Job Outlook - How do you feel about your Job Security?


Ken K

The events of 9-11 have rocked this country tremendously. The
tremors caused by the attack have touched us all in one way or another. A pending recession was nudged into reality. The resulting reality being many jobs lost, a slew of chapter 11 filings and the collapse of a energy giant, among others.

The automotive industry has been hit rather hard. Many suppliers can no longer keep the ship upright and some of them and a few OEM’s are closing plants, cutting the workforce, stripping benefits and literally trying to survive.

I was just curious as to how the events have had an effect on your professional lives. Do you wonder, like me, if the day is coming when your told your services are no longer required and to pack up your belongings? Does your job suddenly not feel as secure as it once did?

After 24 years in the automotive sector, I have ridden the roller coaster many times. This time it feels different. You know things are not quite right when your boss asks you to come up with some numbers to “justify” your position within the company. How do you contribute to the bottom line?

Any thoughts and comments? I’d like to hear how everyone else is coping. :confused:


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how we are doing it

Intersting idea for a thread. Thanks for starting it Ken.

We use a large number of temps in our facility. Many of them have been with us for a while, and are good, hardworking people. We did have to let a few go, but to save the rest, we cut their hours from 40 per week to 32 per week. They are not real happy, but are grateful to be employeed. Most of them figure 32 hours is better than zero hours. So far, this plan is working.



P.S. Ken -

You know things are not quite right when your boss asks you to come up with some numbers to “justify” your position within the company. How do you contribute to the bottom line?

Have you seen American Beauty? You Rule!


I can relate to what you are going through. My company is 70% supplier to Automotive. Our work force is expected to be cut in half. So I wonder what will happen to me. I have over 20 yrs in Quality but I'm not sure that is where I will stay. I use to be a class room teacher and never want to go back to that. But the climate seems to be changing. The events of 9/11 and everything after that have had a profound affect on the world as whole. We may have to make adjustments on the way we see Quality in our companies. Or maybe how we conduct our businesses will change.
I just hope I am smart enough to see where everything is going and am able to make the ajustments.



Outlook improving

I probably shouldn’t share this but……..
I’m a consultant (I rarely admit that in public). This kinda puts me into a different boat, but we are in the same water. I noticed things slacking off just before Y2K! Folks put things off until after they could see what the impact would be. Then manufacturing started to slide. January through April was the worst I’ve ever seen for consultants. Slowly, things began improving, and then fell again in September and October. But they have steadily improved ever since. This month and next month are the busiest I’ve been in about four years.

This is good, not just for me, but it also shows that manufacturing IS improving! Even in the Detroit area. I am confident about the future.


I agree with DB that things are picking up. Last February I ran out of clients at my last consulting firm and ended up unemployed. A month later landed at the firm I am with now, but it was slow all year. I the last couple weeks we have launched several new clients and things are picking up considerably. I think the new automotive requirements for 14001 and ISO 9001: 2000 for suppliers is also helping.


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It kind of sucks right now. Some business I was to be doing canceled out because of the economy and I'm actually looking at having to go back to work for a full-time employer.

14K business is really slow especially here in So. Cal. I've called every QS registered company within 150 miles of me and asked about there EMS programs with varying results, but no takers.

Registrar work is non-existant also, at least for me. If I was a quality auditor along with the EMS thing I'd probably have work. There is a real good possibility I'll be on the road next month doing some registrations in TX and LA, but that isn't guaranteed yet.

The small consulting company (like me and Marc) is having to compete with the bigger ones that have more resources and it's tough. I've got a million $ worth of potential work in partnering with some environmental consulting firms, but thats all speculative. I've been invited to Memphis, Little Rock, San Diego and a couple of other places in the last few weeks laying groundwork. There have been some good lunches but no cash flow. Believe me, when I ask if you need assistance I'm not joking.


My company is tightly tied to oil and gas and telecommunications, so when we see the price of gas go down ( I typically fill up at $.87/gallon), we worry. Our job security depends on the pipelines.

Anybody could lose their jobs, but mine is definitely more expendable than everyone else who actually "works" in the day to day running of the company.

No problem, I have a golden parachute. I passed my real estate licensing exam last weekend and can always fall back on that if need be. Woo hoo!:vfunny:

Atul Khandekar

My company is into software development, Training and Consulting. I find myself in the same boat as db. The auto industry which was in the dumps seems to have begun looking up. But even when they were not doing well, we could focus on other industry segments like pharma, chemical and food. So times were a bit tough but not completely hopeless for us. I think its the flexibility and readiness to change/adopt that helped us.

There is an interesting thread 'Who moved my cheese' on change management here in the Book Revies section.


I live in a rural area and recovery for us is always 3-6 months behind what anyone else sees. We have had places just lock up and leave in the past month. Other places have cut back a lot. I'm worried about my job and I know I'll have to move out of the area if I get the ax.
Maybe I'll checkout Real Estate business.



I expect to be laid off by the end of the month along with about half the people here, 700 or so.

I did see it coming and have interviewed at about a half dozen places since November. My Six Sigma training (I know, I know) has played a key role in getting me in the door.

All of the interviews have been either in consumer products or defense; most have been in the area of supplier quality. Initials offerings validate it is a buyer's market.

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