So, my company has laid everyone off, myself included. I’ve put a lot into my job, my work has been the focus of my life. I’m the last one out, so to speak, since I was in charge of shutting down operations, selling off equipment, etc. Now I am officially done. So, what now? No idea really.
There are many fantastic resources on the internet that focus on the logistics of surviving a layoff- filing for unemployment, cutting cost, making sure your employer honors the severance deal, etc. They even touch on some of the emotional aspects- feeling like a failure, grief, and more complicated feelings. I admit I’m processing a complex set of emotions right now.
While I’m lucky to have enough savings to be okay for a while, none of us got severance, so I am draining my bank account every day. I’ve also never worked a job that had any sort of retirement benefits, so I’m worried that if I use up too much of my savings now, I will be suffering badly in 20-30 years.
There are logistical difficulties around getting another job. I live in an expensive place with not great job prospects for my field. I re-signed my lease a few months ago, after being assured that my job was safe for a year, and there is no way to break it. So a job that requires relocation basically will require paying off my lease, which is ten thousand dollars or so down the drain.
I have all the usual doubts that follow a layoff- I’m not good enough, I won’t get hired because I screwed up this job, that my bosses and coworkers won’t give me a good recommendation, etc.
And it is sad- I am grieving!-, that so much passion and hard work went into the company for nothing. We all worked extremely hard and it wasn’t enough. All that we built and accomplished will be lost. We learned cool things, we made awesome discoveries, and no one will know about them. The end.
So there is a lot of fear and panic. Yet, at the same time, part of me is excited. I have some time to work on my own interests and hobbies (like this blog). I’ve focussed so much on my job over the last 5 years that I’ve become a boring person. Now, I have time to explore and rekindle my passions. In the short term, I have plenty of savings, so I can relax a bit. There is a whole new beginning ahead and I have complete freedom to design my life.