How to get laid off properly

My friend Casey West got laid off the other day, and he wrote a great blog post about it. Casey’s post tells about how he handled it, and his advice for others in his unfortunate situation. I especially like how he discusses that after a layoff, you are effectively a security risk, so understand the company’s handling of you.

However, I’d like to point out a few things he did right that he didn’t mention.

Don’t argue

When you’re being fired, either as a layoff or for cause, there’s nothing to argue about. Nothing you can say will save your job. There is nothing a manager likes less than having to fire someone. You’re being called into the office as the final step in a long progression. The topic of the conversation is the termination of your employment, not to discuss whether you should be fired or not.

Tell people you’re available

Casey immediately started to let people know he was available for work. Online, that means blogging about it and mentioning it in some online fora. It also means telling family and friends. He didn’t say “Please give me a job,” but he did let people know. Getting the word out is the first step in working your social network for potential leads.

I wish Casey all the best in his hunt for his next job. I’ve worked with him both at a previous company, and on open source projects. He’s a great programmer, and he’s great to work with. His resume is at http://caseywest.com/hire-me/.

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