Personal story of Big Tech layoffs
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Last November, Jordan Gibbs arrived at the office in what she thought would be just another normal workday. For a while, that was: There were meetings to attend, emails to reply to, and co-workers to make small talk.
Then the world stopped. Gibbs received an email informing her that she would be released, effective immediately. She has four hours before she loses access to her work computer.
Gibbs, 31, recalls: “I just sat there and was shocked for the first hour. Asset. “It’s surreal.”
Gibbs works in human resources at Lyft in just four years. She’s part of what she considers one of the first waves of tech layoffs last year, when Lyft to cut 13% of staff.
Although he didn’t feel like it at the time, Gibbs now considers being laid off in early November a blessing. It allows her to start looking for a new job before the current “bloodbath” begins, she said. Since the start of the year, more than 210 tech companies have laid off more than 68,000 employees (as of Friday, January 27), according to lay off.fyitrack job cuts in the industry.
The process of finding a new role is not really easy. Being fired took a toll on Gibbs’ self-esteem and made her feel like a failure. She’s still working through those feelings.
“I have never felt more like a failure in my life,” she said. “It’s embarrassing, but I define myself a lot by what I can do for myself. When your personality hire is gone, it’s like, who am I without this job?”
Layoffs are traumatic. Affected people may be anxiety and depressionand theirs confidence and self-esteem can plummet. Feelings of shame and worthlessness are common. And that was before the financial stress hit. All told, it it can take years for someone to recover from a job loss.
By all accounts, Gibbs exceeded her performance metrics at work. She couldn’t understand why she was the only one on her team to be let go and that fueled resentment. At the same time, friends at other companies who were also laid off received more generous severance packages—Gibbs received 10 weeks of pay and her share transfer time accelerated—which made it even more difficult. added to her feelings of frustration.
It’s much easier to wallow in hurt and anger than staying positive, she says, especially when there’s no particular reason why something is happening to you that you can’t. control. She’s also seeing job losses pile up in the tech industry, complicating her search; She lost weight due to all the stress.
“You go through the dark, disgusting rabbit hole of the ‘Why me?’ question,” she said. “It is death by a thousand cuts, comparison. It becomes overloaded. You really let the negative things creep in.
But Gibbs says she’s a down-to-earth person with bills to pay, which is why she’s been recruiting at a tech company in the first place. Even though she allows herself to cry and get drunk Real housewives On the day she lost her job, she started calling and filling out forms the next day.
In the following days, Gibbs applied for 173 jobs. She’s had 42 interviews—some with multiple people—and received a few rejections from positions she’s excited about. She vlog about her job search on TikTok, develop a small community that cheers her on and holds her accountable. Because she is filming her job search, she has to get up every day and do anything else.
On day 69, just before the 10 weeks of her severance technically ended, Gibbs received a job offer for the same (but less) salary than her previous job. which she accepted. She won’t be working for a tech company anymore, that’s okay with her.
“I’m really grateful that this has taught me humility and resilience,” she said in an interview. TikTok videos about the search.
‘Finding a job is a full-time job’
Gibbs declined to share exact numbers, but said she earned six figures in her previous role, between base salary and equity compensation. She knows it’s a blessing to be paid so well, but it also limits the kind of jobs she’s willing to apply for. She wants to earn at least her base salary, with her expenses.
“It can be overwhelming to shape your life around that salary and then lose that money,” she says.
Fortunately, Gibbs made amassing his emergency savings a priority before being fired. She also gets a one-time severance pay so she knows how much she has to spend. The financial stress is not as severe for her as it is for many people facing unemployment.
However, she experienced many of the humiliations familiar to anyone who lost their job. Dealing with New York’s unemployment system and COBRA health insurance made Gibbs a more empathetic person, she said.
“Finding a job is a full-time job. Make sure you get health care, file for unemployment and do it every week… the administrative costs of being unemployed are mentally heavy,” she said. “It was a very scary thing. The government does not make it easy to understand or acquire these resources.”
She also cut out virtually all unnecessary expenses, including coffee, dining out, getting her nails done and joining the gym, and moved back to live with her parents in California so she could sublease his apartment in New York. She realized the privileged position she was in.
Gibbs’ best advice for people currently facing layoffs is to get help from family, friends, and even strangers, if you can. Her parents let her live at home for free. Friends sent her $5 for coffee and spa gift cards; Others took her out to dinner. A stranger on TikTok offered to send her workwear for an interview.
But help comes in all different forms, not just financial support. Gibbs attributes part of her success to finding a new job so quickly is down to the words of encouragement she’s received from her followers.
“Now you realize it sucks, but it’s going to be okay,” she says of having a support network. “Having a little mental peace for even one second will get you through the next four hours of hell.”
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