I am sitting in this auditorium with 50 other coworkers.
Our manager and the HR lady are there. They hand us paper and a pen, and that's when I realize we are all being fired. We had only been working there for over a year.
In that year, my wife and I bought an apartment that cost us $1800 per month. That alone was more than what I made in my previous job.
From one day to the next, I was unemployed and +200k in debt.
Here are the lessons I learned.
Lesson #1 When People Are Fearful Is Time To Get Prepared
The job market is like the stock market.
When the media says that a company is doing amazingly well(stock price rises)
- Most people rush to buy it
- Smart investors hold or sell
When the media says that a company is going through tough times(stock price falls)
- Most people sell desperately
- Smart investors buy more
The job market behaves the same way
When the media says that tech jobs are in high demand
- Most people start to get prepared to get a tech job
- Smart people are already prepared
When the media says that the tech sector will lay off 40k jobs
- Most people give up on finding a tech job and go do something else
- Smart people get prepared
Get prepared when most people are discouraged and you'll come out ahead.
Lesson #2 When People Are Fearful There Is Less Competition
Bad news clears away the weak-minded competition.
When most people are reluctant about the future, there are only a few consistent and diligent cats putting in the effort to get what they want(hopefully you are one of them)
This plummets the candidates per job ratio.
When hiring resumes, guess who is getting the jobs?
Lesson #3 Get Practical. Focus On What Is Within Your Control
I sure didn't want to be fired, we had just bought an apartment!
My bank account was as dry as the desert.
Did I whine and moan about how unfair life was?
Shit no, I saw that time as an opportunity and I went and got my commercial pilot's license during that time.
We spend far too much energy focusing on what is out of our control.
It's wasted energy since there is nothing you can do about it.
I learned to reframe the problem into a question that focuses on what I can do.
Big techs are laying people off and there are fewer jobs.
Reframe it to:
What can I do to improve my chances of getting hired now that big techs are laying people off and there are fewer jobs?
Lesson #4 Rethink Your Lifestyle And Priorities
As a flight attendant, I made 6x what I used to in IT Support.
The same was true for most of my colleagues. But then, most of them upscaled their lifestyle to match their bigger salary. 1 year later, they were used to driving a new car, wearing fancy clothes, and eating at expensive restaurants.
After getting fired, they had an awful time downscaling their newly acquired tastes and handing over their new cars to the bank.
I was the same old dude, driving my old car, wearing the same clothes, and still eating cheaply.
The most important stuff in life costs little or nothing.
- A good book
- Quality time with your family
- Coffee with a friend
- A walk in nature
Less stuff, more knowledge, and experiences.
Lesson #5 Consistency Pays Off
I didn't learn this one when I was laid off(just couldn't leave it out of the list)
This one took me a long time and many shoves to understand.
I know how hard it is to keep consistent when all the odds seem to be against you.
The reality is that nothing that has the potential to change your life will happen in a month. Meaningful things like great work take time to be created. If you want to escape mediocrity, you have no other choice but to learn to be consistent.
If you are like I was, you'll probably need to read:
- Can't Hurt Me (David Goggins)
- So Good They Can't Ignore You (Cal Newport)
Life is not a straight line.
At times you are on top, at others you are at the bottom. What you'll always have is the choice to focus your energy where you are now or where you want to go. Learn to choose the apple over ice cream, the book over Netflix.
- Get prepared when people are fearful and competition is the lowest
- Get practical and focus on what is within your control
- Rethink your lifestyle and priorities
- And be consistent
I guarantee you'll be ahead of 97% of those around you within a year.
Note: This post above all is a reminder to myself. The closest ears to my mouth are my own.
Thanks for reading!
If you like this article:
- Leave a comment (You can just say hi!)
- Let's connect on Twitter @theguspear
Catch you later,
Top comments (44)
When people are in these situations then it’s very hard to see the real picture and move ahead. Your experience will surely motivate the people.
Thanks for writing this. I hope, you will start with a wonderful work very soon if not started yet.
Its always hard too see clearly when we are in the hole.
I was laid off 10years ago, not recently.
