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Well, this is it

Well, this seems to be it.

My company is dumping me and I am scared. Scared beyond recognition.
I can see that there are no wanted adds on the web (although it's xmas time and no employer hires during this period). I also have a feeling I'm going to die. This is the end of me as a developer. Although I am certified, I can only think of horror stories. Like never getting a job as a developer again. I guess I've been reading too many stories on the business section of the NY Times.

Guys, some word of advice or solace please. My head is spinning way too fast for me to take it easy. I think I'm going to throw up.

Hey, it's me!
Friday, December 5, 2003

Get whatever kind of work you can.  It will be fine in the end, even if you have to go through a rough period without doing what you'd like.  Your experience as a developer isn't wasted.  If you pay attention to what you do, even if it has nothing to do with development directly, you can always come back to development-for-a-living because there'll always be value in automating work.

Getting suicidal certainly isn't going to help you think more clearly.

Friday, December 5, 2003

Stop reading newspapers. First, there are no job ads in there anyway, second, you save some money, and third, newspaper journalists amplify the current mood, so black gets even darker.

Friday, December 5, 2003

The initial news of being laid off is very shocking.  That shock passes, so understand that you will not always feel the way you do right now.  Ignore the news about jobs being outsourced, there ARE employers in America hiring developers right now.

Good luck, and don't let this completely spoil your holidays. 

Ran Whittle
Friday, December 5, 2003

K is right. This sort of stuff happens to *everybody* at some point in their life, it's too early to give up hope. Take on another job if you need the income to keep yourself occupied -- maybe a job as a librarian or fish store clerk, or whatever. If you'll have problems meeting bills and mortgage than view this a good once in a life time opportunity to downscale your lifestyle and embrace a simpler life. Years from now you'll look back at this and wonder what the big deal was. Think of the time your grandparents had during the depression and how they made it through despite having nothing.

Dennis Atkins
Friday, December 5, 2003

My advice?


Give yourself a week or two.  Go on vacation somewhere, if you can possibly afford it.

Then look at your situation.

The Pedant (Brent P. Newhall)
Friday, December 5, 2003

I'm not a developer and I do ok for myself.  The prospect of change is always scary.  Computers are what you know and what you like and what you have become accustomed to, but don't close your mind to other things.  You may have to change your lifestyle because you won't be making as much money, but it's not the end of the world.  I certainly don't live extravagently. 

( You may in fact be spoiled by having had the opportunity to work with computers.  Are you too good to work at the mall or in factory or at McDonalds?  I don't think so.  Welcome (back) to the other end of the spectrum. )

Friday, December 5, 2003

people are hiring, take your time and search monster

Friday, December 5, 2003

You have to do what I eventually did when my job disappeared... swallow your pride and take whatever paycheck you can find.  Me?  I was a supervisor at Target by day and drone at Blockbuster by night to make sure the bills got paid.

Now, I'm back working in an office, developing... not the best location, not the best environment, but it's a job.

Name Withheld
Friday, December 5, 2003

Make a list of everyting you ever wanted to do, learn and see, do do it learn it and see it

the artist formerly known as prince
Friday, December 5, 2003

Please don't do anything drastic. Your are having
a very reasonable response to a shocking situation.
It's like any other loss and there is a grief process
you go through. Understanding the process
might hopefully give you some perspective that
there is light at the tunnel's end.

Yet don't forget to drink and curse and rail against
the injustice! A good sulk is good too.

son of parnas
Friday, December 5, 2003

The last time I was laid off nearly destroyed me. I had moved my family 3000 miles for this job, and had invested lots of late nights and personal pride into our product. When the entire division got cut, all I could think is "what did *I* do wrong?"

What finally snapped me out of it was the realization that I am NOT the job. I have worth as a human above and beyond the code I write, and the job is secondary.

I'm feeling a lot better (and my marriage is much stronger) now that I've realized that.

Take a little time, step back, and try to separate yourself from the job.

Chris Tavares
Friday, December 5, 2003

You'll be alright dude. 

You may have to take a stop-gap job if you haven't saved up enough of an emergency fund.

