The day after the bomb drops

Let me start this blog post by saying that I am not any type of employment consulting coach, nor am I a hiring manager or professional recruiter trying to tell people how to live their life after they get laid off from their job. In actual fact, I am nothing more than a fellow wounded soldier in the trenches. I got the idea for this blog post by the turn of recent events in my life. I’m calling the series “Diary of a laid off employee”. Yes, I got the news yesterday, and it was like the dropping of a bomb. However, I got the inspiration to do this thinking that if anything that I am writing brings any encouragement to those in the same boat as me, then it will be worth it. I won’t profess that anything in here is correct as to what one should do, nor will it be eloquent. All things considered, I am a software developer and my writing usually consists of code and my heart goes out to those in the same situation that I am in. So, let’s begin…

Don’t Linger

As soon as I got called in, and saw the HR rep in the board room, it was totally clear as to what was happening. I am not ignorant to this. I’ve been working long enough in my life to know what it looks like. I’ve even been situated outside of the offices that these were carried out in. They’re not pretty to look at from that side either. So, as soon as I knew what was about to happen, my first decision was to make it quick. The fact is that the relationship is over between me and the company that I worked for, and it was no use trying to discuss or reason with it. The decision at that point was final. To think that they would reconsider would be nothing short of foolish. So, in order to leave with any type of composure and dignity, and get out before the shock sets in, it had to be fast. It was also important to make sure that I had left on a positive note. There should be no scene, and no show of emotion. Just get it over with and leave quietly as well as quickly.

Process, not Panic

If anything, getting called in and receiving this news is a huge deal. I won’t lie. My first thoughts when I left the building to crawl into my vehicle were shock, anger, disbelief and heading towards panic. It was then I thought not to start making my way home just yet. If anything, I took a good 15 to 20 minutes to vent. I figured making my way home too quickly might impact my judgement on the road. I needed the time to get emotional and get it out, so that I could take it all in and figure out my next moves. I want to know that all sorts of thoughts came in fast and furious. Rather than try to rationalize them, I figured it was just best to let them happen. And I’m glad that I did. This allowed me to process everything that was happening. It was necessary to take it all in, and not figure it out yet. Making myself aware of the situation and accepting it was an important first step. Did I have my moments of panic? Of course! I’m not going to deny that I had trouble sleeping last night. However, processing everything that took place helped me to figure out what was next.

Plan towards the Goal

Let’s face it. The ultimate goal is to get a new job. How are you going to do that? Well, you have to have a plan of action. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in any of the goal setting workshops that I have done, it’s that no goal is possible without a plan of action and executing that plan. That said I put forth a plan of action to put out 20 resumes daily. It could be more, but never less. So far, I am keeping up with that plan. My take on it is that the wider the net, the greater the chance. Of course, I’m keeping everything real. I’m only sending out applications those positions that I am absolutely sure that I can be productive and enjoy it. This way, I am not creating any false hopes.

Challenge Yourself

As I was starting to send out resumes yesterday, one of the prospective employers had stated that the only way they will consider you is if you have answered their challenge. So, I decided to roll up my sleeves and rise up to the challenge. It was a coding problem, and I was determined to solve it. One of the side challenges that arose was figuring out how I could run this within the IDE so that I could debug it. As I decided to answer the challenge in JavaScript, I discovered that the IDE could run the code using Node.Js. If anything I had never used Node.js before. So, what did I do? I downloaded and installed node on my laptop. I was determined to figure it out and run it. By the end, I not only had an answer to the challenge, but I also figured out how easy it is to program with Node.js. This was an extreme boost to my confidence, demonstrating that even in this situation, I could rise up to the challenge of not only creating a working solution but creating it on a new technology at the same time. It might take me a bit of time to master, but there’s no doubt whatsoever that I can use it with confidence.

Taking Comfort from Others Around You

Again, I’m not going to lie. This is a loss. I’ve been through many losses in life, some of them are far greater than this, but that doesn’t mean that this is any less of a loss. In a way it has similar qualities to a bereavement. With that, expect others to come around and try to give you comfort. However, know that there are never any right words to address the situation. My son last night came over to see me because he didn’t want me to go through it alone. He even picked up a treat for me. However, he didn’t really know what to say. I told him just the fact that he was here was enough.

Do Something

I knew that the night was going to be long. However, my son had one good point: do something that makes you happy. For me, that was picking up my guitar and just playing. It wasn’t anything meaningful. Mostly, it was just noodling, but it was putting my fingers to the fretboard in an effort to have some sort of peace. Considering that the guitar is a very emotional instrument for me, it made perfect sense to put my emotions to music.


So there you have it. This is what I did for me. I’m hoping that you can see beyond the words and find the meaning of what it all means for you. I will try to keep going as the days go by, But I hope that you will be patient with me. Like I said, this is not easy. However, I hope that you will get something out of this as much as I am putting into it.

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