Categories
Miscellaneous

How to Predict Layoffs Using Google and LinkedIn (or "Adobe Lays Off 10% of Workforce")

If you see someone a) update his/her LinkedIn profile summary in any significant way, or b) start receiving recommendations from colleagues, it means only one thing: he/she is looking for a job.

This post will be a slight diversion from the usual technical talk…

My contract at Adobe (my main client for the last six months) was set to conclude at the end of this December. However, a series of events last week (before Adobe’s layoffs were announced) lead me to suspect it would be ending sooner, and much more abruptly…

Last week I happened to be searching for something in Google via the Firefox toolbar. (I can’t even remember what it was now, to be honest.) I tried a couple of different searches, and as I did I began to notice that as I typed in “adobe lay” the first suggested query was repeatedly “adobe layoff 2008”. Curious, I thought… I hadn’t heard of any layoffs, so I decided to search for “adobe layoff 2008.” But even more curiously, all of the results in the first page returned results about the 2005 layoffs after the Macromedia merger, with nothing about any layoffs this year. “Huh,” I thought and then dismissed it.

A day or two later I got an automated email from LinkedIn that my client manager at Adobe had updated his LinkedIn profile substantially. He’d filled in details, elucidating his responsibilities and achievements, etc. Now, I’ve come to realize one thing as a LinkedIn user – if you see someone a) update his profile summary in any significant way, or b) start receiving recommendations from colleagues, it means only one thing: he/she is looking for a job.

On Monday, I thought about sending an email to him to ask if he was looking, but decided against it…

Wednesday afternoon I found out that Adobe trimmed 10% of its employees as well as many service contractors (that’s me ;)). I was sad, but not entirely surprised. Fortunately the team for whom I was working sustained only one FTE casualty – my client manager.

So, as of this Friday (tomorrow), my relationship with Adobe is more than likely ended. I say “likely” as there’s some questions about continuing, but I’m going to be proactive and start looking for another project. Take a look at my LinkedIn profile if you’re interested to see how I might help your company.

Lastly, I wanted to say that I really enjoyed having Adobe as client. I’m confident that the Genesis project could be the RIA killer app and wish the team the best. I unreservedly recommend those with whom I worked at Adobe:

I’ll do my best to post my individual recommendations for them via LinkedIn. But don’t take that to mean they’re looking for a job 😉

Update: Adobe did not terminate my contract earlier than its original end date (December 31st, 2008). So that gives me a little bit of time to find another project.