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Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
3/20/19 10:30 a.m.

So, although I post less than I used too, I think most people who recognize my screen name know I work for Ford in the Design studio.  Well, that 'work for' is about to change tense to 'worked for'  After 30 years in an unstable industry, and 25 years in and around Ford, Downsizing has finally caught up with me.  As of the end of the month, I'm being invited to explore exciting new opportunities elsewhere in the industry.  I can't say I'm happy, but I hold no ill will towards my many friends and colleges at Ford and wish nothing but the very best for them and the company in the future.  I could leave now, I could have left last week, but I'm going to see out my time and make sure everything transitions smoothly.  

I'm getting a package, plus a few months health insurance and also the services of Right Management who help people search and look for jobs.  Apparently they have 80% success in six months.  That's good as I haven't had to search or apply for a job from scratch in over 25 years and really am out of touch with the whole process.  I'm not looking for anything approaching an entry position so I think I could end up on the longer side of that 4 month average.  We are prepared financially so we're in no danger of loosing our home or anything, but it still sucks.  

We're turning int he company cars next week.  The eldest daughter is on a car search now.  With the Volvo and the Boxster we don't need to go shopping right now, but I will as soon as I get another job.

Not even sure why I'm sharing TBH.

stafford1500 HalfDork
3/20/19 10:33 a.m.

I had a similar scenario in 2006. I knew it was coming and had a plan to start someplace new the very next day, but it still sucked.

Good luck.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
3/20/19 10:41 a.m.

I've been there.  Mine was after 14 yrs in the telecom industry.  Started with Sprint and was eager to leave them (horribly mismanaged company.) Got recruited away by ATT.  Left ATT for a new venture with Nextel.  Sure enough, a few years into Nextel; Sprint buys out Nextel and I was back to working for the company I had left 10 years earlier.  Eventually, "duplication of efforts" and other cut backs found me leaving an office with a view for a view of the door.  

z31maniac MegaDork
3/20/19 10:42 a.m.

Sorry to hear that! It does, indeed, suck.

Stefan MegaDork
3/20/19 10:48 a.m.

That really sucks, I think you're sharing because for better or worse, we're a close knit internet family here and we care about our members.

Maybe now is a good time to write about some of the more interesting things you've been involved in?  It may not seem interesting to you, but insight into the inner working of that part of the auto industry is more than likely interesting to those of us on the outside.

Good luck on the job search, having pros in your corner will really help.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
3/20/19 10:50 a.m.

I got downsized a while back from a giant multinational. I moved to Colorado to work for a small company that was in a totally different industry with a major pay cut.

18 years later, I'm still at Flyin' Miata and Nortel Networks has ceased to exist. It kinda worked out.

BoxheadTim MegaDork
3/20/19 10:50 a.m.

Sorry to hear that. Hope it all works out for you!

RevRico PowerDork
3/20/19 10:51 a.m.

So since you're leaving anyway, what's up with the electric mustang? cheeky


Still though, always sucks getting back into the grind. Good luck on your future ventures

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Dork
3/20/19 10:53 a.m.

Starting over can be daunting when it's staring you in the face like this. Thanks for posting, it helps those of us that have been in similar situations review our lives, and can help those who are facing similar changes as well. 

When I think about it, we all have times when we have to start over. Childhood to adolescent to adult. School to work (and back and forth in my case). Graduating. Single to married. Having children. Changing jobs. Losing businesses. Divorce. Retiring. I've been through all except the last two. All of these things can be tough, all of them have the potential to derail lives. Fortunately, nearly all of us get through them. 

You'll make it. 

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
3/20/19 10:55 a.m.

As for telling us here.  You are doing one of the most right things you can do which is tell anyone and everyone.  It may not be your happiest or proudest moment but good jobs will come from people you know or people who know you are looking.  If you don't tell everyone then then that match may never be made.  

drainoil Dork
3/20/19 10:56 a.m.

