I was laid off last week along with most of my team. I think if I was younger and less experienced, I would be freaking out. But I’m oddly calm at this point. The software development market has always been a bit volatile, but when one job disappears, there is usually another waiting. And I’m in a reasonable position to handle a gap in pay.
I considered looking for a job earlier because I was concerned my job at a start-up was not going to last much longer. But I chose to stay put and wait it out. I honestly can’t say for sure whether that was because I tend to be loyal or because of the other obvious reason:
Ten years ago, with good references, I was hired over lunch. The next time I looked for a job, I was still employed (at a job that was going away soon) and I was surprised by how long and tedious the process had become. It was not just about a few interviews or short code tests like it used to be. In many cases, it involved multiple code tests, some pair programming and several interviews.
This time around, I’m finding some processes involve paid 10 – 20 hour projects (sometimes more than one) combined with evaluation sessions to explain the coding decisions. Add several interviews to the mix and we’re talking several weeks to complete the application and interview process.
It sounds silly to say, but I’m fortunate to be unemployed for this part of the journey.
My start-up company was generous with a month of severance, but with the ever-increasing lead time to get a job, I still expect to miss a month’s pay as a result of this.
Add to all of this the fact that the software development market is bigger now. More jobs and more applicants — and as a result, more time and effort to find a good fit. This means talking to more recruiters, more networking and more applications. More research and practice to improve any skill gaps.
But I’m not worried. God will provide as he always has. In the meantime, I will finally be able to catch up on some neglected personal projects while I look for a new home.