My wife is a self-proclaimed Democrat from Michigan. In the days leading to the 2016 presidential election I knew Donald Trump had a chance to take the state. Every time I went to visit my in-laws I saw more and more pro Trump sentiment in the Motor City. His rhetoric on tough immigration laws and his stance on levying heavy taxation on firms that choose to outsource fed on people’s fears.
At work we followed the 2016 election with the same fervour often dedicated the NCAA Basketball Championships. Rather than print tournament brackets, we printed a map of all states divided in red and blue. Instead of watching ESPN we and talked about CNN panellists.
In those lunch debates at work, I told everyone at work Trump was taking Michigan and maybe the presidency. I do not understand politics at a high level. However, I love to read biography books, listen to Dan Carlin’s podcast Hardcore History and one of my best friends is an archaeologist. Trump did not win the election because of politics. FEAR won the 2016 US Presidential Election.
“Outsourcing” started trending in Canada too. My department was outsourced to a firm not too far away in a bid to cut costs. A friend of mine who works for one of the major beer producers in Canada is losing his job to something called “Global Shared Services”. It basically means someone will be doing his job from Europe for much less money.
This is not intended to join in on the fear factor, but it can happen to a lot of professions in North America.
The Bad News
What follows is the first draft of a message I am leaving my daughter Leia, who turned two in March of this year. Baby Leia is precocious. She owns a violin, can read license plates and she is already watching her weight.
Why write a letter to my two year old?
The main reasons are detailed throughout my blog. In this instance the explanation is straightforward. When I found out my department is going to be outsourced I went and sat with my dad. He has beaten cancer twice and talking to him always gives me courage.
In his vast wisdom all he really said to me that day was, “It has happened to me too in my 20s, and again in my 40s. Everything is going to be OK.“
Easy for him to say now that he is retired and knows that everything turned out well. I wished I could talk to my dad back then to see what he felt and how the handled it.
Once finalized, this post will be moved from my public posts and set to private. The publication date will be set to the year 2037. The year my daughter turns 22. Feel free to join me in this time capsule. Leave YOUR kids a message of hope and motherly advice. Like, share or subscribe.
Two minutes of self promotion
Side note: I am currently looking for work in the Greater Toronto Area. I am an APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional, passed the first APICS Production and Inventory Management Exam, the first IBF Certified Professional Forecaster Exam, completed six courses at the University of Toronto for a Leadership Certification and I have a BA in Economics. Here is a copy of my resume:
Resume – Silvio Kusakawa
I am looking for a firm that can expose me to best in class business practices. The size of the firm is not important. I would like to complete the CPIM and CPF, if it is in the best interest of my next employer. I am looking for a mentor.
This is my public first post in two years. My webpage has averaged ten thousand page views per year in 2015-2016. When my daughter was born I started making all my new posts private. Most of my page views are on my posts on how to prepare for the exams I took. I am the top result on Google for searches: “Passing the CSCP” or “APICS CPIM how much”
I have helped thousands of people with information on how to prepare for their Supply Chain Certification. Of those, hundreds have sent me messages to which I promptly reply. I have met 16 professionals in Toronto for coffee to talk about exam preparation, lend my books and go over textbook questions.
As I set out to do this, I always insisted on never taking anything from them. Instead I would buy them coffee and say, “Pay it forward.”
What goes around comes around. I count on them to pass this along, and help me explain what follows to my daughter.
I am an avid reader, obsessive note-taker. It would be impossible to link all my sources, but I am going to list some helpful links:
Yahoo Answers: How to tell your family you got fired
Financial Post article by Howard Levitt. Published January 9, 2013
Financial Post article by Howard Levitt, December 15, 2015
Also worth noting, this post follows guidelines from a University of Toronto social media marketing course, along with timed-publication and elements to encourage distribution: the 8-sec 25wow video, the “ten steps format”, the funny shirt, the Google resume and the Seinfeld joke. A friend of mine took the course. I just read his course materials. This may be my last public post in the next 18 years, so I want to make it count and hopefully help someone with sound advice.
Publication: June 2, 2037. To Leia. *First Draft
Hey Leia! Papa here.
April 7, 2017, Check out the date. Mom has a video with you walking around looking down copying me. I have been pacing a lot around the house lately. I am sorry for not talking to you much here this past week. This is one of those important messages, and I did not want to rush writing.
I have been hinting to you that something big happened. I am not going to go straight to the point. I feel embarrassed and ashamed.
Last Monday I was on top of the world. Over the weekend my teams went all the way to the finals and took the Championship. I won $200 in the office pool. At the end of the day my boss gave me his share of the pot and told me to spend it on you. I didn’t. LOL I bought a $180 authentic Larry Bird NBA jersey and a funny T-shirt instead:
The Larry Bird jersey will probably be in our storage locker filed in 2017 when you read this. I know the jersey will last because I bought my Shawn Kemp hand stitched jersey in 1997 and I can still wear it to the gym today.
Larry was one of my favourite players. If you cannot find it in storage go ask uncle Luigi. I am sure he is going to “borrow” my basketball stuff when I am gone. Go find the jersey! = )
*You just walked in asking, “Papa, whatcha doing?” I did not get the camera right away, but here you go:
Mama took you to the bedroom to watch a British show. It is a good thing because now the story turns.
Papa, what happened?
