You Don’t Need To Be “So Grateful For The Opportunity” To Have Been Laid Off, Actually
I wasn’t going to write a Medium post about being laid off but since I’ve done it everywhere else, here we are! I got laid off for the first time this Monday morning, after a brief meeting during which my colleagues and I were told that we would learn within 15 minutes of the end of the meeting if we were being laid off by receiving a calendar invite inviting us to a subsequent layoff conversation.
Because I came of age during the Great Recession and decided, foolishly, to study journalism, a famously unstable career path, I have in many ways been preparing to be laid off my entire life, so it wasn’t exactly surprising to receive a calendar invitation inviting me to my own layoff. It felt like the inevitable outcome — not because of the organization where I worked specifically, but because there have been so many layoffs in tech recently, and everyone and everything feels like it’s contracting, and because this was going to happen to me at some point in my working life, and if it wasn’t this week or this job it would have been another week or another job. It’s only surprising that it didn’t happen at a media outlet before this.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to react to being laid off, but I initially cried a lot — I just moved into my own apartment for the first time earlier this year, and losing my grip on my own finances is pretty scary to grapple with, actually kind of the scariest thing I can imagine having to deal with — and then I started telling people I had been laid off, and then I cried on Classon Avenue to Chase when he came over to take me to get coffee after my layoff call and remind me I would be fine and that I shouldn’t settle for the first kind of okay job that comes my way now, and that afternoon I cried some more because I was overwhelmed by how kind and generous everyone was to me when they found out I had been let go.
I looked at my inbox on any platform or at the responses to my tweet or at the texts from my former direct reports and just started crying. This is an embarrassing thing about me — I am often in disbelief that anyone would perform a kind gesture to me, and my response almost always is bursting into huge, embarrassing tears. I did a lot of crying on Monday, and when I stopped feeling sorry for…