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A A job for life

Many people used to work for the same organization until they reached retirement: the age at which people retire, or end their working life. Career paths were clear: you could work your way up the career ladder, getting promotion to jobs that were more senior, with greater responsibility. You would probably not be demoted: moved to a less senior job.

To leave the company, you could resign or hand in your notice.


B A job for now

Modco has downsized and delayered. The number of management levels in the company hierarchy has been reduced from five to three, and many managers have lost their jobs. Modco has reorganized and restructured in order to become flatter (with fewer layers of management) and leaner (with fewer, more productive employees).

They did this to reduce costs, and increase efficiency and profits. Employees said the company used words like 'restructure' to make the situation sound positive and acceptable.

Modco before Modco after


C ln-house staff or freelancers?

Modco has outsourced many jobs previously done by in-house personnel: outside companies clean the offices, transport goods and collect money from customers. This allows Modco to concentrate on its main business activities. Modco uses more freelancers, independent people who may work for several different companies, and they employ people for short periods on temporary contracts. Modco expects flexibility, with people moving to different jobs when necessary, but for many employees, this means job insecurity, the feeling that they may not be in their job for long. The way that they are doing their job is discussed at performance reviews: regular meetings with their manager.

Note: You say freelancers or freelances.


D Losing your job

If you do something wrong, you are ...

ü dismissed

ü fired

ü sacked

ü terminated

If you've done nothing wrong, you are ...

ü laid off

ü made redundant

ü offered early retirement

Employees who are made redundant may get advice about finding another job, retraining, etc. This is called outplacement advice.

Exercise 1 Complete the tables with forms of words from A, B and C opposite. You may wish to refer to a dictionary.

Noun Verb Noun Adjective
  retire seniority  
demotion     freelance
lay-off   redundancy  
  dismiss   insecure
  terminate   flexible

Exercise 2 Match the sentence beginnings (1-5) to the correct endings (a-e). The sentences all contain words from A and B opposite.

1. Career paths aren't what they used to be 2. He worked his way up from 3. The new management have delayered the company 4. We used to do printing in-house 5. Workers are afraid their organizations will d be downsized a. and they will be replaced by temporary workers. b. companies won't take care of us for life any more. c. but now we outsource it. d. factory worker to factory manager. e. reducing five management levels to three.

Exercise 3 Carla used to work for an Italian magazine publishing company. She talks about how she lost her job. Choose the correct form of the words in brackets to complete the text.

Edizione Fenice is a big magazine publishing company, and a very nice company to work for. I was director of a magazine called Casa e Giardino.

Then, Fenice was bought by an international publishing group. We had to have regular performance (1) (review/reviews/reviewer) with one of the new managers. After a few months they started laying staff (2)(off/on/out). Our own journalists were put on temporary (3). (contracts/contractual/contracting) or replaced by (4).. (freelancer/freelancers/freelanced).

Then they started (5).(laid/lying/laying) off more senior people like me. The new owners said they wanted to make the company (6).. (flat/flatter/flatten) and (7).(lean/leant/leaner). So I was made (8).. (redundant/redundancies/redundancy). They offered to help me to find another job with (9).. (outplacement/outplaced/outplacing) advice, but I refused.

Exercise 4 Discussion

If you work ...

Do you have performance reviews?

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Has your organization been restructured?

What aspects of the business does your company outsource?

If you don't work ...

Would you prefer a job for life or a more flexible career?

Would you like regular performance reviews?


Date: 2014-12-28; view: 3297

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