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I Have Been Laid Off Six Times, Here Are Six Things I Learned

Let my corporate trauma help you

8 min readMar 17, 2023

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I’ve been laid off six times and learned a few things. For instance, getting laid off happens. When I was younger, I thought jobs were strictly binary situations, you were either hired or fired. I imagined my worst-case career scenario looked like my boss screaming, “You’re fired!” but there was a third option that was just as unpleasant. And that’s losing your job because some beancounter said so.

I look forward to being laid off by A.I. soon—lucky number seven.

1. My first layoff was deeply embarrassing, but then I realized I’m not special
I didn’t tell my parents I had been laid off when it happened. I lied to them for weeks. I didn’t know how to explain what happened because I didn’t understand it. Getting shitcanned is simple: you screwed up, adios. A layoff is sudden, violent in a way, out of nowhere. It just never occurred to me that sometimes your number is up. I also didn’t know I was one of a few thousand who would be sacked that month. I was nothing special. My first layoff was short, sweet, and impersonal. I was a nobody, a fact that was confirmed in the windowless room where they told me I would be receiving one final paycheck. The company was…

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John DeVore

I created Humungus, a blog about pop culture, politics, and feelings. Support the madness: https://johndevore.medium.com/subscribe