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It's Going Down: Unexpectedly Unemployed and What I Did About It

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,
    • vent
    • 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
    • resume
    • recommendations
    • 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

Below is an elaboration on how I went about things.

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.

A screen shot of the Texas Workforce Commission's banner
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)

A screenshot of the email chain of co-worker contacts
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.

A screenshot of the slack group I created
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.

A screenshot of my tweet asking for support
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 .PDF format and I needed a way to convert it into .docx, and .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 screenshot of my page
A friend of mine suggested I create an 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

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.
Make plans.
Sow seeds.

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,

A photo of the former staff at
It was great working with you all.
We all had our quirks and that is what made our interactions wonderful.
Thank you for the memories we made.

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