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Should We Lay Off By Seniority?

by Marian Schembari on December 16, 2009

I had an interesting conversation today with a friend that’s been bugging me ever since. Certain companies are changing their policies by laying off based on seniority. Meaning the newbies are the first to go. Initially, this made a lot of sense to me, but then I had a think. Of course people who have been at a company for years should probably not get the initial boot. However, usually those who are newest are also the youngest. And I hate to reinforce a stereotype but, more often than not, it’s the young people who are most tuned in with social and technological changes.

So if a newspaper or talk show or publishing house decides to get rid of 100 young employees, where does that leave the company? Screwed, that’s where. It’s not just the publishing industry that’s changing. Finance (obviously), education, government, media, whatever… The rate of change means that all these industries are so different from what they were forty years ago. What they were two years ago. So while an employee at Newspaper X may have been there for 30 years and knows the paper like the back of his or her hand, they may not know the best course of action for that paper today.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think laying off by seniority is the smartest course of action. There is absolutely no reason to keep a college grad at a huge corporation over a veteran. However, unless said veteran is making a hell of an effort to keep up with the times rather than sticking to dinosaur ways, well, then seniority doesn’t matter and the industry will go down the tube anyway. And then everyone will be out of a job.


No, really…

November 3, 2009

Well then! Apparently I pissed some people off! Is it weird if my response to that is “awesome”? Negativity, worrying, stress and doubt really piss me off. I don’t want to hear about how hard it is to get a job or how the media is dying. Are these things not true? Of course not. […]

4 comments You know you want more →

Books are cheaper now, get over it…

November 1, 2009

The book price war is a good thing. And I’m almost as bored of people talking about this as I am about the economy killing publishing. My usual response to such boredom: “get over it”. I’m sorry, but I’m a 22-year-old college grad with a completely useless degree (gender studies), living in Manhattan, with the […]

18 comments You know you want more →