To those that choose to stay - a tech layoff reflection
Founders think of a great idea, find product market fit, and start hiring and raising a lot of money. If all goes well the company IPOs or gets a profitable acquisition. You end up multiplying your equity and a lot of people have their lives improved from a lot of hard work and a lot of luck.
But in the midst of all that hiring and all that spending to try to get a mass of customers and find that sweet spot of supply and demand there may be a mismatch, or a miscalculation. The recent layoffs show things like overspending, over-hiring, or misplaced bets. It’s not often a linear path to success at a tech startup. 🌈’s and 🦄’s aren't guaranteed. Sometimes you go up, then down, and if you’re lucky—maybe back up again.
Every day I’m reading about more layoffs. Some are younger companies and some are not so young. The layoffs range from 5% to even 90%! For the employees at these companies it can be stressful—nerve-racking even.
What happens if you are fortunate enough to still have your job? What might be going through your mind?
How do I know they laid off enough people to give us enough runway?
What if it happens again? What if I’m next?
What if we don’t make it as a company?
How can I keep working here in good faith when my coworkers were given X or told Y?
Some of my friends are leaving, even the ones that didn’t get let go, this sucks.
Wow, I didn’t see that coming, but I’m thankful to still have a job in this economy.
I’ve put a lot into this company, we still have a chance to make it big and IPO.
There’s more opportunity to maximize, improve, and have heightened focus.
There might even be renewed opportunity for career growth.
Almost every great success story has failure and rebuilding from the ashes in it doesn’t it? Maybe this will be ours. Maybe this is necessary.
So I guess the question you have to answer if you find yourself in this situation is—in the words of the Clash—Should I stay or should I go now?
I think it’s really only something you can decide for yourself. There’s a risk-to-reward ratio that needs to be taken into account. After weighing the pros and cons and the potential stress, anxiety, and uncertainty—what’s best for you? For your family?
Do you have a layoff story? How are layoffs impacting you?
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