Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance—the five stages of grief. With more than 150,000 tech employees across the globe affected by layoffs last year alone, the cuts have hit wide and deep. For millennials and Gen Z, losing a job is a new experience. Those whose immigration status is tied to their employment know additional fear, angst and the possibility of material disruption for themselves and their families.
“After 13-plus years at my current company, my husband thought I would retire here. I was not planning to look for a different role in the near future,” one Silicon Valley–based executive impacted by the layoffs told me. “In hindsight, I should have left long ago,” someone else said.
As people hit the acceptance stage—helped in many cases by generous severance packages—they may find an abundance of options opens up. With even big tech losing its patina of stability, impacted employees may find themselves more open to roles at startups, where at least the volatility is expected and they can revel in the promise of the new.