TLDR: This is what I did immediately following the email that stated I no longer had a job,
- Immediately apply for unemployment
- Create an email chain of people's contacts via work email and cc your personal email to capture all correspondence
- Create a Slack group and invite all former co-workers and teammates to keep in touch and coordinate any efforts
- Create a Slack channel that is an aggregation of open roles and maintain that channel as a post-only channel with no side conversations (converse in threads)
- Create appropriate channels to,
- have general announcements
- keep in touch
- Use social media to get the word out
- being mindful of not spamming but also not hesitating to annotate people I felt okay requesting amplification from
- Update the resume
- Create a landing page to consolidate information
- links to showcase achievements
- short bio about yourself
- Share landing page on social media
- Call people I am close with to share the events that happened
On Monday, March 16th, 2020 I woke up to an email stating that the company I worked for has shut down operations effective immediately. For a moment, I could not believe it, but then I quickly realized this was the reality I was living and started my plan of actions.
The first thing I did was go to the Texas Workforce Commission site to apply for unemployment. (The U.S. Department of Labor has a list of each state's analogous entities)
I then participated in an email chain amongst co-workers that were sharing their contact information (phone & email) and cc'ed/forwarded it onto my personal email for safe keeping and to create a new Slack group.
I took all the contact emails and create a Slack group for all my former co-workers. There is a channel for general communication #general, a private channel that does not include the former CEO #eba which is used for discussion on planning and any solidarity actions, and #open-roles which is a post only (non discussion) channel that posts open roles that each of us comes across.
I then went onto social media, in my case, Twitter, and I wrote a series of short tweets sharing what happened, and asking for support from people that I am connected to on there. The sub-tweets gave high-level info about myself, a link to a conference talk I gave, and annotated several folks that I requested to RT for amplification.
My resume had not been updated since I landed for former role and so I went and located the resume I submitted. It was in
.odt (for LibreOffice) and to get onto a Google Doc for collaboration/updating/editing with several friends who offered to help get things together. I used adobe acrobat and their 7-day trial to convert my PDF resume into formats that I could work with in the future.
A friend of mine suggested I create an about.me page to consolidate all the information. It has a few features that I liked: pre-made templates, ability to upload resume, section to add recommendations, and the ability to have people directly email you via a form or button. What I found helpful about this was the ability to get something put together quickly to then be used to broadcast out. I then updated my tweet from earlier with a sub-tweet linking to my about.me.
From there, I started to follow up on correspondence from people who sent me suggestions to roles that had openings.
One of the most important things I did was call my friend up to let them know what happened and what I had already done. Hearing them validate my actions was important to hear. These are wild times we are in and hearing someone tell me, "You did good/You're doing good/Come over and hangout for a bit" and being there for me in what feels like a solitary endeavor means more to me than words can describe.
I share this with the community because I know there will be wilder times ahead for a lot of us and maybe what I did could be of help to those out there.
You are not alone.
Find each other.
Feel free to get in contact with me on Twitter at @mannyluvstacos if you have any questions, want to chat, play a game of chess, or say "Hi!".
Take care of each other,