The Layoff

Part 1 - October 28, 2017

I feel numb, he said right after telling me, saying the words that are always so hard to say: I’ve been laid off.

In fact, they cut the whole team.

I remember saying Oh no, then reaching out to hug him. He’d never been laid off before.

I also thought: But they’d just hired him 5 months ago. How could they cut this team they created specifically to cut costs and find and fix inefficiencies?

Now I was numb.

They’re going to pay us through the end of the year, he quickly added, full benefits through the end of the year, and some severance after that. That will help.

But then what?

Part 2 - November 1, 2017

My husband and I believe in abundance, not lack. So we normally “go to” the good side of things, the optimist side some might say. But it was still amazing to see Dave put the surprise behind him so quickly, and get to work – on starting work as a consultant. No more W-2 life, which he found too restrictive. 

He’d been thinking about this for some time and felt set free by the layoff. "I get strong technical results and want to do way more." With Dave’s network, he set to work.

In just days, he contacted a dozen people in his network, all former coworkers and team members, alerting them to his new status. 

"I have to thank [my old company]," Dave has said several times, "for letting us go. It was a kick in the pants to finally do this."

Pursuing a dream is great. But what about very now things like health care benefits? 401-K? Life insurance?

Meanwhile, he learned that several hundred more at his former company have been laid off. 

Part 3 - November 18, 2017

Benefits: COBRA for 18 months, then at that time we’ll figure out what covers us. Maybe a miracle will occur and Congress will actually create something that will help entrepreneurs be entrepreneurs and NOT be stuck having to worry about health care coverage, instead of destroying such programs?

Dave’s contacts have gotten back to him, generating some activity around him signing non-disclosure agreements and discussion of his rates. Thanks to a friend, he’s learned the latest on what to charge per hour and per project, for each of the tech tools he knows. A call from a recruiter who found him on LinkedIn generated some excitement about a 6-12 month contract with a huge health care company, with a good phone interview. But the subsequent interview with the hiring manager led to a dead end when both Dave and the hiring manager didn’t find enough common ground to continue the conversation. "That’s fine", Dave said. "It would have meant an awful commute." He almost seemed relieved.

He’s been finishing several technology courses and starting new ones, learning tools that will help him solve technical issues. Being a toolsmith, he’s thoroughly enjoying this part of the process. He’s an ace problem solver and is sought out for his tenacity and creativity resolving issues. It’s a sport to him.

In checking the search campaign dashboard: Resume - done. LinkedIn - In process. Networking - in process. Interview prep - in process. Business cards: done. Web site: in process. 

In short, Dave is being very productive and getting a lot done that’s preparing him for contract work. Work will come from his network which he’s talking with almost every day.  He’s energized and upbeat. And seeing him so happy and driven, so am I.

Part 4 - December 3, 2017

The resume is done, the activity yielding a clarification of goals, a seldom-mentioned reason to do a great resume. Contacting the network and doing projects with various tools, continuing. LinkedIn next, new business cards done, web site advancing. 

Part 5 - January 2, 2018

Some courses are done which Dave aced (yes, they actually DO give tests in MongoDB courses!). Other coursework continues, and Dave’s tweaking all other materials to reflect his refined skill levels. His networking also continues. 

Part 6 - January 28, 2018

Now Dave is sending out SOW (Scope of Work) proposals, largely to those in his network who need his skills at their companies. This brings him closer to consulting gigs. He’s seeing how he has to help his contacts market him within their company. He’s also continuing to take classes and add to his skills on his resume and LinkedIn. That never stops!


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