Why getting laid off might be…awesome?

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The company Mr. and Mrs. r & R work for has a blogging policy. In short, it says that we have the right to say and do whatever we want to so long as it’s clear that said opinions are ours…not theirs. That’s about it. All in, it’s a few paragraph’s of loosely interpreted corporate lingo that I’m sure someone drafted years ago and hasn’t looked at since.

Until now, we’ve been pretty hush on what our work lives are like which is interesting, considering we are fairly transparent about other things and are card-carrying members of the couples who met at work club.  Still, our plan is to keep”work-talk” off this blog unless something really crazy happens.  Besides, there are few negative things to say about them and all things considered, they’ve been good to us.  But if we were to offer a well-deserved critique, it would be that they are prone to “re-org”; which for those who aren’t familiar with the term is business jargon for re-structuring the organization to drive better performance.  In other words, they tweak titles and responsibilities, shift entire departments around all in the hopes of driving better results.

Susan the VP is now an SVP, her team is larger now and divided in three.  They split Greg into two people since he was flying all over the place and sent his other half over to Manila.  Oh, and after 30 years VP Johnny decided to “spend more time with his family” so his last day is 6 months from now.  Weird but…good for him.

Re-orgs happen so regularly that it’s a running joke among the middle management minions who have been around the block a few times—like us.  But this most recent re-org [which is still underway] is different. We wont bore you with the details but…it’s massive. One could say…it’s TRANSFORMATIONAL.  There is new leadership in the C-Suite and it’s clear that they have no alliances.  This means they are likely driven by objective reasoning, evidence and results…not the interest of allies or personal gain.  Go figure!  It’s been our experience that when this happens, the ax of accountability falls and inevitably cuts are made.  For us, this technically makes us vulnerable and potentially puts our plan at risk.

So are we worried?  Nope.

We don’t have a mortgage, both of our cars are paid off, we have no student loans or recurring credit card debt.  As of today we have 3 months of cash sitting in an emergency fund which could easily be stretched if we removed fluff and our pesky preference for good vino.  Our HSA’s are funded and our investment property kicks off a few hundred bucks monthly.  This allows us to live comfortably off ONE paycheck and put the rest to work in the markets.  To put icing on top of the icing, we are both awaiting a generous bonus and merit increases in lump sums over the next few weeks.  So if we did get cut and were able to secure a healthy severance; it would be one of the best things that ever happened to us!

Considering Mr. and Mrs. r&R have been with the company for 9 and 10 years respectively we are entitled to receive a severance package which is a minimum of 20 weeks pay, plus any unpaid vacation time.  Assuming we were able to find other roles outside of this company, a layoff with severance would actually expedite our plans since the cash would be an unexpected windfall and our income would be replaced by another company.

But in the midst of our comfort, it’s really difficult to see our friends and co-workers wrestling with the looming uncertainty of whether or not they will make the cut this time around.  After all, 8 out of 10 American workers are living paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent article by USA Today.  For them, getting laid off could be disastrous.

In addition to the financial pressure, it likely leads to emotional trauma, issues at home and even stress-induced physical ailments.  We also consider that many of them are also in debt and provide financial support to their aging parents; all of which makes times like this more challenging.

This pressure is the toxic fuel that drives people to do some pretty unsavory things.  The dynamic between those [arguably justifiable] feelings and the inability to escape the environment that created them is precisely why so many people despise working in corporate America.  If you can smile and dodge the pellets flying past your head every fu**ing day, then you may be rewarded with another chance to walk the plank.  Woohoo!  But if you can’t, you’re almost certainly a sitting duck just waiting to get plucked.

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This is why it’s so critical that we continue to chip away at our plan to achieve financial independence.  Honestly, we wouldn’t be happy knowing we had an opportunity to live an untethered  life but chose to work our assess off making other people rich in exchange for a few highlights on a résumé. It would also be foolish of us to think that we were perpetually bulletproof and would always come out unscathed from future reorgs and downsizing efforts. More importantly, lets be clear; while we do like our jobs,

our job titles won't be on our tombstones. Click To Tweet

So we suppose, we’ll just wait and see how this go-round turns out.  Maybe we’ll live to see another day, maybe one of us get’s plucked off, or maybe we’ll both get knocked off.  Either way…we’re good.

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7 comments

  1. I am also in this position, waiting for my termination notice! I have three kids so even being FI, I am not as comfortable with losing a regular paycheck (nice safety net) and have been dealing with all sort of emotions unrelated to money! I wrote a post about it back in December if you are interested
    Good luck

    • We will definitely check it out Caroline. We agree that this is a very interesting predicament. One we couldn’t have predicted but we’re definitely prepared for. 🤞🏾🤷🏾‍♂️

  2. Is health insurance also coverages during the time you receive a severance? That has been the biggest problem I’ve seen with layoff, of course after the money problem.

    • It depends. Severance packages are negotiable and depends on the nature of your termination, state law, size of the company etc. If you have a partner that has medical insurance, your best bet is likely to get under that. The other option is to explore extending your coverage through COBRA.

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