Layoffs At Your Company? More Work For Same Pay, But It’s Not Necessarily A Bad Thing.

After all, it means you still have a job. Many people have been looking for work for month and even years, so knowing you still have a desk to sit at for your company is just about worth the price you might pay. My brother spent almost 5 months unemployed for the second time in 2 years, and I am sure he would have preferred a little more work for the same pay in this economy. However, CNN/Money is phrasing it as “Layoff survivors are now stuck with more responsibilities and additional stress – for the same old salary“, turning what might be seen as a positive into a negative.

Cool Blog Sociale - 10 July 2008 - Creative hire Resume T-shirt by BlackBirdTees A
Creative Commons License photo credit: SOCIALisBETTER

They are writing about the extra workload, the negative attitude it may cause on the job, and the stagnant pay…while completely ignoring the fact that in the worst economy in 70 years, these people still have a job at all. If it really is that bad, I suggest they quit and try to find another gig; it’s not that easy out there to find good jobs, but more power to you if you think you can make the jump. While the article briefly mentions one positive of this trend, that you can learn new skills because you are taking on more work while at work, there really are a few while we all struggle through these times:

1. You still have a job at all.
2. You get to keep your health care if your company offers it.
3. You can learn more skills, as they mentioned.
4. Your resume stays current and will not have long lapses of unemployment.
5. Your entire life doesn’t get disrupted by a lack of income.

Yes, companies need to do their best to take care of their employees in both good and bad times, as otherwise you will have miserable (or no) employees to do the work necessary. But I do think that in these times, taking on a little extra work for the same pay you made before is a much better alternative to losing your job altogether – and I think this article misses that point entirely.

What do you guys think? What are your thoughts on this? Agree? Disagree? Let’s discuss!

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Comments (9)

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  1. It’s very typical of the media: lousy news sells more than good news. I find society today enjoys whining more than ever. “People are getting fired left and right, AND NOW I HAVE TO DO THEIR WORK!” is more likely to be heard around the office than “I’m so glad to still be working!”

    It makes me feel good that there are some people out there that focus on the positive. I hope more people get to read this post, because the message is extremely important.

  2. Amphritrite says:

    I HATE when someone brings up the first one, because we’re letting Corporate America get away with paying someone LESS money for the same work.

    Yes, you still have a job. But with 48 of 50 states being at-will employment states, that means absolutely ZIP. The bottom line is that if you’re accepting new responsbilities in your workplace for no pay increase on TOP of your current responsibilities…

    You just demoted yourself. You took a paycut. You accepted a job that will require you to put in more time and effort than the one you previously held, and guess what? Your time doesn’t mean jack to your employer. You could work eight hours or eighteen, as long as the work gets done, and since a steely portion of America is now in white-collar jobs, guess what? That means you don’t get overtime, either.

    So, basically, yeah, you have a job. But you’re trading your life to work it for the same amount of cash. This is NOT a positive, CNN/Money. And the worst part is: Your boss knows he’s cheating you, and he’s going to get away with it.

  3. david says:

    You missed the point, though – CNN says its not a good thing, but I do indeed and always will. In this economy, you are lucky to have a job. What’s that expression? Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth? If someone is not happy with their situation, they can leave – but good luck finding anything else at this moment in time.

  4. david says:

    Totally agree Tom, glad to hear you do too!

  5. Hugh Wish says:

    The simple fact of the matter is that the idle rich and executive class get paid more for producing failure than a competent worker gets paid for YEARS of loyal service.
    An executive completely failing on all levels and getting fired (i.e. Carly Fiorina) gets paid more than a real worker who makes millions for a company.
    If you don’t want a failure based economy then stop rewarding it.

  6. Tina says:

    I still have a job,while i’m bored at it and my boss is becoming more of a jerk because he is being pushed about making more money,I still work 40 hours, I received a 2% raise and enjoy the people on my team. Yes I do have a problem with my boss getting a 20-40k bonus twice a year while I MIGHT get 100.00 I have the satisfaction of knowing I am good at what I do, and I am respected(unlike my boss) for what I do, and my customers love me and I love them. Right now I will stay where I am despite the fact I might have to fill in now and again.

  7. FV says:

    Here’s an extra benefit for keeping your job during these difficult economic times: you can still contribute to your 401k (and maybe still receiving your employer match).
    Compared to somebody out of work now, an uninterrupted contribution to your 401k can add up to a substantial financial advantage at retirement time – especially since equities now can be obtained at a significantly discounted price.

  8. Enrique S says:

    I’ve always tried to take on more responsibility at work. Why would I want to do the same thing year in and year out? Taking on more work may broaden your skills. You’ll make your job more secure by becoming more valuable. But, the time to do this was BEFORE the current recession. That was the time to prove to your boss that you were a top performer. Taking on more work now won’t separate you from everyone else. And don’t expect that it will save you from a layoff; your sudden increase in output isn’t fooling anybody.

  9. rambkowalczyk says:

    I suppose if your point is to be thankful for what you have this is a good message. Being thankful changes your outlook and expectations.

    I read a story called the Hiding Place about a woman and her sister during the holocaust. The were assigned to the infirmary and the author was complaining about the lice or some pestulance and the sister said to be thankful for such things because it was part of God’s plan. Needless to say the author thought her sister was nuts. But as it turned out the presence of the lice caused the Germans to leave them alone because they didn’t want to get infected.

    However my first impression on reading this was minor outrage. If a company is going to lay off people, it should be because there is no work for them to do. Sales are down, therefore there is nothing to process etc.