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How getting laid off changed my perspective on work
and hopefully it will change yours too
A few years ago, I was laid off from my dream job. I was given no warning and no explanation, and it caught me completely off guard. Much like those of you who have been laid off, I never thought it would happen to me. But it taught me a very important lesson that I will never forget.
Layoffs have very little to do with you, and a lot to do with your company. They are a last resort tactic to course correct, in response to macroeconomic factors that are out of our control. Realizing this was the most liberating thing in the world, and it completely changed the way I think about work.
Work is not who we are, it’s what we do
At work, we get comfortable. We expect free lunches and Thursday happy hours. We are outraged when the company falls on hard times and rescinds our bonus. But despite the cushy perks offered by modern tech companies, they are running a business, not a charity. The sooner we recognize that it isn’t our company’s job to take care of us, the better we can decide the role we want work to play in our lives.
A business won’t hesitate to fire you if you are no longer serving their best interests, which means you can certainly fire them for the same. We have to remember that where we work is within our control. It is a choice that we make every day, and we should think of it that way. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but at any time we have the power to change our job, our career, or our company.
I never thought I’d recover from being laid off, but I did, and I’m better for it. And you will be too. Being laid off forces us to evolve. It lit a fire under me that changed the trajectory of my career, and I see it as a pivotal turning point to the success I’ve achieved since.
If Serena Williams can reframe retirement as evolution, we can reframe a layoff as an opportunity for growth. It’s a chance to reset and start again.
Finding freedom in being fired
Being laid off forced me to rethink what I want to achieve in my career. Previously, I was letting my career dictate my future. Now I’m shaping my career to the future I want to have.
My goal is to experiment and spend the next decade building autonomy into my work. I am taking responsibility for what I want to be when I grow up. I hope you are inspired to do the same.
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