On Tech Layoffs

- 2 min read
Omar Aly - @ramo149

On November 14, 2022, I received an email from Meta, my sole employer for the last four years, stating, "we are, unfortunately, withdrawing our offer of employment with Meta... due to changes in business need."

My start date was in less than a month. I had already said my goodbyes to family and friends in mental preparation for the cross-country move to Seattle. I booked flights for the holidays, packed my things, and spent countless hours thinking about what life in Seattle would look like. But as a result of one email, none of that mattered.

I couldn't help but feel numb due to the news. Logically I knew I was fine, I did not need to work due to Meta's financial transition support, and I had the full support of my friends and family; yet, I still couldn't help but feel awful. It might have just been a contract rescission, but it felt like a massive step backward in all aspects of my life, not just professionally.

I entered a state of stagnation shortly after. I spent the whole day in bed just thinking about what to do next and what I could've done for things to turn out differently. I knew it wasn't healthy, but I couldn't steer my mind away from overthinking what had already happened.

It was rough, but the network of friends I made in college and while interning at Facebook got me through that slump. Many had also been affected in one way or another by the struggles in the tech industry, whether by a layoff or difficulty finding new employment. It helped knowing I wasn't alone.

As a result of all the support I received, I could accept what had happened and focus on my health (mental and physical), relationships, and skills. I moved on to trudge through with technical interview prep, faced nearly 200 automated rejection emails (not counting the companies who didn't even respond), and dealt with the heartbreak of final round interview rejections. It was hard not to give up and even more so to keep a positive headspace with the constant rejection. But, I was able to get through the struggle by taking breaks and doing the things I wanted to do with the free time I now had.

It took nearly four months for me to find my next role. It might take more or less time for others, but the important thing is your current employment status in such a hard time across the sector doesn't define you. There is more to you as a person than what company you work for or how much you're making at the moment. Take each day one at a time, and with the help of the people in your life, you will get through it eventually.