Today, three years ago, was the last day at the company that laid me off. It was Friday the 13th, 2006.
I found out on Monday that I was going to be terminated. I got a severance, nothing near what many get but the company thought it was pretty generous.
I was asked to stay on during the week to transition the new guy in, who I had actually replaced just 18 months earlier. It’s an awkward experience to transition somebody in, especially if they already know pretty much everything about the products, clients, finances, etc. The guy was a 40% owner, and had been very actively involved even after he left the company 18 months earlier.
Mostly I spent the first two or three days looking for my last resume, which was about six years old. It was nowhere to be found, so I went online and downloaded a few templates to use. Finally I decided to use my dad’s resume which he had paid to have done. It was fancy with a lot of impressive words on it (this proved to be a mistake in an interview I had later).
I also called to find out about unemployment, which I learned I should apply for right away, but it wouldn’t pay out until my severance ran out. I was sure I’d have another job by then. I half-heartedly applied for unemployment. Yeah, it was a humiliating thing to do. I had spent too much time and money building my resume to have to go to the government for piddly help.
I spent time calling my university to find out the exact dates I graduated (I have an undergrad and a graduate degree from the same school), and what the exact names of the degrees where. I didn’t want to get in trouble for resume fraud, which was a hot topic in the news at the time.
I was anxious to get my resume polished so I could do the most effective thing possible: post it on job boards. I was sure once it went on job boards the calls would come in. This would be my (failed) silver-bullet strategy.
I was scared, relieved, excited, embarrassed, hopeful and anxious. Probably a few more emotions, too.
Looking back now, I should have been grateful for getting laid-off. Even now, three years later, I’m not quite ready to go back and thank the people who
kicked me in the teeth, er, laid me off.
Maybe next year.