For Those Recently Laid Off From Google, Leaving Your Job Doesn’t Mean Losing Your Identity.

12,000 Tech Workers Woke Up Friday To Find They Were No Longer Employed. Looking Back At My Own Departure in 2013.

Hunter Walk

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Google was about 1,000 people when I started in 2003, which means last week’s layoffs were more than an order of magnitude larger than the entire company I’d originally joined. Even though I’ve been gone for a decade now and don’t know the majority of now Xooglers impacted, there were a number of 15–20 year vets included in the separation. While I understand the decisions to cut headcount and costs, hearing about these folks in particular made me sad. High performers and culture carriers for years — terminated via email and without the opportunity to celebrate their time with their teams.

a sad woman with a computer laptop, looking back at an office building, digital art [DALL-E]

It was easy to merge your identity with your employment at Google. Heck, they encouraged it. Googlers being Googley and eating, drinking, partying, celebrating, dating, marrying, etc together. The Mountain View campus was originally built to feel like a university.

As a result, abrupt separation can be really difficult for people who prioritized their work and their badge. Leading up to my departure in 2013, and after, I too feared the impact of losing that part of…

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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 .