Shifting Your Perception After Being Laid Off

On Friday, Jan 20, 2023, I (Vivek) woke up at 5 a.m. I had a 6:30 meeting with a program manager based in France. I scrolled through emails on my Google Pixel Watch (that I was testing) while lying in bed.

There was an email from Sundar Pichai announcing 12,000 layoffs.

The next email from Google’s People-Ops team said I was one of them.

My adrenaline shot up. I tried logging in to the corporate network, but my sudden lack of access only confirmed that none of this was my imagination.

My first thought was: I have no way of notifying the guy in France. Heck, I didn’t even remember his name. I had only had an email exchange with him, but now I didn’t have access to that either.

I was supposed to meet another colleague later in the day to discuss a new project. We had worked very closely for a number of years on a previous team, so I happened to have his cell number. I let him know that I wouldn’t make the meeting because I had been laid off. We…

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This article was written by Vivek Gulati and originally published on