It's Christmas week, but for over 2 lakh people and their families, it's not a time to celebrate. It has been worse than the great recession of 2008-09. As the holiday season approached, job cuts or layoffs among global tech giants became more severe. Over 90000 layoffs have occurred in big tech in the last three months prior to December 22.
Why did I lose my Job before Christmas? Fears a grim saga appears to be repeating itself.
"Cause I lost my job two weeks before Christmas
And I talked to Jesus at the sewer
And the Pope said it was none of his God-dammed business"
Lyrics of classic Rodrigues number Cause'
They were living the dream with tech jobs that millions aspired for. Yet, as Christmas and the new year approach, the dreams have turned sour or threatened to do so for thousands. Mercilessly, tens of thousands of people have been laid-off by invincibles like Twitter, Meta, Amazon, HP, etc. Desi brand Zomato has also joined the dubious league. And Google, the engine behind most searches, also plans to cut 6 % of its jobs rendering thousands unemployed.
All this just before Christmas! And Q4
Call it cruel, but somehow, job cuts during the festive season are a trend across the globe, especially with big corporates.
But then why is it so? What could be the reason that this unkind cut is administered just before the festive season? Is some kind of collective sadism responsible for top management taking such actions?
The answer is no. It is not sadism but aspects of bookkeeping that guide the actions of these corporate honchos.
Why is the festive season important?
We all love festivals and celebrations. In India, the festive season begins with Dussehra followed by Diwali. In the West, Christmas and new year mark the end of the festive season. Most of us finish all our shopping during the festive season.
In any economy, 'one person's expenditure is another's income. Naturally, this season is important to the business world. Whatever we spend during the festival season is the revenue for the corporate.
However, post-Christmas the revenue opportunities also dwindle. It turns out to be a time to close the books and for some dressing up
By the end of November corporates and CEOs have a fair idea of how their books are going to look at the end of the fourth and the final quarter of the Financial Year.
It is almost customary to go for a big marketing and sales push just before the festive season. The last and the final quarter of a financial year, however, is a time of accounting, auditing, compliances, filing P&L, and balance sheets, and announcing profits, dividends, etc (earning season).
So, the latter half of January month is often a hectic period for the CEO.
December is reserved for family holidays and new year parties. It gives the management time to relax before they face the work pressure again.
Thus, November turns out to be the perfect time to make the books good.
The management has to present future plans to the board next year, justify their bonuses and keep their own employment safe. November often turns out to be the time to cut the fat. As they say travel lite. Consequently, people lose their job just weeks before Christmas.
So don’t blame Jesus, rather understand it is the pressure of the closing financial year that forces such decisions.
Even if things are hard for a couple of months, opportunities are bound to arise post-March when the same management comes out of board meetings with ideas of ambitious expansion plans.
Keep working and in case, out of work, try to keep enjoying.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ahead.