Yes, I Got Laid Off! Thank Goodness For Severance Packages

fireworksThe following is a post by community regular JayCeezy who was able to successfully retire from his job with a healthy severance package. The post highlights the bitter sweet peculiarities of leaving one’s job of so many years. A large part of you will scream to hold on to what you know. But deep down it’s clear there’s nothing promising left and it’s time to go. I’m currently in Switzerland for the week so comments might be stuck in the hyper sensitive spam filter longer than usual. Hope you enjoy the post!

My worklife has come to an end. I am relieved, and happy. For a number of reasons discussed below, I preferred to be laid off instead of quitting. The difference between quitting and ‘getting laid’ was six months of living expenses. Nice~! This is not a book review. Plenty of experienced and high-traffic bloggers have already done so. And there are no *SPOILERS*. Buy the book, if the subject interests you. It is good to be frugal, but also good to support your satisfactions. Buy it.

It is hard to be patient. Readers of Yakezie blogs are self-selecting, and skew to those with a bias toward action and results. Financial Samurai’s book, “How To Engineer Your Layoff”, was a big help in making this happen. My biggest takeaways from the book involved guidance on persistence and relationships. Very useful in seeking any goal.

To be clear, this outcome was not my first choice. But it was the first choice of my available choices. My worklife had a shelf life; every worklife does, but often we don’t recognize it until we are past the expiration date. I hung on for a long time, keeping my skills and network current. But a growing realization that I had topped out in pay and responsibility, combined with shrinking opportunities everywhere, made acceptance easier.

I was hoping for a turnaround in the economy or that my employer would be bought by a larger firm, which would have opened up new possibilities for me. It just wasn’t happening. With my financial assets in place, it seemed like a good time to make an exit.

A layoff, instead of ‘retiring’, seemed like my best option. I had no idea of how to make it happen, as asking my Human Resources or Managers would have resulted in a ‘no’ and probably some hard feelings if I did not handle expressing my desire to leave in an appropriate way. I did a web search on the subject, came upon a review at Retire By 40, and bought the book. It seemed like just what I was looking for, a real-life example from someone who accomplished what I was setting out to do.

Already knowing what was in it for me, I now had to convince my employer that laying me off provided something for them. That was a frustrating issue for six months. But sometimes an exogenous event can create new opportunities, and a new situation was created when the company lost some contracts and didn’t win anticipated business. I had become unprofitable. Preparation, meet Opportunity!

My employer downsized from 400 to 125 people during the last six years, and now had no new work on the horizon. There had been an increase in drama and displays of temper throughout my company, always explained afterwards that people were “under pressure.” As an example, a Director-level employee was let go with a voicemail. Poor form, employer! The behavior always had an excuse, but not justification.

It appeared the owners now needed to put a shine on the balance sheets by getting rid of less-than-profitable heads. I was presented with an ultimatum, presented as an “opportunity,” for a new working arrangement, with a new (much lower) compensation arrangement. It was quite easy to say “no” to this, and my employer did not expect that. But they had painted themselves in a corner. I was happy to pick Door #2 and requested to be laid off. My company attempted to say I was resigning, but I wasn’t having it. I pointed out their own policy, and it was clear that it was a layoff. They then attempted to “go back to the way things were,” but I also wasn’t having that. Funny thing, my company didn’t have a Plan B for letting my skill set go. They put themselves in a bind (their words) and whatever the solution is will be quite costly for them. I hope they figure things out.

Seeking Knowledge

The average speaking rate is 100 words-per-minute. The average reading speed is 300 words-per-minute. Good readers double that. Reading delivers information efficiently, and fortunately I love books, and love to read.

Of hundreds of business strategy, personal finance, and performance improvement books, just a few stand out. The first book of this type I read as an adolescent was “Winning Through Intimidation” by Robert J. Ringer; the lessons involve how not to be intimidated. The most important one of all has been “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy J. Ferris, which describes a flexible location-based lifestyle I have been living for the past five years. I have been “working from home” for many years, and while productive and saving the company the cost of overhead, I have to say Marisa Mayer is right. These books, among others, helped to change my life for the better.

The last book of this type I read, “How To Engineer Your Layoff”, allowed me a blueprint for putting the title theory into practice. With six months of living expenses I would not have received had I resigned, the results speak for themselves. Examples of relationships I would need to cultivate, persuasive arguments I would need to make, and real practical advice are all included and have paid for the book a thousand times over. Thank you for the book, Financial Samurai.

