My personal tech bubble just burst
I got laid off.
The technology is taking over your role in a few weeks, they said.
Stunned and numb, I listened to my options and next steps, shed a few tears, then took a breath and left. Except, I actually had three more weeks before the final day arrived.
The anticipation of my impending unemployment was dreadful and exciting. I’d be losing financial stability but gaining freedom to explore new job opportunities.
But this wasn’t the plan. I was supposed to find another job — a solid journalism job — on my own timeline and transition smoothly, painlessly. Instead, the rug was being ripped out from under me.
I’m not a software developer. Not an engineer. Not a product manager.
I’m a journalist who found her way into the media team of a small tech start up. Because despite San Francisco’s incredibly low unemployment rate (3.2 percent as of September, but that’s a deceptive number), jobs outside of tech and the service industry are hard to get, and journalism jobs in the Bay Area are particularly competitive.
So it’s back to living without direct deposit now; until those “funemployment” benefits start kicking in, I guess. But whatever I get, it’ll be less than what I was making — which wasn’t a lot to begin with. Not all tech jobs pay well.
And now for me and a few hundred Twitter friends who are getting laid off, it pays nothing. I don’t feel too bad for my new comrades in unemployment, though. I got two weeks severance, which will help me cover food expenses for a few weeks and next month’s rent (thank goodness for rent control!), but Twitter is reportedly planning on paying out between $10 million and $20 million in severance.
Let’s pretend that amount will get split evenly among the 336 workers getting laid off (which it surely won’t be), that’s an average of at least $30,000 they’ll each walk away with. On the high end, we’re talking $60,000. In reality it’ll be less for some and more for others. Any way you slice it, they’ll be fine.
Meanwhile, I’m looking for the nearest food pantry and praying that my unemployment benefits kick in on time.
Originally published at A Room With a View in SF.