I don't want to do something, I'll price it high enough to make it worth my while if I do end up doing the work.

    And 1 client is as risky as risky gets. I don't know how service business that only serve a single, large client sleep at night. It's a total lack of control and with one decision your business is caput. No more employees, no more office, no more revenue, nothing.
     
  3. The-J
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    The-J Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Tell them no, if I don't want to do it.

    If I want to do it, then I renegotiate. Very simple.

    Never be afraid to say no or to reject a cheque.
     
  4. Late Bloomer
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    Late Bloomer Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I sympathize. It sounds like you have no regrets about not swinging the axe that was handed to you. Time to put that behind you. I recommend that as soon as you are calm, you think of a one line way to explain your departure. "I'm an operations consultant who improves business systems, using six sigma methodology. The client abruptly assigned me to do layoffs of my own peers, even though I hadn't been involved in management or supervision or employee performance metrics. When I told them this was outside the scope of my work, they instantly fired me." I think that's enough for any new boss to know.

    I recommend you leave out the whole question of morality. Present it only as your being put into making the hardest of management decisions - who to sack when profits are down - without having had any input into employee evaluations, any participation in the management team, any training in how the company sees the value of employees. I would assume that you would agree that if someone does take on a leadership position, they would be expected to be able to know the financial contribution levels of employees, and they would be able to make that hard choice because they were prepared for it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  5. Late Bloomer
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    Late Bloomer Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Having more than one client is awesome. My own goal is to have several clients. If any one gets rid of me, and it wouldn't be worth fighting for the position back, I could afford to be without just some of my income while I replace them. Same thing if any one client becomes intolerable, the working relationship unsalvageable. I want the peace of mind of being able to say, "I'm sorry this isn't working out. Here's you refund and I wish you luck, goodbye."
     
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  6. Late Bloomer
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    Late Bloomer Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Several commenters are ignorant of what Six Sigma Black Belt Operations Consulting is... or, chose to ignore that part of 404's story.

    Six Sigma is a methodology for using math and the scientific method to improve production. It was originated in manufacturing and that's by far still its biggest area of use. Black Belt is a level of certified training in the methodology. Operations here does NOT mean management, job descriptions, hiring, personnel, or employee evaluations! Operations means taking physical inputs into a physical process that changes their physical properties, so that parts get manufactured and assembled into complete shipments.

    A Six Sigma Black Belt is a perfect person to ask to reorganize how you lay out the machinery and workflow in your factory. Where do supplies come in? How much inventory do you need to have on hand for smooth running production? Should you use a few do-everything machines, or a lot of small specialized machines? Can you reduce the amount of transportation and handling of work in progress, in order to have more consistent lead times for customers and less fire-fighting? These are the kind of things Six Sigma can tell you.

    A Black Belt's Six Sigma training would NOT let them legitimately claim that they are the perfect person to tell you who should be hired and fired from that factory! If they know about directing people, it would be from some learning experience other than Six Sigma!

    Six Sigma consulting often involves working for one client, onsite, full time for many months in order to optimize their physical manufacturing process of handling materials. It is NOT expected to include how to attribute hustle and profitability to particular employees!

    404 was exactly right on to say that "who should we throw out today?" is NOT part of his scope of work.
     
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  7. jasoncuellar123
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    jasoncuellar123 I’m probably awake. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    To be honest, would any of those people have done the same thing for you?

    I work with family, so I enjoy my time at work.

    But had it been anywhere else, I would’ve held an Olympic relay for their jobs. :rofl:
     
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  8. Bearcorp
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    Bearcorp Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    So if you had 2 employees in your own business, both great people that put blood sweat and tears into your business, but you come to the point that 1 needs to go, could you do it? 1 is ready to step up for you and take on the world, the other is happy at his level but your business has grown beyond that now.. Sometimes it needs to be done and you have to be able to pull the trigger when the time comes.
     
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  9. Late Bloomer
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    I found your next gig, 404!

    "Wanted— Prime Minister of Ruritania.
    Hours of work: 4 A.M. to 11.59 P.M.
    Candidates must be prepared to fight three rounds with the current
    heavyweight champion (regulation gloves to be worn).
    Candidates will die for their country, by painless means, on reaching the age of retirement (65).
    They will have to pass an examination in parliamentary procedure and will be liquidated should they fail to obtain 95% marks.
    They will also be liquidated if they fail to gain 75% votes in a popularity poll held under the Gallup Rules.
    They will finally be invited to try their eloquence on a Baptist Congress, the object being to induce those present to rock and roll. Those who fail will be liquidated.
    All candidates should present themselves at the Sporting Club (side entrance) at 11.15 A.M. on the morning of September 19. Gloves will be provided.

    Observe that this advertisement saves all trouble about application forms, testimonials, photographs, references, and short lists. If the advertisement has been correctly worded, there will be only one applicant, and he can take office immediately— well, almost immediately." - C Northcote Parkinson, "Parkinson's Law"
     
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  10. 404profound
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    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I'm not ruling it out.
     
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  11. 404profound
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    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I appreciate your willingness to come to my defense. I didn't believe there was much point in distinguishing the purpose of six sigma, but I'm glad you did it.
     
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  12. Late Bloomer
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    Late Bloomer Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Without an explanation, people can too easily assume "operations consulting" means your gig contract includes personnel management.
     
  13. Late Bloomer
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    But 404 isn't an owner or manager of the business. He's a consultant brought in to optimize production operations using Six Sigma tools. The management of the business failed to make the hard call themselves, they're the ones who failed to step up as you said. They're the ones who couldn't be bothered to even decide which people to lay off, but shoved that decision onto the consultant in a different specialty because they lacked the clarity and/or balls to take care of business themselves.
     
