On being laid off

Same story different verse, next verse same as the first.

I was laid off.

Yep, it happens and has been happening all over the US for some time now. As a matter of fact it’s the third time I’ve been laid off during my career. My first layoff was during the dotcom collapse of 2001 where the company I worked for (3DFX – manufacturers of Voodoo gaming video cards) went out of business and sold their IP to NVidia (and I loved that job!). It took me 6 months to get a job after that and I am still paying off credit card debt accrued during that time.

My second was October of 2007 when I found out that the man who ran the company I worked for failed to pay taxes. He had previously worked for Enron – no joke. Luckily I found a job right away as I had already been scouting for one sensing the end was near.

Then this one was a simple business decision and I can respect that. Still, it hurts both in the pocketbook and to one’s sense of pride. I worked very hard at that job and felt I was doing a lot of good. Sadly, my type of position is usually one of the first to go when a restructuring happens so it’s to be expected. Being previously laid off doesn’t make this time better or worse – it just means I understand that it happens and past experience has told me it is something from which I can recover.

For those World of Warcraft gamers who have never been laid off, it’s much like having your raiding guild up and decide it’s no longer going to raid anymore so you are no longer needed. This actually happened to me over the summer, so yes I can tell you it feels pretty darn similar. These were people I had raided with for almost the entire time the game was out (over four years!), and poof it was gone. What seemed like it happened over night had actually been months in the making, but it still wasn’t any less shocking or hard to take.

What’s cool now is I have a few freelance gigs I’ve picked up on the side – much like PUGing a raid. In game, I did the same and about 3 months after my guild collapsed I found a new home. I’m hoping it doesn’t take me three months to find a new job! I’ll admit I am a little more dedicated to finding a job than I was to finding a new guild, but I’ve heard stories of people being out of work for close to a year. Those who know me know I can’t sit still for long, and the fact it’s been almost two weeks has me already climbing the walls (hence the freelance gigs).

By the way, if you are looking for a UI designer, usability engineer, information architect, web designer, graphic artist, design or cyber anthropologist, or ethnographic researcher I am your girl! You can find my user experience resume here, my research resume here, and my career portfolio here. If this were my armory, I’d say I’m a dual specced hybrid class so I can fit almost any roll. That and I have lots of raiding experience, a high hit rating, a great list of achievements, and a gear score to drool over!