The Dreaded Pink Slip Part I - How to Escape Its Clutches

Job losses are one of the realities of our times that many people are challenged to deal with. What steps can you take to prevent it, and how can you best deal with it once the dreaded pink slip does come your way? Dr. Ramesh Grandhi offers you some tips on how you can avoid getting fired in this first of two posts on the subject.


We are facing uncertain times, our growth rate is falling precipitously, exports are drying up, the rupee is tanking and the global economic climate is nothing to write home about. As our IT and ITES sectors are heavily dependent on the US and the Euro Zone for their business, weakness in these markets is causing a lot of turmoil in these companies. The falling rupee is providing them some cushion, but if your business dries up then there will be no dollars and no rupees! In some ITES sectors, Technology is improving by leaps and bounds and this too will lead to quite some retrenchment down the line.

Quite a lot of software professionals are nervous these days and hoping against hope that they will not be guillotined; the pink slip is indeed a guillotine in more ways than one.  Company managements in India have changed, they have become more westernized, the days of empathizing with your employees have long gone, it is a dog eat dog world out there and your colleagues will not have many qualms in sacrificing your career if it will prolong their own.

So in such an environment what can any employee do to avoid the dreaded Pink Slip?

1.Make Yourself Indispensable
Performance will always count, even in bleak times.  Be punctual and do your duty as conscientiously as possible. Without being too obvious about it make sure your work is noticed by your superiors—believe me that is important!

2.Be a Team Player
Your performance will be judged not only on its quality and quantity, but also on how well you get along with your colleagues and how passionate you are about your job.  Loners and disrupters will be frowned upon.

3.Deal with Pressure
It is a given that employees will be asked to burden themselves with extra duties, you should be stable and capable enough to accept and carry out this burden.  Make an effort to remain positive throughout, find out what the short and long-term goals of the company are and as subtly as possible let the concerned authorities know that you are in tune with them.  Learn to keep your opinions to yourself, know that divergent opinions even if expressed with an intention to help won’t be welcome.

4.Keep a Happy Demeanor
Keep smiling while you toil, remember these days will pass. Perform to the limits of your capability, keep the morale of your associates high and help them perform to their potential. Never deny any of your superior’s requests, remember they will be instructions couched as requests.

In spite of all this if you are given a pink slip, don’t under any circumstances panic or get disheartened.   You will be doing yourself and your family a disservice if you let it affect you.  Let us discuss how best we can handle this career detour in another article.


  1. subho this is a very useful post..i mean who does not value his or her hob, and it really takes just 6 hours..and i mean 6 good hours of work to shine !!

  2. Thanks, Sulagna for sharing your time and thoughts here. It is sad that we live in times when values like loyalty, value creation, human welfare, and honesty seem to be at odds with corporate interests. For those who have been brought up on the idea of doing the right thing rather than the convenient thing, today's business realities are a different ball game altogether.

  3. Better prepare and keep urself ready for the worst times...

    In today's time we need to be have another work options ready do painting, blogging, marketing etc ...this will help us in keeping touch with our hobbies and making extra bucks.

    1. It is best to follow one's heart at all times, and to do all the things that make us feel whole. We do not always know what lies in store, but if you follow your heart, at the least, you will be free of regret. Thank you so much, Burhan.

  4. Nice tips. But helps only at certain levels. Once you get beyond a level, you can't help being in the line of fire.

    1. I agree, TF. I would not connect it with level, but with evolving business realities. There comes a situation when no matter what you might have been doing, decisions will be taken. This applies at all levels. The higher levels are often early targets since they imply easier policy transitions and larger cost impact.

  5. Nice post, Subho!


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