Start listening/reading only to positive news sources.  (Quit this board!).  Remember that fear sells news. 

Look at this as an opportunity.  You've got a chance to branch out, start a new adventure, or turn your life around 180 degrees.

Friday, December 5, 2003

Been there.  I was unemployed for 18 months.  But now I'm back in the game again.

I was sitting on a stack of cash when I got the boot (I had been preparing for the eventuality), so between that and unemployment and a few odd custom programming jobs, I squeaked by OK.

Don't worry about it too much.  Losing a job is a part of life.  The first one seems a lot more traumatic than it actually is.  The tech economy is a whole lot better than it was a year ago; on one jobs list I'm subscribed to, I was getting one new opening a week.  Now it's like two or three a day. 

Christmas time is usually a slow time in this industry, but keep on the lookout, some hiring managers are trying to get a head start for January.

Friday, December 5, 2003

Sounds like you have a good resume - certification and all.

You'll learn a few things from this experience like how well you work when you're not being told what to do, and that what you think is 'the bottom' is almost never the real bottom and that there's going to be another path that opens itself to you. Maybe you'll move into a less expensive place or in with your parents or a friend, maybe you'll eat out less and get a job at The Gap, but at the end of the day, you'll still be you and being laid off can't take that away.

If you were laid off, you'll get unemployment. Hopefully you got a severence package. Those should hold you over. Maybe you'll dip into your credit cards and your 401k, but you'll survive, and on the other end, you'll be more appreciative of what you have, and you'll know better what is you and what isn't.

Or maybe you'll get a new job within a couple of months.
Friday, December 5, 2003

Oh, and avoid thinking like "nobody's hiring now" I thought that way when I was laid off around this time last year and it prevented me from getting into the game for a couple of months... bad idea, once you get lazy it's hard to get back into serious job hunting.
Friday, December 5, 2003

The worst part about being laid off is what it can do to a man's soul.  Layoffs usually come just when you think you've developed a solid relationship with your company.  One momet, you're happily coding away, in blissful ignorance of your coming demise.  The next moment -- BOOM! -- your whole world is crushed by the merciless machinations of capitalism.

The world can be heartless and cold at times.  As much as the mass of humanity wants to believe in some kind of natural justice, alas, there appears to be no such thing.  Events in our lifes sometimes appear to be as random as a pinball bouncing off a bumper in a "The Simpsons" pinball game.  Life can be cruel at times, and yet exhilarating at other times.  When the going gets tough the tough get going.  If there is one thing that has always been true about life since the movie Forrest Gump came out it is that this world we live in, our existence as it were, is like a box of chocolates. 

One time I was up very early in the morning.  It was very dark, darker than it had been probably all night.  Then shortly, Dawn came.  It was about time, as I had been riding her nearly half the night.  But, it just goes to show you that its usually darkest right before the coming of Dawn.

I hope this lone message on a disembodied message board that resides in the nether of cyberland has shown you that you too can go on.  Just keep your chin up.  And don't ever, every stop reaching for the stars.

Friday, December 5, 2003

bye, that was so sappy, come on.

Friday, December 5, 2003

A fellow I know owned a chain of stores during the last recession. His business shrink to one store under bankruptcy protection.

What did he do? He was delivering pizza at night just to pay his bills. He got back on his feet and turned things around.


This situation is impersonal: it's not about you. It isn't a judgment of your value as a human being.

This situation is temporary: bad times come and bad times go.

This situation is specific to your job: you still have something good in your family, your friends, your hobbies, your sports et cetera.

If you want to talk, email and we can trade phone numbers. There are lots of people out here who care about you!

Reginald Braithwaite-Lee
Friday, December 5, 2003

Whether or not you believe in a greater meaning to life is personal. By definition faith is something you believe in that cannot be proven.

Bye seems to be conflicted. He says life is arbitrary and there is no greater meaning, and then says that when things go bad, they always get better, as if there was a greater plan.

Reginald is right. You should realize that the situation is impersonal and doesn't sleight you or your abilities. Also, lots of people have been in the same situation. I heard all of these things from the outplacement firm when I was laid off. I think maybe the best thing would be for people to relay their own stories and how they dealt with it.