  14. Bearcorp
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    Bearcorp Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I didn't say he was, it was a hypothetical question. Something to think about that's all.
     
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  15. Late Bloomer
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    Late Bloomer Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I agree with you that a business owner who hires an employee, needs to be prepared right then for the day they might need to let that employee go. I think it was in the book The Peter Principle, but I haven't been able to find the quote, that goes something like this: If you want to be in charge, you have to be ready to let the worker go. Even if you know that he needs the job, and relies on the job to take care of his family. When you make your decision, don't stretch it out. Fire him right away, that same day. And there is one more thing you must do: you must go home that night and be able to enjoy a good night's sleep.

    If I can ever find the exact quote, I'll put it in.
     
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  16. Bearcorp
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    Bearcorp Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I had the unpleasant experience of sacking a bunch of guys right before Christmas in London a few years ago, we'd worked on a building site and I was the supervisor.
    My working visa was about to run out so I was heading home, and the job was wrapping up, and as we were all sub contractors to the company they didn't care what happened to everyone. (myself and a few others had new projects with them lined up but like I said I was heading home)

    The job was a sh*t show when I got there and we had put in some hard yards to get it done, one of those jobs all the people on site are proud of but all the office see is the money wasted at the start (well before I got there haha!)

    Labor on site wasn't supposed to be in my job role but the nature of the site meant the company gave me freedom to get plumbers and labourers from a recruitment company whenever I saw fit. (Normally the office based project manager would manage labor, I hated that and preferred running it my way) I built a good team, and we ended up nailing the job. I'd begged my manager to find some of the guys jobs somewhere as a reward for what they'd done, but it fell on deaf ears.

    So laying them off as I no longer required them was left to me. Some guys I could say;

    "hey mate thanks for your help your off to this site tomorrow, heres the address" and off they'd go,

    but some, it was;

    "remember how my manager told you last week he has a job for you, well now they don't, i'm sorry"

    And the worst, was my 2IC on site, a guy from Afghanistan, married with 2 young kids, earning 5 pounds an hour, I don't even know how he could afford to eat in London on that money. He was a great little worker, no idea about plumbing and as weak as a child but did anything I asked. No sites within the company had a role for him, I had warned him maybe 5-6 weeks out that he wouldn't be staying on and he should look for more work.

    His recruitment company could only find him scaffolding and concreting roles, heavy labor, and he wasn't built for it, had no more work lined up.

    When the time came, he cried. Full on tears, hugged me and thanked me for keeping him on as long as I did, his lack of strength and plumbing knowledge held him back and a few of the plumbers would get annoyed with him but I always stuck up for him because he did what I needed. 2 weeks before Christmas...

    The next time I spoke to my project manager I had a go at him for not trying harder, he simply explained to me;
    "mate we go through so many workers here, its the nature of the business, don't get attached"*

    It sucked, but having done that, its not something I'll ever fear in my own business, your comment is smack on how it needs to be approached when the time comes! Thanks for sharing.

    *EDIT the whole time I worked there I was surprised with there lack of empathy toward workers, but seeing how many they go through (for so many different reasons) helped me to understand better. In London people come and go every day.*
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
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  17. larrymclean
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    I just went through this with a Web Development consulting client. I am new at working as an independent Web Developer. I made the mistake of trying to please the client by taking on the work. I also tried really hard to connect the client with a consulting team that could handle the work. The work heavy on Email and Dev/Ops.

    Turns out the client is a cheapskate and did not want to pay for the value of the service from a legitimate provider. I tried to be the rescuer and it blew up in my face. As it stands I have an unpaid bill with that client. I told the client I needed to cut my losses and they are no longer a client.

    I got my nose bloodied and learned a few lessons about writing a solid scope of work before providing any services.
     
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  18. Late Bloomer
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    Unfortunately I can say I know how that feels, as I wasted most of last year on a similar situation. He was eager to pay me some money to get started and we'd figure out later what the money was for. I should have gone through my normal qualification, scope and contract process, but I was eager to take that money right away... too eager.
     
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  19. Rivoli
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    Just so you know if you run your own business, I promise you at some point you will go through a tough time and the right business move todo will be to lay someone off, or actually risk going out of business. You better have what it takes to make the right decision when the time comes, or both you and the people you are protecting go down together.

    It has nothing to do with what’s “ethical”. Laying someone off because the business isn’t preforming is not unethical. It is really hard though.
     
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  20. Rivoli
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    Never say no to business - just make sure it’s business you can make money on. A lot of people will disagree with that, but I’ve always followed that rule and it’s worked for me.
     
  21. 404profound
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    Yea I've taken more time to look at it objectively, and I have to say that I'm starting to agree. While I really disagree with me having been selected as the grim reaper, I see the need for reaping in hindsight, given the financial plight of the account I was in. A tough learning experience to say the least.
     
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  22. Merging Left
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    Merging Left Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Many companies will bring in an interim person, say an interim HR Director, who will cut a large portion of the workforce, and then move on to other things. It's entirely possible that management intended to end your contract as soon as you finished laying people off. There's no way to know.

    It is what it is. Are you looking for new work now?
     
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  23. Late Bloomer
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    Late Bloomer Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    My favorite management consultant says, "I'll take an assignment to lay people off. I'll take an assignment to increase employee morale. But the one assignment I won't take is to increase morale while conducting layoffs. If a client wants that, they're insane."
     
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  24. 404profound
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    404profound Gold Contributor I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I am, I've got a few interviews lined up. Not thrilled about denying myself the opportunity to start my own business, but at the same time, I acknowledge the holes in my sales skills that need to be filled before I can trust myself to pay the bills.
     
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  25. Merging Left
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    Merging Left Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    You're not denying yourself the opportunity to start your own business because you're looking for a job. Many, many people start their businesses as side hustles. Still, I know what you mean.
     

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