My Own Job Layoff Story Plus A Job Loss Tracker

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2008-11-1717

I no longer have a job to worry about (today, I’m self-employed and have other problems…), but allow me to share my own job layoff story with you from way back when.

Scary things are beginning to happen around here as the harsh realities of recession begin to hit closer to home.

At this time, I’m personally encountering more and more people who are hurting because of the effects of the shrinking economy. Here in Silicon Valley, there’s practically nobody I know now who isn’t either laid off, worried about being laid off in the near term, or is in the middle of an active job hunt. Just last week, a dear friend was involuntarily released from his job, while others are debating whether they should take some work time off because “business is slowing down” and they’d rather prepare for what they think is the inevitable.

My Own Job Layoff Story

What I’m seeing here is a much more broad-based recession than the one I remember in 2000. Seven years ago, I was laid off from my position at a Silicon Valley startup because of the dot com bust. The company I worked for imploded painfully after 4 waves of lay offs. I stuck with the company till the bitter end, being one of the core managers and early employees of the company, so I had to participate in the layoff process from both sides of the desk. I had to lay off people in the first 3 waves, and finally, as was expected, I was let go on the last wave as the company itself shut down altogether. It was definitely a sad and stunning process to live through, especially since it was one place I truly enjoyed working 14 hours a day at 😉 . But those are the risks and vagaries of startups. Startups and recessions prove to be a lethal combination, unfortunately: they just don’t mix well.

So as the recession hits, we’ve gone from foreclosures, tighter credit, plummeting housing prices, failing banks, crashing stock markets to the dreaded layoffs. The last thing that stands between us and the food line is our cash flow, and once that’s at risk, it’ll be like landing in the final circle of doom in Dante’s Inferno (for some). Speaking of lethal…. More and more are resorting to extreme behavior when their livelihood is threatened. Yet one more tragic indicator of how far this economy has fallen?

Job Loss Tracker and Where To Get Your Next Job

More signs and symptoms of our weakening economy include this Job Layoff Tracker from Techcrunch that I stumbled upon recently. But don’t panic just yet, as there are many options available to those on the lookout for new jobs, which I promise to cover in detail sometime this week. In the meantime, if you’re needing a job or wanting to be proactive about your employment situation, you can check out a few online resources such as,, Resume Rabbit and Snag A Job. It never hurts to be one step ahead of the game.

Copyright © 2008 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Pinyo November 17, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Certainly is a scary time. Citigroup is laying off another 50,000+ today. 🙁

Web Wizard November 17, 2008 at 1:59 pm

I am also self employed and so far I am still picking up new clients, albeit at a much slower and lower dollar per client case than I was before. I would be lying if I didn’t say I am nervous even as a self-employed individual.

However one thing is very certain to me, I would much rather be self-employed through this mess than working for someone. At least as a self-employed person I have more agility and control over my circumstances than simply being handed a pink slip and shown the door.

Silicon Valley Blogger November 17, 2008 at 2:04 pm

So true. When you’re self-employed things can’t be anything but fulfilling and fun (if you’re doing things right). But you’ve got different worries in a way since you’ve got more at stake with keeping your business afloat.

But would you agree that launching a business is just harder than finding a new job?

Brentos November 17, 2008 at 2:23 pm

I do empathize with your situation and I’ve been there a few times myself. The last time was the straw that broke my baby’s back. Sold everything – car, house, rv, EVERYTHING, moved into an apartment and started working web ideas.

Best thing I ever did. We don’t need things, we need people and a vocation we love. Being poor and inspired is much better than being well off and uninspired.

Oh and if the spouse is not with ya on this it makes it VERY hard. Mine was with me all the way.

I tell my kids this:

Step one – Find right spouse
Step two – Find right job or career
Step three – work to find a vocation you love and helps others
Step four – for christ sakes look after your health.

PS – your big orange buttons for feed and email are pulled hard left when I’m on Safari…..Firefox is OK on Windows though

Silicon Valley Blogger November 17, 2008 at 2:59 pm


Absolutely excellent advice! I echo all your major life tips here.

The right spouse, right educational track, right vocation, good health and right attitude can get you forward a long way!

One important thing is to keep your skills up to date to ensure that you remain employable and “in demand”.

