Way back in the early nineties, I left university and became employed by a computer graphics startup, as it's first permanent employee, no less. Just over two years later, they ran out of money to pay my wages, so replaced me with somebody from a training scheme, who got half of his wages paid by the state.
You'd think after a couple of years experience in the industry, it'd be relatively straightforward to find another programming job. Not at all. It took three and a half years to find one. It started off with having a somewhat narrow set of skills, but after a while it got circular. Nobody would hire me, so nobody else would hire me either.
Then I finally got hired by another startup, because I was prepared to be cheap. Damn sight more than the dole, but still little compared to what programmers can get. This was a dot.com. They got bought up by another company at around the time that lastminute tried to float. That kind of signalled the end of the dot.com boom, and the company that bought us were an evil bunch of cunts. They showed this by trying new contracts on us, which we all refused to sign, since it demanded to own all of our thoughts, past present and future, with or without it having anything to do with the job. It got nastier from there, but you don't really need any more details. It took about another eight months before they made me redundant, when they decided to outsource to a company that the new COO used to be employed by, and still had shares in. Anybody else thinking "conflict of interest"?
That was a few months ago. This time around though, I had more of a reputation, and walked into my current job a couple of weeks before my three months of "gardening leave" was over. Easy, and not quite so cheap this time round either.
And on the whole I'm a lot better off. Only a week or so after the previous made me redundant the CEO resigned and walked away. Followed shortly by the COO. They got the outsourced software a short while ago. What little of it that works at all, works badly. An object lesson in how to fuck a company up. It's hard to accept being made redundant as a favour, but seeing the state it's in now, it makes me wonder.
After that ramble, there is a point. Start looking for a job when already got one. Secondly, if there's obvious shenanigans going on around you, you could well be better off leaving and looking elsewhere immediately.
"This is the Space Age, and we are Here To Go"
William S. Burroughs