The Rookie Corporate Gardener

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Layoffs, Downsizing, Furloughs
- Emerge Resilient & Bounce Back Stronger and Sharper
Are you able to imagine someone gardening in a stylish business suit ? Else, manicuring the lawn in a crisp white shirt, with suspenders holding up a fancy pair of pleated trousers ? For that matter, potting a variety of pretty flowers on a conference room table, with handfuls of mud splattered all over ? Or watering cans lining desks instead of computers, with small sickles and hoes collected together instead of pens and markers ?

What would be the first thought that came to mind if you saw something like this ? For most people, it would appear to be something strange out of Alice in Wonderland, and rightfully so !

Why in the world would a senior corporate honcho be doing any of this ? Is there any sensible rationale behind that ? Yes, there is if the entire scenario is viewed euphemistically.

Light gardening is usually perceived as a relaxed activity done by retired individuals to pass the large quantity of time that they have. The equivalent in the corporate world is Garden Leave, a period ranging from three to six months. During this time, the erstwhile senior colleagues stay at home and do no official work even though they continue to be in the employment of the company and receive full compensation. Hence the comparison to a period of personal relaxed activity like gardening.

A situation similar to garden leave is also experienced by people who are rendered jobless overnight when their company goes bankrupt or shuts down abruptly due to some business challenge. The situation is a tad worse for them since, in addition to no paychecks in between jobs, there is also uncertainty over receiving back-pay and accumulated benefits. Finding alternate jobs also gets tougher and takes longer due to a large number of the workforce with similar skill sets, becoming available at the same time.

This book explores insights into the very fabric of garden leave from multiple dimensions. These cover viewpoints of the affected employees, colleagues, bosses and even organizations. Although the content is based on actual experiences of several individuals, all characters referred to in the book are fictional. Characteristics or names having a co-relation or resemblance to any professional in the corporate world, is purely co-incidental.

There is an increasing occurrence of people being put on garden leave and so also the magnitude of layoffs around the world. The author’s attempt is to enable affected colleagues to recognize their most undefeatable self and not get sucked into the vortex of a rejection syndrome. Additionally, to be able to cope appropriately and stay away from getting fixated on thoughts bordering on β€œIt is the end of the world”. Most importantly, to equip them to make the most of the gift of abundant time and truly believe that while it may get worse before it gets better, things always, yes always, work out for the best eventually.

The intent of this book is to enable each and every professional to adapt to the constantly changing culture in the corporate world and be better prepared for a potential layoff situation. Significantly, for organizations and leadership to truly value their teams, empathise with what any person who is laid off goes through, and most of all, leave no stone unturned to find alternate solutions before resorting to laying off colleagues.


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