You've schemed, you've scammed, you've plotted, but the elusive layoff has evaded you for the last time. Your desire to go to that spacious severance-package-in-the-sky needs to be fulfilled without further ado. How will you get upper management to see just how pointless your position really is? Follow these five tips and soon you'll be packing your pictures.
1. Work in customer service.
Between voice-response systems, outsourcing to other countries, and form emails, who needs to talk to a person?
"Dear Sir or Madam,
Thank you for your feedback. At this time, we are unable to <insert request here>. We highly value you as a customer and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We hope you will consider NeverDoingBusinessWithYouAgain, Inc. in the future.
Generic Jenny "
With quality responses such as these, how do you feel about having to talk to a customer service agent?
2. Apply for middle management.
In the pyramid-scheme of employment, middle management is the most superfluous. You're the guy whose job it is to make sure other employees do their job. If you work for a micro manager, your boss is not only making sure you do your job; he also ensures that other employees are doing their jobs.
If your industry is in crisis, has put a freeze on hiring and the number of employees are eroding due to attrition, why have 10 people managing 250 employees when previously they were managing 300? Is $60,000/year, benefits, paid vacation, and personal time really worth an increase of 0.002% in productivity? If you can do the math, so can upper management. Submit that e-application immediately.
3. Work in the telecommunications industry.
Between mobile phones, cable internet, VoIP and mergers, the telecommunications industry is all but dead. Countless individuals have been talked into keeping a landline by their telephone company "just in case" their cell phone goes dead. These consumers will soon realize that their phones almost never die, and when they do, they can always port to another company with better coverage areas.
With "naked DSL" (DSL service that does not require a landline) becoming available in more and more areas, landlines will soon be a distant memory. And the phone number that customers have had a cozy, intimate relationship with for the past 25 years? These landline numbers can be ported to mobile phones, too! The heat of the home phone has fizzled.
4. Work somewhere for a long time.
Of course there is a learning curve for every job, but somewhere between the first two years you will reach that proficiency peak. After this point, you need something else, such as unpredictable business relationships or unique knowledge, to keep you afloat. If you don't have these, don't seek them. If you do, downplay these assets. Upper management will begin to wonder whether your 10 years of experience is really worth all the extra pay.
5. Work somewhere with a disproportionately high sign-on bonus.
If you are Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, or an actuary with dueling master's degrees in Actuarial Science and Mathematics, you deserve a hefty sign-on bonus. If you cast burgers at McDonalds or telemarketing at Geico, you don't. When a company with a "high school diploma preferred, but not required" policy is offering a sign-on bonus, it's because they're desperate for help during an uncharacteristically busy season.
These companies are hoping that attrition will conveniently dispose of these extra employees when customer volumes return to normal. If this doesn't happen, you're looking at your coveted cash cow of unemployment when they drop the axe.