My LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and other social media feeds has been filled with comments from ex-Google, ex-Meta, ex-Microsoft, ex-Amazon, and other laid off tech employees.
First of all, I see you, I empathise with you, and I respect you immensely! Many of you have invested many years of your lives and made several personal sacrifices to make these companies successful. I acknowledge your hurt and your trauma, and feel your sense of loss.
Now that aside, going forward, don’t be surprised when businesses do business things. These companies ARE NOT your family and they definitely ARE NOT your friends. It’s a transactional business arrangement for them, and you should treat it similarly.
Now here’s what you do with your considerable knowledge and experience going forward… OWN IT!
1) Make sure that you enter into a ‘contract for service’ and never a ‘contract of service.’ Know the difference!
2) Always have multiple sources of income. Invest in an Airbnb revenue property. Seek out paid board roles. Find a gig teaching for extra income. Apply for that fractional/part-time or advisory role. There are a lot of options out there!
3) Always have an exit plan for your current employer, and a backup plan for that exit plan (I am so serious!).
4) There is nothing wrong with prospecting and interviewing for your next gig, even when you’re happy with your current gig, or even if you’ve just started a new gig.
5) In your next contract, if possible negotiate for 3-6 months of severance if you’re laid off.
6) Invest in a diversified skill set that prevents you from being ‘locked in.’ For example, I have qualifications and experience in telecoms engineering, IT management, digital law & policy, telecoms regulation, audit, privacy, cybersecurity, IoT and smart cities, sustainability, and risk management. And I am pimping the hell out of these skills!
7) Network, network, network! #nuffsaid
8) Tag me in your job search posts. I will repost for reach and visibility.
9) Feel free to reach out to me if you want to talk, need some advice on career planning, or just want to vent. I promise that I will listen (authentically) and be judgment free.
10) Breathe and live a little – It’s not the end of the world. And always remember, “These companies ain’t loyal!”