Ten months ago, I accepted a position at a booming technology company, and began working with a group of individuals I loved, in an industry I'd grow to love, for a wage that was easy to love.
Today, under the guise of our regular bi-weekly team meeting, three coworkers and I were told, simply, "computers down," and as we folded our corporate-issued laptops, we informed that we no longer worked for this company.
The terms of my severance bar me from explaining the business reasons for the unexpected dismissal of my entire team, so instead of lamenting on the justification (or lack thereof), I'll take a few well-deserved moments to reflect on the incredible work these people put into their time there - much shorter than my own ten months - far too short when you consider their contribution to the company.
There's our social media manager, who, when I previously worked with a marketing agency, stood out from a sea of unpaid interns to show unmatched speed, accuracy and a grasp of incredibly complex topics in a short amount of time. This guy is sharp, and has his whole life ahead of him. He'll be fine.
There's the guy who was referred to me by a colleague and caught my attention with his creativity and pragmatism. The product we worked with was incredibly complex, and he made strides in finding compelling ways to tell our company's story in ways that actually converted.
Then there's the guy who joined the team after an eight-year career as a photojournalist, and quickly found his niche as a top-notch problem solver with a knack for finding strong data where, seemingly, none existed. I had the honor of working with him at a local daily newspaper, but now, despite his assurances to the contrary, I can't help but feel as though I've let him down.
These are people who took an incredible risk on an organization that, apparently, wasn't prepared to return the favor, and that takes a certain amount of gumption that shouldn't be ignored. I don't regret my time on this team - far from it - but I am happy to have the opportunity to learn from this experience.
I survived half a decade of layoffs in the newspaper industry, only to be laid off by a tech startup. Irony? I'll be fine - I have a unique resume for someone my age, and the luxury of not having to panic about money, but as someone who hasn't gone more than ten days unemployed since the age of 15, I can't help but feel a little displaced. There was purpose in my time there, and I'll miss the hell out of my colleagues, but on Monday, I'll make progress. I have to.