Getting fired pretty much always stinks. But there’s something distinctly humbling about being fired from your gig as a workplace advice columnist.
I know, because it happened to me.
It’s been a brutal few weeks in media, as BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, Vice, Gannett and McClatchy laid off thousands of workers. But it’s not just journalists who have been hurting recently: GM is laying off thousands of workers over the next two weeks, Sears’s bankruptcy has imperiled tens of thousands of jobs, and the U.S. government shutdown left hundreds of thousands of people without a paycheck for weeks.
Nobody is immune to layoffs. Whether you're an executive or an entry-level hire, layoffs can - and probably will - affect you at some point in your career. Consultants and freelancers have a bit of a buffer thanks to their multiple income streams, but when their industry suffers, they suffer too. (There's nothing like losing four clients in a single month.)
Microsoft has announced it will gut 1850 more jobs from its smartphone hardware business this year, with the bulk of job losses coming from Microsoft Mobile Oy in Finland. The $950 million business write-off (or "streamlining", as Microsoft calls it) comes a week after the company sold off its feature phone division to Foxconn in a $350 million fire sale. It was nice knowing you, Nokia.
Getting fired or laid off can be a frustrating, emotional experience. You're not sure what to do with your time, and worse, sometimes you start to question your value. Volunteering gives you a productive outlet for coping with the situation.