Update: Sanity's brand-new seasons
I'd announced in my video message at the beginning of the year that Sanity will soon be moving to a brand-new seasons-based calendar, with each season spanning a few months and tackling one specific theme based on reader demand. This will allow me to work dedicatedly on one topic that is important for our community, and take mini breaks between seasons to recharge. Here's the tentative schedule for the year, depending on, you know, life:
Season 2: April-June
Season 3: July-September
Season 4: November-December
Based on your feedback, the first season of 2023 will feature stories on workplace mental health. Last week's story on the neurodiversity revolution in email signatures was the pilot episode. I'm happy to see all the love it is getting.
This week I'm adapting my plans to respond to the ravaging dumpster fire in the employment world. Tens of thousands of people across industries are currently grieving sudden job losses. I know how it feels. I was there two years ago when my employer shut shop, and I am still struggling to rearrange my life. If you have been affected by the latest round of layoffs or know anyone who is, I hope this edition proves a wee bit helpful. I'd totally understand if you have no patience or energy to read a newsletter right now. You can always come back to it later.
PS: This is free for everyone to read – no need to even register. Share it liberally.
Resources to cope with sudden job loss
Twitter. Cisco. Microsoft. Google. Amazon. Salesforce. Swiggy. Ola. Dunzo. ShareChat. Vox Media. CNN. Buzzfeed. Washington Post.
These are among the companies that have fired tens of thousands of employees globally in the past couple of months. According to one estimate, 91 tech companies have let go of over 24,000 people so far in 2023. The cumulative impact of these layoffs on families is incalculable.
There's research that the grief from involuntary loss of employment is comparable to what one experiences when someone dies. And yet this brand of grief is disenfranchised and delegitimised. You are expected to just shake it off and get on with it.
I won't get into the 'why' behind these layoffs. There are plenty of articles on it online, which all point to a combination of irresponsible overhiring, the bogey of a recession (we are not in one yet), and plain corporate skullduggery. Every now and then CEOs need to show Wall Street they are doing something about slowing growth, and the first line item they tend to slice clean off is humans.
Sure, capitalism will do capitalism. But it boils my blood to see the brutality with which employers handle layoffs. People are fired over email. People come into work one morning and find the card reader at the gate flash red when they try to swipe their badges – they are then escorted out by security, like petty trespassers. People who have spent their entire lives working in the same place are picked off and flicked away like flies in a teacup.
I am not buying the bullshit that 'businesses are cold and impersonal'. Decisions on how to treat people are taken by humans – not by office buildings.
"Wondering how employers would feel if 16,000 employees decided to quit one morning. No notice. No handoff. Just a note saying it was a difficult decision." – Rahul Dhaundiyal, director of engineering, Indeed
Today's edition contains four articles that I personally found helpful in piecing together my life after losing my job. There is no motivational spiel about building 'resilience' here. Only practical, humane advice. Feel free to explore at your own pace.