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Human Resources/Might Lose Job What to do


Hello. Thanks for taking time to answer my question.

BACKGROUND: I am 62.5 years old. The company I work for is having problems, not making enough profits so they have laid off some people. There are 3 of us left in the department I work in as a graphic artist. They hired a new graphic artist 6 months ago and give him the choice work. And I get the left overs. And now my biggest project has been cancelled. So I am expecting to either get laid-off, transferred to another department where they might have more work, or just slowly phased out and maybe they hope I will retire at the end of the year.There is no evidence of age discrimination as all employees involved are over 50 years old.

My question is what recourse or course of action do I have or should I take? How do I deal with this situation that is obviously against me? I feel like I am being "herded" into the jobless coral, forced to retire, or moved into something I don't want to do. Should I retire? Should I hope that they let me go and collect unemployment and Social Security (if that is allowed in my state of Illinois), or just take what they offer me, if they do, in fact offer me another position?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks again!

Hi Bob,

Thank you for your question.    You asked this question to get advice so, I'll give you the advice I would hope to get from an independent third party.    Also, just an observation about your question.   What you ask me to help you with DOES NOT have a yes/no  black/white answer so you may totally disagree with my perspective or it can be exactly what  you wanted to hear.    It is all gray -no right answer.  It is advice you seek, so I will give you some...  I hope you find it of value and encouraging.

You asked what recourse you have for this situation.   Often when people use the word recourse they are looking for retrobution from the employer.  I get the feeling you are not looking for anything except to keep working doing what you enjoy in the graphic arts and at this workplace where you enjoy your co-workers.    It sounds like your employer is among the many employers today with ebbs and tides of business and trying to keep the doors open and sustain employees with enough work.  You mentioned a project of yours was also cancelled.    So since you feel there is writing on the wall, and things there are getting tight,  why not PROACTIVELY  do something about it ?    Why not start looking NOW for other work and keep this job until you find something else.   It takes some guts to leave a perfectly good workplace for another job,  but what are your alternatives ?  Sit and wait ... and worry ??    Often people choose to sit, wait and worry.  It really is the "easier choice".

You mentioned your age,  but it really doesn't matter.   IF you take charge of the situation and look in local papers, go online to apply for work on websites like, Indeed, or Careerbuilder you will likely find many options to apply for.   Also, go around town and put in applications.  It is better to apply now than later.   Of course you will likely need a resume.  EVERYONE should have a resume and not just wait for something bad to happen.

So, you can wait to see if things get worse #as you suspect they will#, or hope they somehow get better.  Collecting unemployment would be an option if you are laid off, but still not everyone wants to just collect UC.  In any case,  you should look at your situation with the mindset you are taking the reigns on your future.    Maybe you can do some freelance work?

So, I dont know your skill level or your abilities, but generally speaking, you are not stuck in this situation.  You are , like everyone, in charge of your future and nobody should expect guaranteed work as there are too many variables in life.   Maybe go in a different direction and try other work?

I hope this direct answer helps.


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Brian Phillips


Foreign and US university students -*PLEASE*- DO NOT waste your time asking for my opinions, comments or analysis of your homework questions. Homework questions are not answered and are rejected. I am happy to help answer questions asked by employees and employers regarding United States based state and Federal wage and hour, OT, Fair labor standards, FMLA, COBRA, Recruiting, Interviewing techniques, employee manuals, discipline, terminations/quits, unemployment, HRIS rollout, Employee Leasing or Staffing company cost analysis, day to day scenarios, work situations and more. Essentially a well rounded HR generalist who operates Harvis, Inc., a human resource consulting and service business based in Northeastern Pennsylvania "NEPA".


At Harvis, Inc., we provide Human Resource products, services and advice to small businesses that may not have the time or resources to hire a full time HR department. For larger companies with HR managers in place, we compliment their expertise to help with time consuming or time sensitive projects like updating policy manuals, screening and interviewing and more. We make workplaces better by becoming that 1/2 person they need to help handle HR responsibilities on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Formerly responsible for all Human Resource activity for a staffing agency with 2,500 annual employees as well as an employee leasing / PEO business with 1,500 annual employees. Designed and implemented the HR structure to support hundreds of clients in excess of $ 500 million in payroll volume over career in Human Resources.

* President 2006- Harvis Inc. HR Services * President 2010-13 Business Association of the Greater Shickshinny Area - Shickshinny PA * President 2013- ShickshinnyForward Not for Profit Community Long Term Revitalization Organization and former member of varios Chambers of Commerce and HR Taskforce, former President of NBC Business Club 2 years

Bloomsburg University - 1993 BS Marketing, Bloomsburg Pennsylvania and Luzerne County Community College - 1991 Business Administration, Nanticoke Pennsylvania

Awards and Honors
* Better than average - 20/10 vision * Bestowed with an occasional "Thank You" from clients and their employees.

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