Pharma layoffs hurt people

imagesNot too long ago I received an eMail from someone who worked in Marketing Operations here in Cambridge, MA requesting some help with a project.  Today when I attended a meeting to discuss the finalization of possible solutions I found that she, and two others from the team, were laid off.  I contacted her by eMail and she sent me the enclosed reply. I urge all to read it..

Thanks for getting back in touch, I’m sorry I haven’t had the time to get my head around what happened.  I found out that I was one of the unlucky ones when a meeting popped up on my calendar and it was really hard to understand why happened.

Two years ago my husband, who is a stay at home dad, and I purchased a small home outside Boston.  At the time the company I was with was growing in sales and the stock price was on fire so it seemed like a good time to go from renting to owning.

While I was working I routinely put in 10 hour days, not because I had to but because I really liked what I did.  Now I realize that all those hours were lost and I can never get them back. I am angry at my former employer for failing to lead the company to avert these layoffs and I am especially angry at the CEO who I read is going to earn in excess of thirteen million dollars. The holidays are fast approaching and we don’t have the money to visit relatives or buy the presents that my two young ones want. 

I was so naive in believing that if you do a good job and put in the time I would be rewarded with a great career.  I see now that in the end, we were just faceless people doing a job to manage so the stock would stay high.

I do have several job leads, but I don’t want to work in pharma anymore.  I run into a lot of people I worked with at the outplacement center and we often grab a coffee to try and understand what happened.  Rich, please share this on your blog because what happened to me shouldn’t happen to anyone in this job market.  While the people on Wall Street reward our company with higher stock prices because of layoffs behind the headlines are real people who are being hurt.

I talked to her for almost two hours today and she is deeply hurt by what happened, but she is also stronger than she knows.  I get the “business” part of working for any big company, but in my opinion pharma cannot lose people like her and thrive and get better.