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Guest Comment: When making you redundant, bosses care more about their own bonuses than your feelings

You're fired

It’s always tough when you are invited for a conversation with a senior manager who has never held a face-to-face conversation with you before. You are probably being fired, or to put it more politely, “let go”.

Against the economic backdrop in the West, many financial institutions in Asia have been forced to make a sizable redundancies in an attempt to protect their weakening capital base.

“I feel like this is the end of the world,” a junior equity researcher at a mid-sized investment bank despondently told me soon after receiving his so-called “big envelope” (termination letter).

The financial services sector is often mislabelled as glamorous, but executives care little about your personal feelings; it’s all about their operating performance and year-end bonuses.

Take a break

In many situations, the best way to gain some relief from the sadness of being fired is to take a short break before you focus on finding a new job. As I said to the retrenched researcher earlier this year, it’s always better to experience such a bad moment sooner rather than later in your career.

However, make sure your idol period does not exceed 12 months because recruiters and employers will query your ability to return to the workforce if it lasts any longer. As a veteran investment banker once told me: “During the SARs outbreak in 2003, we saw a wave of redundancies and company restructurings and many of the unfortunate ones did not come back to the industry in Hong Kong, probably because they were viewed as out of fashion.”

It is also important not to bad mouth your old employer after you leave, no matter how much you dislike the company. Financial services is a small world,

The blogger is a financial services employee in Hong Kong. The views expressed are his and not those of eFinancialCareers.

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