Work Poll: Job Loss Fears Mount

Experts say the economy is beginning to rebound. But optical networking companies large and small continue to lay off workers, and the latest results from our Web poll don't show much improvement in the spirits of optical workers.

It's clear why people are nervous. Just yesterday Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) announced it was cutting 22 percent of its workforce. Last week startup Ellacoya Networks Inc. announced it was laying off another 30 percent (see Ciena Slashes Some More and Ellacoya Cuts Staff -- Again). It’s no wonder that people in the industry are frustrated about their opportunities.

Light Reading’s March Work Poll asked respondents about what they would do in the case of being laid off. Most of the responses indicate a growing uneasiness with the work environment. For example, most of the the 476 respondents said they would consider a major move or a pay cut in order to find a job if they were laid off.

Here are some other preliminary results from the respondents, when asked what they would do in the case of losing their job:

  • An overwhelming majority (84%) would leave the telecom industry altogether if a better job came up.
  • Slightly fewer than half (44%) of those polled say they have enough savings to cover their monthly bills for up to six months. And 28% say they have enough to last them for a whole year.
  • Thirty-three percent say they would take up to a 10% cut in pay; 36% say they would take a cut that was between 11% and 25%. Only a handful (16%) say they wouldn’t take a pay cut at all.
  • On moving out of the country or to another state for a new job, folks were split. 57% would move for a new job, while 43% say they wouldn’t.
  • The majority (64%) would classify losing their job right now as serious or very serious.
  • Half of those responding (51%) would blame their company’s management (or mismanagement) for the loss of their job. Take the poll yourself by clicking here. Once you’ve completed it, you can see the latest results.

    — Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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