Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal ran a story about General Electric’s plans to auction off its once highly-touted software unit: GE Digital. You may recall GE laid off 12,000 from its power business in December. Between December 2016 and March 2018, GE’s stock plummeted an astonishing 55%.

This story stirred memories for me. I grew up in a family (and extended family) of dairy farmers. My uncle was the only one in the family who attended college, got an advanced degree in engineering from MIT, and a job at GE. He was the pride of the family, but after a decades-long stellar career, he was laid off suddenly, along with dozens of others. I was a young girl at the time, but I still remember what a big impression this made on my whole family, shocked that such a large and successful company would need to lay anyone off.

Today, as one comment to the WSJ argument put it, “the bloodletting continues.” While many laid off from GE will land on their feet, it will be difficult for others who, like my uncle, spent decades with the company. Many will have no idea how to manage a job search in today’s electronic marketplace, and even with our current strong economy, it can be difficult, especially for older workers, to find commensurate employment.

My uncle was fortunate and eventually was able to get another good job. However, it took many months and required they relocate to the west coast while their college-aged kids were on the east coast. Similarly, many are thrown into complete disarray when they lose their job, especially if they are in the middle of dealing with a family health crisis, aging parents, or children still at home or in college. Uprooting and moving to a new community is often not desirable.

I feel fortunate to work in a field that offers an alternative to some people who may want to make a different choice in this “next phase” of their career. Franchisors love to work with people who have well-established management careers and can bring a wealth of experience to the business. It costs you nothing to look into franchise possibilities – if you have been laid off recently, or are concerned about a possible lay off in the future, get in touch and let’s see what options may be available to you.