Today I joined the ranks of the unemployed. My intelligence, creativity and diligence were just not enough in this economy to keep me employed at this particular startup. The company is struggling like every other company out there. These are times when good people are losing their jobs because there is no one else to ‘weed out’. Also, layoff decisions are not always made by rank, or seniority, but instead by skill set or the revenue the person can generate. So no stock options and IPO millions for me, but the days of .com millionaires has long passed anyway. I figure I should get signed up for unemployment before the government runs out of money to give out.
I have no complaints about my company as I was treated well up to,”We have to let you go”. If you are going to be let go, it is nice to have someone with a conscience or a friend do it. For some reason I felt like I needed to do something to make the process easier on my boss and co-workers. Had I lost my mind? No, not really. Jobs are about relationships with the people and not so much about the work. Do you want to leave your buddy behind, lost and confused because you didn’t tell them some critical information because you were ‘let go’. Besides, someday that guy might be in a position to hire you in a different job. You never know what twists and turns can happen in careers these days.
By the way, what happened to the term layoff? or RIF? Now the new term is ‘letting you go’. It all means the same thing, but the ‘letting you go’ makes it sound like you are a bird or animal being freed from a cage at the zoo into the wild. Am I getting a rare opportunity to be freed from the confines of my cubicle and computer screen? Sure, but I would rather stay and keep getting my paycheck. Or would I? Maybe there really is a better opportunity out there for me and I just don’t know what it is yet.
Either the reality of my unemployment hasn’t sunk in yet, or I was a lot better prepared for this eventuality than I thought. Some things you can’t do anything about, and employment loss is one of them. It was totally beyond my control. Now what I have in my control are ‘next steps’. I can sit around and be sad about it or get out there and check out what the ‘wild’ world offers in adventure and challenge. Yesterday software company, maybe tomorrow publishing my first book. You just never know where it will lead but I have a feeling it will be good.