Last time I got laid off, back in 2015, I was not prepared for the journey ahead. There was no warning. No pandemic. No worldwide financial collapse of markets and industries. The workforce reduction measures were taken to save some cash and help the CEO buy back stock and pay out shareholders. Good old corporate greed had turned 10 years of loyal service into a disposable commodity.
Flash forward to the present day. Five years ago I didn’t have investments, savings, a house with increasing equity, an MBA, nor a dog with 2k followers on social media. We still managed as a family to get creative, to help each other grow, find better jobs, reposition our careers, and bounce back better than ever. Not a lot of people have the luck and wherewithal to go down to one income and still manage to make money and increase the value of their portfolio.
My privilege and education helped me remain confident that better days were ahead. I did my best to pass along all of the information I gathered, all the lessons learned to those affected by layoffs and life changes in my immediate circles. Up until my own 60 day warning letter, I was focused on making sure the new hires W and I mentored didn’t feel to bummed out about their predicament. In truth, for engineers, there are TONS of jobs out there. Excellent benefits. Higher salaries. Paid relocation. If you seek it, you shall find it.
I know because I check daily. Built in Seattle. LinkedIn. Company career sites like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Philips. I even get ads on social media for positions that need to be filled by people with my qualifications. There are so many roles to choose from I’m overwhelmed! And don’t get me started on the perks: work from home, pet insurance/allowance, 401k, medical, sing in bonuses upwards of 20k. 😱 My royal résumé writer ir standing by for instructions on which positions to target. There’s an optimistic residual joy after clicking on applications. I don’t suck. I am qualified. I got this!
The cool part is that even if I don’t get multiple call backs or interviews that result in being hired, I have a back up plan that covers the next three years. Worst case scenario, I stay out of the workforce until I get recalled by my soon to be, again, ex-employer. The odds of a recall happening are high but the question is still more a matter of when; some experts place recovery windows between 2022 and 2023. I can definitely ride that wave, and my husband can use a couple of career promotion tricks to cover my behind until then. We will survive this. We will persevere. That’s the whole point behind marriage. If we can’t get each other through the bad times, why the heck are we together!
As the date draws near, and my team prepares to virtually send me off, I think back to all those plans 23 year old me had when she accepted the offer to move 3,000 miles away from home and start a life of her own. Not once have a felt alone. Not once have I not had the support of my family. With my mom gone thanks to cancer, I thought I would feel more disheartened or scared about the uncertainty but, as she stated in the hospital before her brain surgery, she is leaving me in a better place than she thought she ever could. If it wasn’t for her diligence and insistence to save, I’d be in a tighter spot.
I’m amazed at how a mother’s love can transcend even death to protect her baby. I sincerely hope this is true for all of those who have lost a parent or a loved one. We are loved. We are worthy of success. As I continue to prepare for a couple of months of relaxation and bouts of anxiety over rejection letters and interviews, I’ll continue to hope that things will work out. Thus far, everything has happened for a reason. I just have to connect the dots and find out why.
Stay frosty my friends…