I feel for you. My job isn’t very lucrative as is but if I was shown the door I’d be in a world of hurt.

GameboyRMH MegaDork
3/20/19 11:06 a.m.

I'll be out of a job for the first time in over a decade myself within in a couple months, either due to downsizing, or if that doesn't happen, by resignation. That might sound voluntary but after a decade of the cost of living here steadily increasing against a largely stagnant and initially small salary, it's more like leaving a flooding room before the last bit of air space near the ceiling fills up. And being highly skilled but lightly certified means that I'd be lucky to get anything but an entry-level position - but I'm OK with that, it'll still be an improvement, even if not nearly as big an improvement as it could be.

EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
3/20/19 11:06 a.m.

Best advice I can give is to leverage your network of contacts in the industry, update your LinkedIn profile (or create one if you don't heve one), and good luck!

Gearheadotaku UltimaDork
3/20/19 11:14 a.m.

Oh Berkeley...angry

I didn't see a mention of a buy out or early retirement offer on your post either. E36M3 that sucks. You are too skilled and dedicated to be treated this way, but big corps see numbers, not people. ( Not that small business is much better)

Posting here is a good thing. Any networking is good and being able to vent is good too.

Gary SuperDork
3/20/19 11:27 a.m.

Best of luck to you, Adrian. That really sucks, especially after being there for as long as you were. I'm retired now and fortunately don't have to worry about that. Closest I came was in 1994, when the company I was working for was bought out and moved to Missouri. I could have moved but chose not to. After a short stint with a s-hole company, I landed a great job at a great company with a great future. It worked out for the best for me. Keep the faith man. I'm sure it will for you.

BTW, I know a guy who used to work in the design studio at Ford. He's retired now, but would have been there during your 25 years: first name Fred, but went by the nickname "Bud." First three letters of last name Mag.

AngryCorvair MegaDork
3/20/19 11:33 a.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson :

PM me.   I work in the Detroit office of a Chinese OE.   We have a design studio here.   Commute might suck for you, since we're on Eleven Mile between Greenfield and Coolidge, LOL.

Tom_Spangler PowerDork
3/20/19 11:44 a.m.
AngryCorvair said:

In reply to Adrian_Thompson :

PM me.   I work in the Detroit office of a Chinese OE.   We have a design studio here.   Commute might suck for you, since we're on Eleven Mile between Greenfield and Coolidge, LOL.

Yeah, I somehow don't think he'd mind that drive! cheeky

Ade, you have a great attitude about this, and that will serve you well as you begin your search, as will your extensive network from 25+ years in the industry. And at least it happened when the economy is strong, so you're not having to compete with a whole bunch of other people.

frenchyd UltraDork
3/20/19 11:56 a.m.


In reply to Adrian_Thompson :

Will unemployment at the low percentage it is your chance of finding a decent job is much better than what I experienced in 2008. 

Having said that,  be prepared to accept less than you are worth if a decent offer doesn’t happen within  6 months.  

I mistakenly thought I could get a decent job if I just waited things out.  Suddenly I was past the hiring age of 60 and even the most diligent searching failed to turn up a decent job.  

With unemployment being as low as it is you shouldn’t be left too long, but a certain degree of flexibility is going to be required.  

N Sperlo
N Sperlo MegaDork
3/20/19 11:58 a.m.

Best of luck.

I set aside a little bit of time every day to job search because this place sucks. On the other hand, when the corporation took over, the firewall unlocked GRM..

alfadriver MegaDork
3/20/19 11:58 a.m.

Sorry, Ade- we were lucky in research, as apparently a lot more people retired last year than anticipated, so the losses were less than expected.  Still was terrifying.  

Hope you can get into something quickly.  

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
3/20/19 12:02 p.m.

Don't worry. I have enough ill will towards that company for the both of us cheeky

Good luck with the job search!

ultraclyde PowerDork
3/20/19 12:03 p.m.

