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Any unconventional tips after being laid off?

lukewduncan profile image Luke Duncan ・1 min read

Hey Dev,

I was laid off on Friday and now begin the hunt for a new job. I am looking for tips, specifically things I may not have thought about doing now that I am unemployed.

I have updated the resume, contacted a few recruiters that I am friendly with - and luckily for me I just updated my personal website two weekends ago :)

During this time of unemployment, I hope to take a few React courses. I haven't used React since 2018 so looking forward to learning all about Hooks and all that new shiny stuff.

Buy any advice helps. Look forward to reading your responses!

Discussion (7)

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henryjw profile image
Henry Williams

A few suggestions:

  • Refresh on the fundamentals like how HTTP works, UX best practices, client-server interaction (if you're full stack), critical rendering path on the browser, etc.
  • Build a cool project that interests you. Interviewers love when devs geek out over tech
  • Interviewing and solving whiteboarding problems
lukewduncan profile image
Luke Duncan Author

Definitely doing this. I haven't done a white-boarding interview in a long time - so I'm brushing off the cobwebs. It's amazing all the fundamental principles you forget when you are working an actual job. Thanks for the advice!

nske profile image
nske • Edited

When you're employed, you have less time/energy to think about big changes -and there can be a mental block about attempting them (what if it doesn't work, what if I regret leaving my job, etc).

The upside to your situation is that you are in a more privileged position to consider/try things that would seem far-fetched or risky before.

  • Decide whether it's time to give freelancing a shot. Maybe it's for you, maybe not. If it works out and you can handle the extra responsibilities, you may never look back.

  • Decide whether you want to build some project that might had crossed your mind at some point, that could evolve to a little business. Anything useful that you can build, that doesn't exist or that you can build a little better, especially if it can be offered as a service, can be a potential candidate.

  • If you decide to look for another job, decide whether you are happy from where you live, or whether it is a chance to try opportunities further away -or even abroad. Or maybe look only for remote jobs.

In any case, good luck!

lukewduncan profile image
Luke Duncan Author

Hey - thanks for the note! Do you have any tips on giving freelancing a shot? Have you done it yourself? I've done small freelance projects in the past for close friends, or friends of friends. But never thought about turning it into a full-scale business.

Also the job I was just laid off from was remote. Honestly - I know it's all the rage at the moment, but after 2 years working remotely, I found it quite lonely and difficult towards the end.

But regardless thanks! And look forward to hearing more about your experiences.

nske profile image
nske • Edited

My experience is mostly summarised in this answer I had posted on Quora a while ago:

Personally I didn't choose to take it far myself. I only pursued it remotely for a while through odesk -now upwork) but then I kind of missed human interaction -there was something depressing in living and working in the same 4 walls. Also was stressing about managing time, judging whether I should focus on finding new customers or accepting extra tasks that were not as interesting from the existing ones. And billing -I hated billing.

But I know some others that went in all the way and never looked back -some ended up turning it essentially into a mini-agency business where they take jobs and subcontract the right people for them.

Still, even with the limited direct experience I had, it did seem very promising: I only took two or three very specific, task-based freelancing jobs 8 years ago, for a stupid fee (I just wanted to build some feedback). With both customers it almost straight away changed into a lengthy cooperation that lasts to this day -a small stable income on the side with minimal investment of time.

I have little doubt that I could be earning much more if I hadn't given up on it (even though I earn a healthy wage working full time), but psychologically it didn't make me happy. Though it did end up to be beneficial, both as an experience and as a long-term income supplement, so I most definitely don't regret it.

And the possibility is still at the back of my mind as a full-time endeavour. Perhaps now that I'm older I could handle it better? Perhaps I would travel a lot and that way I wouldn't feel so isolated. Or would I? But if I was to find myself unemployed I think I would give it an honest try before I jumped to another job.

recursivefaults profile image
Ryan Latta
  1. File for unemployment
  2. Do something for yourself before you get back into it
  3. Adjust your budget
  4. Decide what how you want your next job to improve your lifestyle.
lukewduncan profile image
Luke Duncan Author

Boom! Thanks - filed for unemployment today. Number 4 is a good one. Never thought about applying for jobs that way before. Appreciate it Ryan!