Tyrel Chambers

Laid off.

Like so many people in the tech sphere (but of course, not limited to tech), I was laid off. I think like most people, it comes as a shock. And shock me it did.

It’s funny because it’s one of those experiences where you see everyone else going through and you think that it couldn’t possibly happen to you, yet here we are. It looks like I’ve joined the job hunt again!

You really learn a lot about yourself in difficult times like these. I don’t believe that being laid off has to be entirely a bad experience. Just like I don’t believe bad experiences in general have to be bad. I want to also preface that with a giant, solar system-sized asterisk that says this isn’t always the case, but more or less just a generalization.

When i was given the news, my mind immediately jumped to next steps. It was funny, I had no questions to ask because my mind was already long gone figuring out what to do to move through this tough situation. In and amongst the garbage of such a situation, there is a silver lining if you can find it.

My silver lining is:

  • I can pursue a new company with new projects, salary, position, etc. and that’s exciting
  • I’ve learned how I react in what is a very stressful situation and when i’m pushed to such extremes, what do i do inherently - what’s the first thing i do? Do i panic? Or do i start trying to find a way out.

I don’t think you should take much from me considering my situation. I’m privileged in a sense - i have a place to stay for the foreseeable future with what are relatively few bills. I could have a house to pay for, kids, etc. While that is true, it is nevertheless a stressful situation that so many people can relate to in recent years.

I planned for contingencies like “How long can I live off debt?”, “At what point will I get a minimum wage job to just pay the bills”, “What will I do in the mean time?” I also want to talk about a big lesson that I had to learn the hard way I wish I just did earlier.

I took advantage of those around me

During the process of being laid off, i couldn’t have asked for a better workplace to support me during this transition. I know it was a hard decision for them and if it could’ve gone any other way, I know they would have done it.

The afternoon on the day I was laid off (funny enough my manager who was also on the call, was also laid off) I hoped on a call with him and we went over my resume, talked about my time there, the troubles of being laid off, my worries and fears, and steps going forward.

He helped me polish up my LinkedIn and gave me good advice on what to do next which included getting recommendations from the people I worked with - so that’s what I did.

I spoke to my manager, teams leads, coworkers and the CEO to get something to put on my profile which was awesome because they all came through and now I have some feedback for potential employers to see; it’s also nice seeing how they felt about me.

It’s scary

The whole darn process is scary, but yet I feel like it’s going to be okay. I don’t know how or what will happen. With so many people flooding the market, how does little ol’ me separate himself from the pack? I have 2 years of professional experience with 7+ before this just hacking away - learning. That is probably the scariest part of it all. I look around on social media and see depressing posts about how long someone has been job hunting without any luck. I know there are a lot of different factors that come into play there that i’m not privy to, but one cannot help but think that the same will happen to them.

I don’t think there is much benefit to be had dwelling on such situations and questions, so alas, we shall move on.

The worst part of it all actually, is leaving my team.

Always have “F-you” money

Straight up, I wish I learned this sooner, but I guess it has to be the hard way sometimes.

The space in between jobs

I’ve thought about what would be some good things to do while I job hunt. So far my list seems to be something like this:

  • blog a little more
  • keep hacking on my own personal passion projects and see if i can make a few bucks with them
  • learn data structures and algorithms so i can go into my next job more knowledgable
  • consume more programming related content and live in this world (i genuinely do love it)
  • be active on twitter

I figured I should probably release this blog post that has been sitting by since I was laid off. I'd like to say things are going to plan. I'm blogging more, diving into DSA and building projects while learning new languages.

I'm working on a podcast hosting platform just to scratch an itch, and for this project I'm using Go and SQL which are two new languages for me. I love the thrill of learning these new things.

Anyway, I think that's all for now. What will the future hold? Who knows. I guess there's always McDonalds.

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2023-09-25