I’ve been laid off three times in my career (not counting the 3 times I’ve laid myself off, when it was what was best for the company), I’ve been the author of 3 layoffs in order to save a company so that those who remained would continue to have good jobs.
In total I’ve helped or administered about 8 layoffs.
It is never easy work. It sucks on both sides. Even when you hate your job getting fired is painful, no matter the reason. Firing someone is painful too but at least you have work to return to, so you can compartmentalise.
Being laid off when you are over 35 can be terrifying. “Am I in the wrong career? Have I failed to level up, will my next employer see me as ‘damaged goods’? Am I already past my prime?”
When you know someone who has been laid off, be sure to call them and ask them how they are doing. If ever someone needed a friend it’s during this time.
For the lucky ones who have good jobs
Divorce, family deaths, and job loss are the number one risk factors for dozens of terrible outcomes. If you are privileged enough to be getting job offers every week lend your privilege to someone you know who has been laid off. Take a few minutes of your day to think to yourself — “whom do I know that would love to work with my friend?”
LinkedIn is a great tool for this. An oft overlooked tip: Search your network using the keyword “Hiring.”
Managers will often put “Hiring” in their status, so this will give you a great list of opportunities from which to start. https://www.linkedin.com/search/results/people/?keywords=Hiring&origin=SUGGESTION
Whom do you know that is hiring? You can also post a status update with a link to your friend’s profile page to help get the word out for them. There are dozens of ways to reach out and help.
For the Laid Off
Getting sacked is a drag but it doesn’t have to be traumatic. Lean in, ask for help, don’t be ashamed. Know that you are valued and wanted by dozens of teams nearby. Even if the recruiting algorithms fail to see the whole person in your resume, understand that someone in some team working hard right now needs your help and wants you to join their team. Don’t give in to depression, whatever that may look like for you
- Go to meet- ups in your field.
- Be shameless in your quest for your next job
- Worry not about being desperate.
I have never not hired someone because they were eager to work.
Heed my words. People get sacked for dozens of reasons beyond their control. Sometimes they had a terrible manager who failed to help them succeed. But usually their role, and by extension they, became unnecessary for reasons beyond their control. A product line was a bad market fit, a programming language was discontinued, or simply because they tried and failed at something. Do not punish unemployed people when examining resumes. The idea that good workers already have jobs is beyond proven to be incorrect. Do yourself a favor, hire the hungriest person you will ever meet, someone who wants and possibly needs the job.