The Path To Retirement

Since my middle teens, I had determined that working to age 67 in a job I was ambivalent about was not of interest to me. I am not blessed with exceptional talent, work ethic, intelligence, or “secret knowledge.” So, I had to save and invest my way to an alternative, while making plenty of mistakes along the way. (Related: Why Not Just Try Harder To Get Ahead?)

The mistakes are all mine. But my three financial mentors (my father, a high-school teacher, and a more seasoned colleague), all saved me from wasting time and effort by avoiding even more pitfalls. I am in their debt, and have expressed my gratitude to them many times over the years; it was not my entitlement, they gave me a gift. It doesn’t cost anything to say “thank you.”

For a long time, I was fixated on a “Number” that I hoped would be a sufficient ‘nut’ to throw off the income I would need for the rest of my life. Funny thing; with time, wants become needs. And inflation has more than quadrupled since 1975. By the way, a great book on the subject is “The Number” by Lee Eisenberg; very readable, both anecdotal and factual delivery of information. Bottom line, that “Number” turned out to be a moving target and will continue to be so. Not a problem, but it is good to remember and act accordingly.

The Method Towards Financial Freedom

For most of us, the best and fastest way to accumulate the capital needed for Financial Independence is through work. I never had a great-paying, or high-profile job, like our host FS. But I did work a lot, trading time for money, and stuck to an investment discipline. There were times like when I got out of college and unemployment was 10.8% and inflation was 13%, when it didn’t seem to be working out. But perseverance and time are great advantages, when everyone else is giving up, spending stupidly as if this snapshot in time will last forever, and placing all value on the present at the expense of the future.

My investments have been in simple combinations of Equity Index, Intermediate-Term Bond, and Cash instruments. Nothing against Real Estate, Entrepreneurship, and that “X Factor”, but that was not part of my method. Those three, and Equities, are really the only methods to make the jumps in asset accumulation needed to achieve Financial Independence, because they involve Risk but also significant potential Reward. Assessing Risk changes quite a bit as one ages through the system. I’m now ready to stop working, and Risk is not compatible without a work cashflow and a decreasing time period in which to make up losses.

Eliminating Debt is also a big part of my method. In younger years, leveraging smart debt is a good risk because the upside is tremendous. At this point in my life, an extra few potential percentage points of return does not compare well with the potential for loss. With this in mind, eliminating any mortgage, car lease, or other debt service does two things; it reduces my need for cashflow, and eliminates the outstanding risk.

Execution Is Key

After a misfired attempt to leave the rat-race of work ended in humbling frustration five years ago, my wonderful wife and I are trying it again.

The layoff provided me the following advantages to a resignation.
• A formal Performance Evaluation (5 of 5 rating). This will be handy if I ever do need to re-enter a traditional worklife.
• Documentation that the separation is a layoff, not a resignation or termination for cause.
• Filing for State Unemployment Benefits is now expected. I filed the day after final separation, and was approved five working days later.

The annual 401(k) match for 2012 was not made until several weeks after my layoff. Coincidence? Doesn’t matter. I asked for that match, noting that I had worked through 2012 and it would be a shame not to receive the company-wide match, per policy and it has been received. It was not a huge amount, but certainly not small. I am converting my 401(k) funds into an IRA Rollover , as I have done each time I separated from an employer.

Badmouthing my former employer is not on my agenda, as the relationship was mutually fair and profitable until recently. Healthcare was not provided by my employer, so didn’t factor, and severance pay is not something my former employer has indulged in for years. The WARN Act requires 30 days notice for large organizations, but I received two days’ notice. This actually worked in my favor, as the employer-imposed deadline for my decision was intended to pressure me. But my mind had been made up for awhile to get laid off if possible, and it was very much a positive outcome to the situation presented.

One last piece of irony, that is both literally and figuratively delicious…my former employer just sent me a Starbucks card for $5; I won’t have to pay taxes on it, either. It made my wife laugh, and she suggested that I send it back because they might need it more than us. But I’m too cheap. Besides, they wouldn’t appreciate the joke.

My LinkedIn profile is closed, and I spent the weekend tossing decades of work-related files and documents. Liberating. Man, I hope I didn’t just jinx myself and those are yet another of my ‘famous last words’.

So What’s Next?

