For the past six months, there has been news of large tech companies letting go of many employees. As someone who works for a big Tech company, I have been holding my breath until the time comes for my company. And then, on Friday, January 20th, the day came when thousands of people were let go.
Fortunately, I was not impacted by the recent layoffs. However, a lot of people that I have worked with were affected. My heart goes to everyone who has lost their jobs over the last months. Special thanks to all the amazing people that I have worked with over the past years.
I typically like my blog posts to be practical and solution-oriented. However, in today's blog post, I would like to share my current thoughts.
Working in Germany vs. the US
When I worked in Germany, there was mutual respect between employer and employee. Having three months to break the contract we made with each other ensured the decision was well thought through and planned. The first time I saw someone terminated on the spot and sent home shocked me to the core. I could not imagine the feeling you have after working for a company for so many years and them letting you go like that. My husband warned me about being realistic about how quickly things can change at work.
Letting our work define who we are
Tying our identity to our jobs is very easy. We spend a lot of our time working and have come to believe that our professional worth is tied to a job. One of my coworkers shared how much seeing people being let go reminded her that she needed to re-discover her identity outside work. I have been working very hard over the past two years, and I am worried that my job is playing a more prominent role in my life than I would like it to be.
The role that being employed plays in our lives
A lot of us still need to work for our financial security. The first thing I did when other Tech companies started laying people off was to create a financial contingency plan for our family. I grew up poor, so surviving on less money is not as scary to me. However, now that we have a child, I want to do everything in my power to provide all the good things he needs. Being financially stable is more important at this phase of my life, and losing my job at this time would have caused us to make some serious changes.
Final Thoughts: Where do we go from here?
This past weekend I spent a lot of time reflecting on how we are all feeling and trying to figure out our next steps. The only thought that kept coming back to my mind was the importance of community in chaotic times like these. With everything happening that is out of our control, we need to be there for one another. If you ever need someone to talk to, please reach out to me. I am hoping for better times for everyone.