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Party On!

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FTdynamo.com The demise of the companies in the dot com sector has been well publicised during the last year, but there’s a silver lining say FTdynamo. This is the eleventh in a series of columns written for HR Zone from the new management education portal.


In recent months, the dot com business world has been plagued by companies going bust, collapsing stock prices and job cuts, and old economy companies are rapidly following suit, at least as far as job shedding goes. In the last week alone, thousands of jobs have been cut at companies such as DaimlerChrysler, Corus (formerly known as British Steel), Disney and Lucent Technologies. But unlike old economy companies, dot com employees are often too busy following new leads to think about being jobless and ponder about what might have been.

As rapidly as deals were made at matchmaking events like First Tuesday, so too can jobs be speedily offered to those made redundant from dot coms. When fashion retailer Boo.com, the first high-profile internet company to go bust, announced its demise, headhunters queued up outside Boo’s offices, handing out business cards to exiting staff. And Boo employees working on the design of the site formed their own web site – www.postboo.com, after they were laid off, advertising design consultancy services. One well known company which went bust used the last of its funds for a drinks evening where recruitment companies and headhunters were top of the guest list.

Now the concept has taken on a more permanent form in Silicon Valley, at what is known as the Pink Slip party. The idea came from a group of friends who were laid off, went to the bar to drown their sorrows, and decided that parties for the dot com unemployed would be a good idea. And like First Tuesday, identification badges are de rigueur – those looking for a job wear pink badges, those recruiting wear green.

All parties are set to benefit from this kind of event – new jobs can be found for talented employees, companies can recruit without paying huge fees and both recruitment firms and headhunters can tout for business. Not to mention that drinks are being sensitively priced at the more affordable end of the price range.

If the demise of First Tuesday and other matchmaking evenings is to be believed, networking groupies can take heart from the fact that a new networking group may well take its place. And with a recent survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers of 150 dot com firms showing that 23 of them could run out of cash by September this year, the party scene for dead dot coms could be alive and kicking. All is not doom and gloom in the dot com sector – a redundancy at an internet company can give you an excuse to party together with the opening, albeit risky, to yet another lucrative career.


FTdynamo features writing and research from leading business schools and management consultancies with expert insight and analysis from FTdynamo. A free trial of its services is available at www.ftdynamo.com

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