This is an open question. My wife has a business she is building, and after five years of hard work she is reaching some impressive goals. I do not have a specific plan for my time and effort, and am working on some possibilities. While trying to get something going (i.e. the usual hobbies, volunteer work, etc.), I have run into some headwinds. Turns out the world is not waiting for my amazing talent and personality to fill an obvious void, so I will have to find or create a place for myself going forward.

While I enjoy reading PF blogs, I could not produce the quantity and quality of content I see my favorites produce. I’m not going to move seamlessly into my next chapter. But I have learned that the “absence of bad” does not equal “good”, so simply not having to work anymore will not be enough. But it is a nice start. I am laid off! Thank you, I will accept your congratulations.


Looking to make extra money in between jobs? I’ve recently tried out driving for Uber because they were giving away a free $50 gas card and are currently giving up to a $300 bonus after you make your 20th ride. After 25 hours, my gross pay is $32/hour, which is not too bad! I can see how people can easily make an extra $2,000 a month after commission and expenses with Uber or any ridesourcing company. I’d definitely sign up and drive until at least the bonus . Every time I plan to drive somewhere, like my main contracting gig down in San Mateo, I’ll just turn on the Uber app to try and catch a fare towards the direction I’m going. Why not make extra money?

$32/hour is a huge pay cut for me and it’s a humbling experience as well. But discovering the whole ridesourcing experience first hand is fascinating! I’ve got so many stories to share in the future about my experiences picking up random people. You can make $40,000 a year easily if you work a normal 40 hour a week shift based off my experience.

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship. Sam focuses on helping readers build more income in real estate, investing, entrepreneurship, and alternative investments in order to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later.

You can sign up to receive his articles via email or by RSS. Sam also sends out a private quarterly newsletter with information on where he's investing his money and more sensitive information.

Subscribe To Private Newsletter


  1. says

    While we weren’t able to execute being let go (honestly, I’m not sure we ever could have been fired from our old jobs…), my husband and a I were both able to transition to new jobs in the last 3 months. I am now self-employed and he is basically self-employed. Like you, one of the things that allowed us to do this was to be debt free. Having no debt and low expenses allowed us to take chances that we were not otherwise able to take.

    • JayCeezy says

      @Holly@ClubThrifty Hi Holly, thanks for the shout.
      You and your DH must feel pretty liberated. When you walk down the street, you are President of your world! And that is a pretty good problem to have regarding the job security, you must have been quite valuable.

      That ‘low overhead’ maxim is invaluable. Quite a few of my contemporaries from college found themselves living a life of conspicuous consumption, and the only ones who still live that way 30 years later have family money. The world is changing faster, it seems, and the quality of jobs in the U.S. is declining. Good to hear you have taken control of your own destiny.

    • says

      What both of you did is exactly what I want to do at some point in the relatively near future. Our company has a severance policy of 2 weeks pay for every year of service up to 6 months pay. I am at the maximum so I would receive the same compensation as JayCreezy. I am also working on the side on other internet business opportunities similar to Holly. I know it is not an easy transition, but we are setting ourselves up by staying debt free and building up a large emergency fund. It would be nice to build up that passive income to a point where I could jump off the dock onto my self employed ship and eventually sail off into financial independence. Thanks for the inspiration, I hope to be joining you all soon!

      • JayCeezy says

        FMM, good to hear from you. Internet businesses are great for those who are able to generate content, and enjoy the process. There is a ‘survivor bias’ with PF blogs, and I have known a couple of individuals who started down that road but found it to actually cost them money. One guy did a pro-forma cashflow, and determined that even if he met his goal in three years, he would be better off working part-time in a retail clerk job. So what you, FS, Holly, and the Yakezie network is quite formidable. Keeping good thoughts for you on your journey, that is an amazing severance policy you are looking at.

    • says

      Good job on the self-employment route Holly! Everybody who I’ve consulted with in the beginning say the something similar about not being able to figure out how get let go, until they get let go with a severance! This is where companies have the uppers and with all their lawyers and team of HR personnel. Employees have more rights than they know!

    • JayCeezy says

      Thanks Michelle, congratulations on your preparation and taking control of your worklife. Yes, the circumstances have to be right for leaving; most jobs I have had over the years, I was glad to go and they were glad to see me leave! I think you hit an ‘ouch point’ sooner or later, and that is when it makes sense to switch. Looking forward to hearing about your experience in making that switch!

    • says

      You’ll surprise yourself Michelle about what you can do. Companies hope employees can’t and therefore quit on their own to save money. Good luck on your freelance journey whichever path you take!