I am glad you liked the post.
Have an amazing day
Thanks for your experience and advice! After spending about 10 years of my life as an employee, I am self-employed again for some years and still very happy about it. Proving your point comparing the employment market to stock exchange, there had been so many tech blog posts about how to succeed in an interview with one of the popular GAFA / MAGA whatever Silicon Valley USA companies, and about the same amount of dev rants about their entitlement etc. not even mentioning their negative impact on society and software development. Still "everybody" ("MUST") wanted to get a job there, it seemed. And now they're doing mass layoffs. Surprise (not!)
Hope you find a good job (or freelance situation) and keep sharing your insights!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Ingo!
I'd say that in my case self-employment is the inevitable future. It is ultimately what I want.
But it's good to work a regular job for a few years to learn and see firsthand how things work for real.
But it's not for everyone. We have to go after what moves our needle.
I haven't been laid off btw Lol. The story I share happened 10 years ago.
Thanks once again for taking the time to leave this insightful comment Ingo.
Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Eckhart Tolle
The present moment is the most precious thing there is. ...
Wherever you are, be there totally. ...
Always say “yes” to the present moment. ...
Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. ...
Don't take life so seriously.
This book is life-changing.
Thanks for the actionable summary Nora!
Brilliant! A real life experience sharing. Thank you for sharing life-saving advice.
there is always temptation when there is a big cheque. no harm in pampering yourself. The rule for safe range is keeping 3-6x of monthly expenses(mortgage, etc) as saving, but the pandemic has shocked all that it takes like 12-24 months.
I had a wilful thinking that majority of the IT professionals are going for freelance/contract like the Italian Job/Ocean Eleven-like recruitment heist. But recently I found many are or have been very complacent in job security.
Reading your comment made me very happy.
I am glad you found it useful
And yeah, a big pay-check can lure us all. It takes a lot of self control at first.
You also nailed about the safety net being 12/24 months these days.
Thanks once more for your comment Alex
I'm really concerned because I'm about to graduate, but I have already 2 years of internship experience, making a lot easier to land in opportunies.
I think that's really interesing to think about preparation when there's calm before the storm, because market stocks goes up and down
Hi Natália! You and my sister have the same name 😄
I don't think there is any real reason for being concerned. Aside from FANG everybody else is hiring.
Remember that these days all companies are "software development" companies in one way(at least partially).
Focus on getting prepared, the rest falls in place.
Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.
Otima semana pra vc!
Awesome share! Thank you for sharing your experience!
Great to hear that you liked it Ekaterine!
Have an awesome day
You have a great day too!
Loved your article. Insightful and true!
Very glad you liked it Lisa(my daughter’s name too) ❤️
Great article, loved this "The most important stuff in life costs little or nothing."
Thanks for leaving a comment Victor!
isnt't it true? I try to remind myself of that every day.
Brilliant write up. Very inspirational and so very true.
Very happy to hear that you liked it Ruma!
Have a brilliant day!
been there and I can tell it is easier to be said than done. "get prepared" works to certain extend but from some point you NEED to pay your bills.
Hey webduvet, thanks for leaving a comment.
I feel you.
6 months after being laid off I didn't have enough money to put fuel in the car and go see my girlfriend(today's wife)
But what else can we do aside from getting prepared? No much really.
Most things are easier said than done.
Hope you are in a better position today Webduvet!
Enjoy the rest of your week
Awesome! Thank you for sharing your experience with us it can help youth definitely.
Thank YOU for leaving a comment Nora!
Hey Robin, I hope you are doing well.
I respect your opinion.
This post is about my experiences and how I choose to appoach life. That's all.
Have a great day.
thanks for sharing.. each and every line motivate me.
Thanks Karthick, I am happy to hear that! ♥
Thanks for the piece of advice.
Thank YOU Soibibo for taking the time to comment!
Hi, it is true but some time responsibilities make man difficult to take correct decisions to her life. Awesome👌 and motivational
I agree Abhijeet! It's never easy to make the right decisions.
But it pays off.
I am very glad you liked it! ❤️