Jennifer Liu writes on why professionals should not be ashamed they are fired and should leverage on their social media linkages.
High-profile layoffs notices at Twitter, Stripe and Meta within a matter of days might have you thinking about how you would handle suddenly losing your job. On top of figuring out your financials, negotiating a severance package and filing for unemployment benefits, you might want to add “share an update on social media” to a post-layoff to-do list.
Spend any amount of time on LinkedIn these days and you’ll see workers are increasingly leveraging the platform to announce their layoffs — just as quickly as they’d announce a new job or promotion.
The vulnerability is “tremendous” to see, says Albert Ko, the director of sales at AngelList Talent who’s been through five rounds of layoffs in his 15-year career (including two where he lost his job).
“Years ago, it was like an act of shame” to publicly announce you’d been laid off, Ko, 37, says. Now, after the pandemic recession and wild job market of 2022, “it’s a huge paradigm shift as far as people being open about their job loss and asking for help.”
It can also be a smart career move if done right. Here’s what to keep in mind if you’re posting about your layoff on social media.
Knowing when to post: ‘It’s like a breakup’
Ann Cascella, 34, says she “did not grapple at all” with posting about being laid off from her data analyst job right after it happened in late October.
For one, she needs health insurance coverage and can’t take too much time off between jobs. And second, she wanted to stay top of mind in her network, including now ex-colleagues and bosses, amid competing layoff news. She says doing so helped her feel supported during a challenging week, and her network jumped in to help with nice comments, re-sharing her post to their feeds and sending over job leads.
Ko remembers going through several stages of grief during his “very painful” layoff experiences: shock, denial, depression, shame and anger. He finally came around to acceptance by reminding himself that, as personal as it feels, “it’s just business. They needed me for certain purposes and, after a time, it was no longer a fit,” he says.
With that said, he says the best time to post about a layoff is as soon as you’re in the right headspace to do it and follow through with any leads that come of it, whether that’s immediately or a few weeks later. He says he made the mistake a few times of relaunching his job search before he was mentally ready.
“It’s like a breakup,” Ko says. “There’s no perfect time to put yourself out there. But the sooner you do it with the right mindset, the better.”
Highlight your wins and what you’re looking for
As for what to say in your post, be clear about your best qualities and what you’re looking for next.
Coming from her first data analyst job with a startup at a time when people at behemoths like Twitter are losing work, “it wasn’t enough for me to just say I was laid off, I was grateful for the experience and I’m looking for my next opportunity,” Cascella says. She had to make herself stand out and also be clear in what she’s searching for. “People can’t give you what you’re looking for if you don’t know what you’re looking for.”
To that end, when Cascella wrote her layoff announcement on LinkedIn, she made sure to include the top four wins from her last job, like becoming an expert in new skills and working on big projects that made an impact on the business. She showed she was a valuable part of the team despite only being there for seven months (likely a common scenario for people hired during hyper-growth periods at their company).
Cascella was also explicit in the job title she’s looking for and what about the job excites her most. “People from my network reached out to me saying, ‘Send me your resume and I’ll forward it to our head of data,’ rather than just, ‘Sorry you got laid off.'”
By stating exactly what you want upfront, Cascella says, “you can get your desired outcome quicker.”
It also doesn’t hurt to tag a few former coworkers and bosses in your post, too. Cascella did so and, as a result, her former manager re-shared her post and added even more reasons why she’s a good employee to work with — essentially providing a solid reference right off the bat.
So far, Cascella’s already gotten a few job referrals, and considering she’s gotten every one of her previous jobs through a connection, she’s feeling pretty good about her approach.
Ko adds that it can be helpful to share who you want to work for next by naming five to 10 companies you admire. If you don’t have a specific employer in mind, maybe you have a preference for the company size, potential team, or an idea of the type of product or service you want to work on.
Cut yourself some slack
Bouncing back from a layoff can take an emotional toll, so make sure to prioritize your well-being and focus on what you can control. There are likely to be busy times on the job hunt, as well as lulls, so make sure to manage job-search burnout, too.
Cascella adds that her best advice for the newly unemployed is to “be very disciplined in limiting how much time you spend each day entrenched in that job search.”
Her plan is to apply to three jobs per day, including submitting her resume and cover letter to a portal, then going through the extra step of sending her information to the hiring manager’s email or LinkedIn inbox.
Finally, she adds, “enjoy your time.” Plan something for yourself in the middle of the afternoon that you’d usually save for a weekend and have to fight crowds. “Balancing the time you’re not working diligently on getting a job is so critical.” (CNBC )
Follow Jennifer Lie at @JLJENNIFERLIU