Since the beginning of 2022, about 330,000 people got laid off according to layoffs.fyi and there are more to come, as we know. This number may be different depending on different sources, but the important thing to remember is that it’s not just a number. There are lives in all kinds of shapes of 330,000 people and other lives that might depend on them.
I’ve hosted “Layoff Grief Party” four times virtually since last November. At first, it was directly prompted by the mass layoff at my last workplace, Meta Platforms (“Meta”). I worked at Meta from June 2013 till September 2022. In 9 years of working at Meta, I met so many good people, and some of them became good friends. Also, co-leading the Mindfulness Club, one of the biggest ERGs (Employee Resource Group) at Meta, I was able to connect with so many amazing people and teams through that community. Therefore, I felt hurt directly, knowing that some of my dear old coworkers being let go, although I wasn’t part of the layoff. It also hurt me to think about the folks who survived the layoff yet felt utterly sad and demoralized.
Therefore, I felt the urge to create a space for folks to gather and share how they were feeling, no matter which side they were on. Whether we are laid off or we see our teammates let go, layoff means “loss” to everyone. We grieve for any losses and I wanted to give enough space for people to feel the full range of emotions with grief from feeling depressed, shock, sad, cynic, to angry, to “grieve hard” as we say we “play hard”. Hence, “Layoff Grief Party” was born and many people joined. I won’t share any specific stories of layoff to honor the confidentiality from the group, but would like to share some reflections from the gathering; how to support each other better in the difficulties with layoff.
Employers, please remember this: Layoff also means the loss of the sense of Belonging & Connection
Layoff means beyond just losing a job or losing a financial stability as a result. It also means a loss of connections with people we work together day to day. Ultimately, it means a loss of belonging; the sense that we feel belonged to a group or a community. Losing the sense of belonging was what people grieved the most during the Layoff Grief…