Back in the 90s there was this great comedian called Jerry Seinfeld. He had a successful TV show and Papa went to watch him live a couple of times with your aunt. Seinfeld had this joke about people’s biggest fears. He said that the number one fear in North America is public speaking. Death is number 2. The punch line was that in a funeral people would rather be inside the casket than giving the eulogy.
Was that funny? I cannot imagine what passes for funny in the year 2037. Back in the 90s, it was pretty funny. Also in the 90s we had this disc we used to call DVDs. You can go to an antique store, buy a DVD player and watch Papa’s old Seinfeld DVDs if you like. They are in storage for you.
From our talks you know that I am afraid of death. I used to talk about it even before you were born. You also know how I handled that.
What is your biggest fear? Is it death? Losing a loved one? Losing your job? Harming other people? Are you afraid of spiders?
Not spiders. You are brave.
My department is going to be outsourced. After thirteen years of hard work climbing the ladder, Papa is looking for work.
Being in a leadership role, I had the chance to talk to other people who were affected. I helped them with resume tips, insisted they need to be on LinkedIN and gave them some advice to move forward. I gathered enough info to share what I learned.
#1: Tell your friends and family. Do it on the first day.
I am sure you are going to feel embarrassed. You are going to ask yourself if it was something you did. You are going to spend countless hours asking yourself “why?” Please don’t. What you need on day one is a big hug from your family. Share a bottle of wine / pitcher of beer with your friends at the end of the day and relax. You need time to process the information.
#2: Go for a long walk. No electronics.
If you are still single, I am sure you have a small dog. Go take your dog for a long walk. I am not going to give you specific details of why this works but I can tell you what I think. Right now you must feel unloved (for lack of a better word) and rejected by your employer. In most cases those decisions are not personal so don’t focus your thoughts on that. Your dogs will always love you no matter what. #catsnotsosure
#3: Make plans for the summer. Fun stuff.
I made plans to go fishing this summer. Took out my fishing rods and oiled my bait casters. I don’t know what you do for fun in 2037, but make plans for the summer. Book a trip to Mars. Renew the visas on your passports and plan a trip to Japan. *Important* Just plan it, do not charge your accounts.
#4: Review your resume
Take half a day to update and review your resume. Do not send it out yet. Ask a friend to proof-read it and give it back to you later on. Do not rush this step as it may create anxiety. Involve a friend so you get the support you need. Do NOT ask mom and dad to help you with your resume. You need current advice.
#5: Talk to a lawyer
You were given some papers to sign. Talk to a good lawyer. In 2017 in Canada you don’t need to retain services to sit and talk to a lawyer and I am sure not much is going to change in the next 20 years. This is really important. A lot of uncertainty you feel may be linked to the document(s) you were given. You are not paying the lawyer to find something wrong. You are paying to have peace of mind. It is worth the consultation fee. If something is wrong, a good lawyer is going to tell you about the next steps.
#6 (if applicable): Continue working until the last day
Continue working until the last day. Stay out of trouble. If you have some office space, take home all your personal effects. This will help you make the transition to the next chapter in your life – especially if work was your home away from home for several years.
Papa brought home all family portraits, favourite mugs and posters. Help other people cope with the situation. Always remind them you are not a lawyer (unless you are a lawyer, LOL) when/if you give advice.
More than anything, ask how they are doing. Trust me, every now and then you are going to be the first person to ask that question and when that happens, you will know based on the reply. Do no work overtime in your last few days. (see next step)
#7: Focus your attention on non-work relations
If for the past years you were sacrificing weekends and family life to work, STOP until you find your next opportunity. What happened can be a blessing in disguise. It can be the start of something new and exciting. Do not burn your energy and try to reduce your stress levels in the weeks leading to your last day.
You are going to prove yourself all over again once you find your next employer. You are going to work long hours and you need to start fresh.
#8: Spend some time on your hobby
Mama likes to draw. Papa likes to write. In the past week I complete the synopsis for a screenplay called “Bread Winner”. As you know, Papa writes just for fun. This last screenplay I wrote is a Philadelphia-type story to bring back Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington in a court drama with role reversals. This time Hanks plays the lawyer and Denzel is the protagonist. The title is a double entendre. The hero in the story works in a bread factory, and is the sole provider for his family.
You can find the screenplay in the storage locker, filed under 2017. There are two very different versions; one ends with the word “Paladin” and the other ends with the worn “minor”. Read the “Paladin” copy first.
#9: Start applying for new job postings
The job market can be fierce but note that I added this here at the end in step #9. You do not need to rush this step. Start when you are ready.
#10: Reach out to your network
Besides regular job postings, reach out to your network and give them permission to forward your resume to their recruiters and Human Resources departments. If you can, pay a professional to create for you a resume that will stand out. Papa asked uncle Luigi to create a resume for me. We called it the “Google Resume”.
Having a unique type of resume is going to ease distribution. If on top of that you are a good fit for the hiring firm, they are going to contact you.
Now I am going to tell you something your grandpa told me and I am sure he would want me to tell you too. Herein lies the secret of life, the universe and everything: “Everything is going to be OK.” #42 #DontPanic
PS. I know you are curious about the funny T-shirt I bought. I know you already watched Star Wars. When you turn 18, you are going to watch “Game of Thrones”. I am sure you are going to find this the best T-shirt EVER:
In the comment section, feel free to share experiences and leave some encouragement to new job seekers. Your comments may not going to show right away, but they will be here 20 years from now.
This blog will expire in the year 2097. It is my legacy to my kids, their kids, and their kids.