How to deal with getting fired

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/02/14/how-to-deal-with-getting-fired.html

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#2

This is supposed to make people feel better?

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#3

low grade ambient awareness is a nice way of describing the all encompassing anxiety that is my life here in america

at the end of the day the two ways you can contribute to a company is with hours, compromise, and talent.

if you’re not willing to compromise (look the other way on sketchy things), not viewed as having talent because you were born without a silver spoon up your ass (despite all this talk about tech being a meritocracy), and if you suffer from anxiety/depression you may not be physically capable of performing the amount of work needed to “make up” for this

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#4

Or a more generic version: “Hope for the best, plan for the worst.”

I learned this the hard way getting forced out less than a month after proposing to my now wife. Hit me so hard, I had a weird visual hallucination: The sky looked black for months.

Wish I’d planned for the worse before then. Still creeps me out thinking of that black sky.

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#5

Timely article…I was just let go on Monday after the company suddenly restructured. No notice and barely any severance. This after they aggressively recruited me only a year ago.

The reality is companies are infected with rampant short term thinking. There is no long term strategy anymore - just hopes and prayers that they can sustain dubious business models on a quarter by quarter basis and continue to fool boards and investors until the founders & executives can cash out. Worst behavior I’ve seen since the original dot.com bubble in 2001.

The ability to fire at will is a cancer upon the workforce. With unions virtually non existent anymore everyone is a free agent now. Companies don’t even need a pretense to fire you now. You’re just a number on a spreadsheet to them.

I’m lucky though as even though I’m still pissed at being unceremoniously dumped, I already have 7 interviews lined up - a few with competitors. The job market in certain sectors is still red hot so I’m hoping this is all just a blessing in disguise.

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#6

Related, and as an example of how I changed: 6 years after getting pushed out, I was being, in my opinion, extorted by the lawyer of a fortune 100 to do something sketchy. He said [We] “will destroy you personally and professionally.” “You won’t be able to get a job in this country.”

To which I responded without hesitation: “Ok, then I’ll go to China and knock off all your stuff.”

I didn’t compromise. They took their shot and I didn’t get destroyed personally or professionally. They sky stayed blue. Standing up to them is on my resume with great results. That poor dude spent the next 9 years trying to find out if I went to China.

–in a Ren voice-- Maybe I did. Maybe I didn’t. I guess we’ll never know!

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#7

So relevant to me. Just sitting here trying to make sure I jumped through the hoops to get my severance check. Working on music for our pet project game and thinking that in 15 years I haven’t taken more than two weeks off… a time span that includes my marriage, my divorce, cancer treatment, the breakup of my family. I kept myself going on three hours a night, damn near killed myself… and well, god damn it there has to be a better way.

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#8

learn to code?

#9

I too went through an abrupt firing that knocked me for a loop. It didn’t help that my best friend of 30 years stayed with the company, & group politics nearly broke our friendship. A year & a half later I am just starting to recover.

I’d like to suggest anybody going through this & feeling the new pinch of poverty take advantage of every resource available – uncmployment insurance, food stamps, free food pantries, “first month free” offers, sliding scale therapy, thrift stores, credit counseling, public library programs…and if any of these groups is especially helpful, maybe try volunteering there. It gave me something to do with my empty time, helped me feel useful, & gave me some new relationships with people who are helpful & kind. Most non-profits will go out of their way to help volunteers, & I also see so many people who are suffering as much as or more than I am, whom I may be able to aid in the smallest way.

I can’t say “It turned out for the best” because life is too complicated for me to know that. But I will say I’m glad to be out of that dysfunctional workplace, I found out who my friends are, & I’ve survived so far. I hope the same for all of you.

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#10

This advice would’ve been great for the younger me.

My first layoff I was devastated. I was living out in the woods with my wife and newborn daughter with literally nothing – no savings, no nearby family, no plans, no contacts, nothing. I was a young bumbling idealist and my career was a series of amazing “OMG they pay me to have fun all day?” elations. That the dot com bubble would ripple all the way out to a small tech enclave in the Sierra foothills was nothing I had thought about.

I landed hard.

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#11

I’m getting fired right now!

(looks around) no I’m not…

(looks around again) or am I?

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#12

Years ago, I was the creative director at a growing design studio and in line for an executive position. I’d been there since I was an intern and rose through the ranks; I’d worked 80-hour weeks and pushed myself incredibly hard, and was working in a prestigious position that was winning awards.

Things changed, as they always do. New upper management came in, laid off staff, and decided my department wasn’t profitable enough, so they cut from the top, wanting to bring their own guys in. I was privately given two options: quit on the spot and be given a little goodbye party, or be temporarily demoted and then fired a month later, which they promised would “look very bad”.

Baffled, crushed, and angered by this bizarre sudden turn, I talked to my longtime boss, and told him I was ready to fight. He gave me some of the best advice I ever got: “These guys are poison. Get away from here, go freelance, try doing your own thing.”

I’ve been doing my own thing for over a decade, and it’s let me do things I never dreamed I’d be able to do as a guy doing Procter & Gamble websites for a living. But I will likely never stop being bitter over being forced to quit my dream job.

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#13

“permanent job search”

It’s like I’ll have nothing to look forward to when I die and go to hell?

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#14

My 20 years as a developer can be summed up as:

frogger_remake_02

At the end of the day, if you ignore the sparkle of technology, we assemble things so that people with MBA’s can buy a second house (or third house), And those same people will happily fire you the same day they pay off the yacht.

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#15

Being fired ended up the best thing that could have happened to me personally and professionally. After the initial shock, the chest pains at the end of the work day stopped. Visa restrictions (+ savings) allowed me the opportunity to delve deeply into new hobbies. The job search was stressful as I needed to try and explain the job gap, but in the end, the boss of a mutual acquaintance was willing to give me a chance. It’s been great. It’s been a fun challenge and my colleagues enjoy their work (very strange). And while I was also pretty confident about it beforehand, it really signaled to me the strength of the relationship between me and my partner.

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#16

Yes, because of course one will be transcending even (mostly) exempt (overtime) status when signing goal agreements and their secondary market valuations, so that only Buddha and somewhat consistent failure of your line of videocards within 6 years can affect your CAGR.
Also there’s no +7 Dwarven steel belt (agony) of HR dexterity, most days? I thought everyone was taking the time to rebuild the putative places to visit in Portugal and California anyhow…not so? [oops intensifies]

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#17

from the view point of UK, 1 month notice is normal and 3 month notice is very common. Of course it also has it’s downsides but at least you can be confident that you are going to be able to pay the next rent/mortgage payment even if the worst happens.

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