I have worked in the US for 10 years and
experienced four layoffs.
The first didn't directly involve me: I jumped
ship one month before the startup, my first
employer in the US, went belly-up. It would have
been scary had I stayed as my son was six
months old and I just started working.
Two years later, my group in an international
conglomerate was sold to another firm. Many
people were let go with generous severance
packages. Some of the old-timers actually wished
to be laid off. But no. Not the programmers. We
were told that we were "assets" for the new firm.
I felt pity for the technical writers but what did I
know? I was new and young and keeping the job
seemed more important.
Six years passed during which I switched job
twice before being discharged as part of the
"streamlining" effort after the company was taken
private. The terms were generous and I enjoyed
some time off during which I ran the marathon and
The next gig lasted 16 months. The pay was good,
I was mercenary, the culture feudal, and the manager
imperious and insecure. I focused on my personal
growth and greatly enjoyed the stint but in the
process became unbearable for the bosses. After
going through a "performance improvement plan,"
I got the sack. This was the first time I knew what I
wanted and followed through. I embraced the storm.
I took some time off to read, write, crab, and cook.
I could feel the progress in everything I pursued
and again discovered a lot before taking on the
next shift. I wished I could loaf longer. There was
so much to know.
In summary, it has been an anti-fragile process.
I was repeatedly tested to the degrees that
wouldn't break me and each time I got stronger
and saw things clearer. I have been lucky and
allowed to gain experience. I am thankful and
the venture goes on.