Got laid off

I got laid off yesterday. Unfortunately I don’t have any “emergency savings account” although I got some severance. I’m not sure what I’m going to do next. I’ll probably just get another software job. It would be nice to work for myself or write some software that I could sell for millions but I don’t think either of those things are going to happen. I also booked 1 hour with an employment lawyer and after finding out how much that costs the thought of writing the LSAT briefly crossed my mind.

This is my first time getting laid off so I don’t have much experience going through this, but so far I can offer the following advice:

  • Don’t take on so much debt that you can’t afford to make payments if your next job doesn’t pay as much or if you can’t find a new job for a while. For example, banks suggest that no more than 40% of your gross income is used to pay off debt. Ideally, in a two-income family where both salaries are roughly equal, no more than 20% of your gross income should required for debt servicing.
  • Talk to a lawyer to make sure that your severance package is fair.
  • It’s probably a good idea to have an emergency fund in case you cannot find a job after your severence and EI runs out.
  • Always keep your resume updated. I updated mine about a month ago, so I just need to do a bit more polishing. I still need to modify it for each job I apply for but at least it’s not 3 years out-of-date like I’m sure it is for some of my colleagues (for whom this lay-off came as a bit of a shock).
  • Consider finding a new job quickly in order to keep your salary as well as the severance package from your previous company. It’s tempting to take some time off before starting to look for a job. That means less money, but also, you may not find a job before the severance runs out.

I didn’t write my first blog post in many months just to get some pity from the blogosphere. I’ve been so busy since my daughter was born in May and the few months leading up to that, and today was my first day at home looking after her. So during her naps I’ve been going through my long TODO list of things that I’ve wanted to do for a long time but haven’t had the time to do.

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