Wow, sucks man. Good luck with the next chapter, and I'll agree that any interesting things you can talk about without breeching NDAs would be really cool.

Type Q
Type Q SuperDork
3/20/19 12:16 p.m.

If it makes you feel any better I am looking for my next gig after almost 3 years. Here in in Silicon Valley moving jobs every few years is the norm. Everyone gets let go several times over the course of a career. I am thinking about writing web content to catalog everything I have learned about how to pick up and move forward.


I am glad you getting services from Right Management. They are not the most cutting edge out there, but in my experience their people understand the basics of job search in 2019 well. Here is my practical guide to what to do right now.

1. Give yourself time to grieve. After 25 years in the same company, assuming you didn't want to leave, this is a significant loss. Ford is a family/tribe you've  been part of for a long time. You are going to miss it. Your are going to be angry about it. You are going to feel all the things that go with a loss. This is normal. Accept it. Don't try to just power past it. It can trip you up later and turn a 4 to 6 month transition into a multi-year one. I have seen it happen more than once.

2. Since you work in design, start cataloging everything you have done in the last ten years that made it out of the studio into world, or that Ford doesn't have any ownership of. Assuming you decide to do more design, you are going to want to have a portfolio to show off. That is easier to do while you are still at work and have reminders/mementos to trigger you memory.

I am going to stop there. Because you are likely feeling some shock right now and I don't want to overload you. You will be inundated with advice from well meaning people like family, friends, other GRM members and me.  Job search is like driving a race or an autocross. There are places when you go slow so you are positioned to go faster in the fast sections. Unless you have interviews lined up in the next two weeks, this is one of those places to go slower.


Feel free to PM if you want to talk with someone who has been through this process a few times.

aircooled MegaDork
3/20/19 12:17 p.m.

Well.. possibly the BEST time to be looking for work in many years.  So, there is that.

Can't say about your industry or skills in particular, but there are a LOT of job openings out there now.

Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
3/20/19 12:22 p.m.

Thanks for all the kind words.  They help.

A few random comments.

Yes, I'll be hitting up the network hard real soon, including you too Mr. AngryAssEnginedDeathMobile wink  Apparently only about 25% of jobs are found through postings or recruiters, even less for someone like me, more like only 10-15%.  The vast vast majority is through networking.

I've been in and around the Ford family for 25 years.  First as Agency (Contractor / Jobber, choose your favorite title)  Then as a direct hire with Ford's spun off parts division Visteon before being hired by Ford in 06.  So, although every penny I've earned in the last 25 years has been courtesy of Ford, I 'only' have 13 years.  Not bad really.

A lot of people took voluntary buy outs last year, people at my level were / are still getting hit hard.  The Industry average is about twice the number of Direct reports for the same level of position we have/had at Ford.  I knew the odds were against me, but in my department that level of employee was by far the highest group to take the buyouts and retire last year.  Because of that i thought I'd be OK, but I wasn't.  Nothing I can do about that and nothing to feel ashamed of, my number was just up this time.  

Once I get my head together and get my Resume and LinkedIn profile up to date I'll be hitting it hard.  While the economy and job market are really good now, I don't like the look of what my be coming in the next year or so.  I want to get landed.

I'm lucky, our current lifestyle is ripe for trimming excess without seriously impacting our standard of living, I shudder when I think what we spend on food.  There's also a ton of work to do around our house and the rentals.  One of the rentals needs a roof, sounds like manual labor is ahead instead of hiring a crew :)

Now on the upside, car shopping will be in my future as I said in the first post, and we all know how much fun that is.  Not buying until I get a job, but assuming I end up at a supplier and/or no company car, I should be able to pick and choose, hence my JL Jeep Wrangler towing question today :)  And yes, I am going to be reaching out to various people over at FCA.  No offense to Ford, and I really do wish the company well, but to be honest my plan to buy a new Bronco is out the window.  Nothing against the product, it is going to be awesome, but I'm just not feeling it right now LOL.


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