  2. says

    Congrats on the engineered layoff! The timing of the business falling on harder times and you feeling comfortable with your number was perfect. I wish I could have seen their face when you told them no to their proposed situation. I’m hoping to engineer my layoff as well in a few years, but it might be a bit more difficult to do. Hopefully things will work out right because a severance package can be a big bonus. Any idea on plans for all your free time?

    • JayCeezy says

      JC, thanks for your good wishes. I really appreciate it. You won’t believe what just happened right today, 16 weeks after separating from my company. They have stayed in touch, and I twice declined a half-@$$ed offer to “come back, like the way things were.” Today I got a call from yet another Principal, and he met everything I asked for! I actually asked for something I knew they couldn’t meet, and my last words were “well, call me when you get a budget.” Now, they have a new contract and nobody qualified, so they call me up like a drunk-and-horny ex-g/f booty-call, without a thought for my dignity! Hahahahahaa, that doesn’t sound quite right, I have sold my pride for the wages of sin many times, I was a consultant after all.

      But my wife just cut straight to the bone: she asked me an ‘ouch point’ question, and I had to say ‘no’. So, I declined; if I said no to this, there is nothing I would say ‘yes’ to.

      Good question on the ‘free time’ issue. That is a problem for me, and has been for awhile. When you are busy and occupied, it seems like there are a ton of volunteer and hobby activities that would be a good fit; turns out, not so much. So, I am working on that while I catch up on decades of sleep deficit and attempt to improve my physical conditioning. We shall see, in the fullness of time.

      • Rob aka Captian and Mrs Slow says

        You do adjust to the free time, I spend five years as a trailing spouse as my wife was a consultant and back then it meant living out of a hotel room for months on end, home for a weekend every 3 or 4 weeks and I got used to it. This was also before wifi became wide spreqd.

        Now after five years of gainful employment I’m back to be a house husband and it’s amazing how fast your day fills doing nothing. By the time I travel with my wife to work (via metro) and the meet her again after work the day is half gone. As the old saying goes how did I find time to work!

        • JayCeezy says

          Thanks for sharing your experience, Rob, that actually sounds like a great life to travel without the responsibilities of a permanent home, and get to be with your wife. The day does fill up, just like you said. FS made a point in another post, that he no longer wants to go out and hit with his tennis compatriots in the evening (when they get off work); he is done with his outside day by early afternoon. I’m finding the same thing, and prefer to avoid the pre/post work rush; I bunch my errands, and it is possible for me to not leave the property more than 2 or 3 times a week. I do spend a great deal of time on the property; we have a few acres where the previous owners did nothing for 30 years. The time I am spending cutting and clearing oaks, grinding stumps, and grooming the grounds, is very meditative. And, probably not coincidentally, I have become a big fan of logging reality shows like “Ax Men.”:-) Thanks again for the encouragement, Rob!

      • says

        Those drunk ex-gf booty calls at 2 am can be good sometimes. You have to do what’s best for you and your wife. If you’re just chasing the money because they’re throwing it at you then you won’t really enjoy the work. I guess there would be the consolation that at least it’s more money but I don’t think you would last long if that’s the only motivation.

        I’m still several years away from FI/ER but I have plenty of things I want to learn more about as well as volunteering opportunities. I haven’t ruled out working but it’s going to be something that I truly enjoy. One thing I’ve been thinking about is working at a restaurant. I really love to cook but my skills aren’t anywhere near chef caliber so it’d be nice to go work in a kitchen and learn more about that. There’s so many subtle things that can take a meal from just another meal to best thing ever and I’d like to learn some of those tricks.

        Depending on how transferrable or relevant your skills are you could go work as a consultant for small businesses in your area. I think that would be a great thing even though you technically wouldn’t be retired anymore. But helping to grow a small business can be pretty fulfilling. Just spouting out some ideas in case you find yourself lacking.

        Congrats again.

  3. says

    Considering I’m early in my career, these are all good things to know. I definitely have a save mentality. A lot of people may think I’m too frugal, but I see the way companies are today. An employees are not a priority, profits are the priority!

    • JayCeezy says

      Que pasa, Mami Loca! Don’t worry about those who think you are too frugal, what they are doing is gently attempting to validate their own choices by getting you to change yours. Your blog is great, you are really seeing the workplace as it is instead of as we all want it to be. I wish I had begun my worklife with your outlook; continued success to you!

