15,000 Tech Workers Have Been Let Go In May. Were You One of Them?

The Things to Know When You Lose Your Job In A Downturn

Hunter Walk

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RIF aka reduction in force. Sounds like a Magic: The Gathering card but it’s actually a polite way of saying you’re being laid off. And with the tech valuation reckoning underway, if you’ve been RIF’ed you’re not alone. I can’t tell you whether this is just a few months of rightsizing or a multiyear recession but I do anticipate there are going to be more cuts — and outright failed startups — before our industry outlook returns to half-full instead of half-empty. In these moments there tends to be a lot of content to help CEOs and founders manage through a downturn, but not as much for those team members impacted. So let me take a (non-exhaustive) cut at Things You Should Know If You’ve Been RIF’ed….

Photo by Dustin Tramel on Unsplash

NO SHAME. For many people this will have been the first time you ever got let go, and the emotions can be fierce. Know that many of us (myself included) have been in similar situations, and you shouldn’t feel embarrassed. It’s not the end of your career, your reputation has not be sullied, and there are still seats on rocketships waiting for you.

The Blocking and Tackling Basics of What to Do When You Lose Your Job. Our Head of Talent Beth Scheer wrote this resource as an overview of things to consider as you’re exiting a company. Not every situation will apply to each individual but folks have found it very helpful and comprehensive. If you have any questions about its contents or any ideas for things we should add, tweet at Beth.

Some Things You Can Ask For On The Way Out That You Didn’t Know You Could Ask For:

  • Rewrite Your Job Title

Very often at startups your title isn’t reflective of all of your roles, or is quite generic. This is great for company culture (in my opinion. I agree with Gokul.) but it’s not as helpful when you’re suddenly looking for a job. Sometimes, within reason, for the sake of specificity and focus (not aggrandizement) the CEO/your manager at your former startup will allow you to change your outgoing title, so that when you apply for new jobs, it better fits with what you’re seeking in the role. For example, I was sort…

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Hunter Walk

You’ll find me @homebrew , Seed Stage Venture Fund w @satyap . Previously made products at YouTube, Google & SecondLife. Married to @cbarlerin .