I think real life, solid examples would be the most helpful.
Friday, December 5, 2003

Hey, it's me ... your responses to this situation are correct. You need to be scared and to start behaving differently to survive an emergency.

One of the most dangerous things people can tell you is not to worry. You do need to worry. You will have a hard time.

Do NOT go on a holiday in the current environment. It will set you up in a non-productive behaviour. Straight away, you have to go get some sort of job that keeps money coming in. Using your savings makes a much bigger hit than it seems at the time.

To find other jobs, you probably have to get into networks of companies that might be hiring. Join something, if possible. Don't rely on job boards or recruiters. They are a massive waste of your time, and encourage passivity.

Hang in there. It could be worse. But know that you have a problem and a fight on your hands.

Must be a Manager
Friday, December 5, 2003

Must be a Manager's advice is correct if you could just surround it parentheses and put a big ! negation operator in front of it.

Worry is a counterproductive.  It won't help you find a job any faster; it adds needless guilt and stress if things don't go right, and it's going to make you come off as desperate for a job.  The last thing you need is ruined confidence right now.  There's nothing wrong with taking a week off and getting in touch with the things that are important to you.  Just don't go too long.  Looks bad on the resume.

His bit about networking being far more useful than headhunters and job boards is correct, though.  But don't write recruiters off completely; they're a good resource if you use them correctly.

Friday, December 5, 2003

Fear and worry have evolutionary value, you know, Alyosha.

Must be a Manager
Friday, December 5, 2003

Use .  I needed to find a job in one month.  I got 3 calls the next day, had 2 interviews less than a week later, and had a job within 4 days after that.

van pelt
Friday, December 5, 2003

> Fear and worry have evolutionary value, you know, Alyosha.

But that doesn't mean you're at your best when you're stressed all the time. The evolutionary value of Fear is so that you don't get killed. Once the danger of being killed has passed, humans should be able to calm down. Your decision making is impaired, and your body undergoes physiological stress.

What value do sweaty palms, and a fight or flight attitude have during a job interview? Or not being able to keep down food?
Saturday, December 6, 2003

> What value do sweaty palms, and a fight or flight attitude have during a job interview?

Yes, that's true. I didn't really mean so much mean that they guy should suffer, as that he should recognise that his alarm is a valid response indicating danger.

Must be a Manager
Saturday, December 6, 2003

"Guys, some word of advice or solace please."

Tells us more about your overall general situation if you feel up to it.

What is your financial situation like?

Are you eligible for unemployment insurance?

How old are you?

You have my empathy, but if you need some solace you should really be seeking that from family and friends.  Don't hide the fact that you no longer have a job from them!

Nomally, people don't feel suicidal until they have been out of work for a while.  That being said there is nothing abnormal about the way you currently feel.

My advice to you is the following:

* Don't let others tell you how you should be reacting this life altering event. Go ahead and cry and feel sorry for yourself for awhile if that is what you feel like doing.  Just don't allow yourself to become a perpetual couch potato.

* Expect your job search to last anywhere from six months to a year.

* Start coming up with a list of jobs that you can apply for that will hold you over until you are able to land another programming position. Don't just think about jobs that you might like to try.

* Stop spending money!  In other words, be prepared to change your current lifestyle. 

* While underemployed/unemployed keep your programming skills current and work on areas you feel need improvment (i.e. interviewing skills).

One Programmer's Opinion
Saturday, December 6, 2003

Hey, it's me - I'm glad it's you and not me.

Walk around the city and look up at all those skyscrapers and office blocks filled with people with jobs. Some of them can barely spell their own name.

Be realistic, with your skills you'll be working sooner rather than later.

Sunday, December 7, 2003

Heh, join the club.  I'm getting whacked January 9th.  In the meantime I'm supposed to be helping with the 'Transistion'.  But my main point should really be that you do have a job.  It's called: Looking for a job that pays! 

The first thing I'm doing is going back to a temp firm that placed me with my current employer to see if I can jump ship as fast as possible.

Good Luck to you by the way.

Greg Kellerman
Thursday, December 11, 2003

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