How to get laid off.

A few Fridays ago, I was laid off from my job. After seven years I’m sort of out of practice at looking for a new job. The economy is also kind of slow, and I know a few people who are going to graduate soon into this economy, and who might want to know what I did when I was laid off, and how I’ve found a new job.

So, Friday. As a side note, if you’re ever in the position of letting go of employees, please don’t lay them off or fire them on a Friday. They can’t do anything but sit and brood over the weekend, which can really get them depressed. On the other hand, I’ve been pretty upbeat about it because after seven years, I’m kind of ready for a change. It was a big shock when I first learned about it, but I had made my peace with it after around 30 minutes or so. An hour later, there was a meeting where the rest of the employees found out, and that was kind of tough to sit through, but afterwards it was like there was a big weight lifted from my shoulders, and my co-workers and I started to joke around about it.

That afternoon, and the next couple of days, I emailed my friends and asked whether they knew of any companies that were hiring. From that I got six or seven leads, and three or four interviews, and finally decided to do some work and sign a three month contract, which will probably turn into a longer term contract. I don’t expect it’ll turn into a full time job, but that works out fine for me, since I expect the market will have changed by the new year, and I’m hoping that a friend of mine will get the hiring freeze he’s currently in lifted by then, and hire me.

On the plus side, now that I’m working from home, I bought a new computer because I can deduct the price from my income as a business expense. Similarly I can deduct part of the interest on my mortgage from my income. And I’ll be making a fair bit more than I was getting as a full-time employee, because of the lack of benefits, my inside knowledge of the app, and finally because I have had only one raise in the last seven years. (It was hard for me to ask for a raise, because I knew the company didn’t have a lot of money to give me a raise with, and because I owned some of the company, so I would rather have seen my shares increase in value than get extra cash in the short term. Of course neither ended up happening, but who could have foreseen that?)

So yeah, there’s my tale of woe and hope. It’s really not that bad, apart from the sadness of seeing something that you worked really hard for crash and burn. But even in that sadness is the spark of excitement for something new and different. If you haven’t gotten your first job yet, then I don’t know if this will help you all that much. I guess the main thing to take away from it would be that you should cultivate contacts among your peers, profs, co-workers, and clients because they’re the ones who will find you the good jobs, in the end.

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