PS. The feed buttons probably look like that in Safari for you because the stylesheet is cached. If you do a reload of the page, the feed buttons should appear properly. Thanks so much for the heads up! I so appreciate your observations (esp. if you notice bugs on the site). 🙂

DebtKid November 17, 2008 at 3:57 pm

My Dad also got laid off from a tech company during the dot com bubble burst. This time around it’s much more widespread. For my Dad it worked out great, he became self-employed, but not everyone has that drive in them. Tough times ahead for sure!

jim November 17, 2008 at 4:25 pm

Thanks for sharing your experiences, I think one should always be thinking a few years ahead so you don’t get caught flat footed. Whether that’s the next rung in the ladder at your current company or understanding that the financial situation may force you out, keeping your head up is always a good thing.

In addition to keep your skills sharp, it’s good to document your work (and achievements) by keeping your resume up to date. It’s easier to remember things just as they happen then to go back months or years later after you lose your job!

Austin Real Estate Broker November 17, 2008 at 5:03 pm

@SVB – Sorry to hear that you had to do so many layoffs. It’s got to be hard when you know the work they did was good and you are friends with your employees. I used to work in tech and made it through, I can’t remember how many rounds of layoffs. It didn’t feel any better than getting laid off because you got more work and were just waiting for the next round.

@Pinyo – Also, Chase announced 50k+ layoffs.


DES November 17, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Yes, good to just keep working, doing what you can, having a positive outlook and making yourself available for whatever comes along. Keep all the options open and pick the best (usually of two evils in a down market). Hang in there kids, this too shall pass!

jim November 17, 2008 at 8:17 pm

Those companies got big when the getting was good, now they have to trim. You don’t trim tens of thousands unless you just didn’t need them in the first place. It just sucks to be them.

Steve November 18, 2008 at 8:55 am

Since I’m facing a layoff soon (7 days) I am going through a lot of those same thought processes. The press plays up the “oh jobs are disappearing, a recession is coming! a recession is coming” angle quite a bit – but your story reminds us that any market economy goes through this cycle of expansion and contraction on a regular basis. There was a recession in the early 90s, then boom times, then a recession, then (relative) boom times the last few years – the pattern will go on.

The trick for personal finance is to restrain spending in the good times and restrain from despair in the bad times – smooth it all out. It’s easy to say, of course, but at least in my case I’ll see soon if I’m able to do it.

Brentos November 19, 2008 at 8:40 am

There was a recession in the early 90s, then boom times, then a recession, then (relative) boom times the last few years – the pattern will go on.

This is the true reality and the media seems to stick with the worry and fear because it sells, but this is the normal cycle. Saw Gene Simmons on MSNBC today and said he is buying sticks like crazy, and this is the time to buy.

G1 November 25, 2008 at 12:03 pm

No one has the right to a job anymore, that’s a concept of decades past. You should always be on the lookout for another possible new position.

Jay January 14, 2009 at 11:27 am

After my last contract ended, I started aggressively looking for a new job. In my field of information technology, in Seattle and surrounding area, recruiters hold most of the jobs in job market. I contacted many recruiters but a pattern followed. They would start working with me but stop when they would find that I worked with one of the giant IT recruiting firm.

Initially I thought it was because of the tough economy. I was not able to figure out, why I was not getting any response until one of the recruiters told me that they can not process my application because I am under non-complete agreements for 6-12 months. He was right. I found I am under six months of non-compete agreement with my last recruiter. That’s why none of the partner or affiliated recruiters interested in working with me. I was advice wait until I finish my non-compete. I request my last recruiter to release me from non-compete so some one else can help me to find another job or you can help me to find a job. But they refused to release me from non-compete and also they are helping me to find a job. So here I am with no luck. I am in search for a job for more than 3 months now. This non-compete has reduce 90% of my opportunity to get work. I am applying directly to private companies only without involvement of recruiters. It is tough for me because of my situation and today’s job market.

There are many people in today’s job market are in similar type of situation. I would like to bring this point to light that by keeping people in this type of agreement, they decrease the chances of people getting potential jobs. In this way, they indirectly encourage people to depend upon unemployment benefits or other ways to survive.

mike September 27, 2011 at 6:58 am

How do we stimulate the country, when companies like G.E. get stimulus money and then lay off blue collar workers for weeks and weeks? Then in January 1, 2012 medical insurance will go up so high that if you need any kind of medical care, you will require a $40.00 deductible before your health care kicks in! G.E. should be fined for spending all that money on their white collar workers. Nobody will be able to buy anything; they cut half their work force and put it on us. They can get away with dumping in the Hudson river and they just get a slap on the wrist! Someone needs to do something about this corporate mob.

Leave a Comment