    • JayCeezy says

      Thanks, Chris. Are you the ‘Rich In Heart’ Chris? If so, I admire the choices you are making to have a great work/life balance. Some of my biggest regrets in my worklife involve putting a lower priority on people and experiences that I took for granted. Nice to hear from a person who does not take those things for granted!

      • says

        Nah, that’s a different Chris JC. :-)

        And my hat is off to you sir for your accomplishments (debt free, saving and engineering your layoff)!

  4. says

    Congrats JayCeezy! Sounds like you got out just at the right time. Phew! I can’t believe some of your excolleagues were let go via voicemail. Wow. I can’t imagine going through something like that. Best of luck on this new chapter in your life!

    • JayCeezy says

      Thanks, Sydney. I have mixed feelings, kind of like Eric Clapton after he gave up his seat on the helicopter to Stevie Ray Vaughn. FS’s book was quite useful and entertaining, and you have already done a great deal of the book-writing through your documenting topics and adventures that don’t fit into a traditional “Birth/School/Work/Death” existence. If you write an e-Book, I will buy it.

    • JayCeezy says

      Thanks for the shout, Jay, nice to hear from a ‘super-saver’. You are in rare company, and the stories are always interesting and different (and hopefully the outcome is similar!) For many years in my 20s and 30s, I worked a f/t gig, and p/t evenings and weekends. I read some advice from an unusual source: Gene $immons (he trademarked the $, btw, as well as ‘OJ’ as diminutive for ‘orange juice’). He recommended that young men work, and work some more, as it accomplished several things: 1) it keeps you busy and focused so you don’t get into the temptations of leisure; 2) when you work nights and weekends, you are not out spending money; 3) once you get a financial leg up, those habits will allow you to stay up; 4) work is its own reward. Of course, this is all from a guy who sold over 75 million records, has a scrapbook with pictures of 4,000 women, rocks for a living and has a tongue like a strip steak. When I followed Gene’s advice I did well; my mistakes happened when I followed the example of Ace Frehley.:-)

    • JayCeezy says

      Thanks, Jason. Anyone can do it. You are well on your way. I have a lot of empathy for the frustrations and struggle you face, while you keep moving forward. A lot of times, I had to make a ‘sideways move’ or even slipped backwards, in work, finance, personal choices, etc. and it seemed like it might not work out. But it will, of course, and all the groundwork you have already done towards your independence will allow you to wake up one morning very soon, free from the oppressive shackles of ungrateful clients, irritating and nosy colleagues, an employer who doesn’t care about the win-win (just the ‘win’). Looking forward to that day, and hearing your continued story.

  5. says

    Congratulations! This is the best time to figure out what to do next. It is important to lay out a long range plan which may change a few times, but you probably have some goals you want to accomplish. You certainly have the time for it!

    • JayCeezy says

      Thanks for the good thoughts, and better advice! Not to get too far down this rabbit hole, but I have found through hard-learned tuition, that “the absence of ‘bad’ does not equal ‘good'”. I have spent many, many years in attempts to get rid of stressful people, jobs, habits, and environments. And your point to ‘lay out a long range plan’ is well-taken. At one point I had a Bucket List, and it turns out that those experiences were satisfying, but transient. Now, I am struggling to replace the timesucks with constructive pursuits. Thanks for the encouragement!

  6. JayCeezy says

    @Holly@ClubThrifty Hi Holly, thanks for the shout.
    You and your DH must feel pretty liberated. When you walk down the street, you are President of your world! And that is a pretty good problem to have regarding the job security, you must have been quite valuable.

    That ‘low overhead’ maxim is invaluable. Quite a few of my contemporaries from college found themselves living a life of conspicuous consumption, and the only ones who still live that way 30 years later have family money. The world is changing faster, it seems, and the quality of jobs in the U.S. is declining. Good to hear you have taken control of your own destiny.

  7. says

    I’m very pumped for you! It’s such a conflicting feeling to leave an organization after so long. Deep down you realized progress would be limited, and I felt the same way unless I made a move to NYC or HK. The move would be backwards in lifestyle, something I wasn’t willing to sacrifice.

    The the first six months will be filled with glee and some doubt. But as I know you’ve carefully analyzed your finances, you aren’t going to regret the decision. You might flirt with working again even though you don’t need to, but that is to fill the inevitable hold you now have with so much more time.

    Enjoy it and entertain all possibilities!

    • JayCeezy says

      FS, thanks for allowing me to share my story. Lots of doubt! I thought the doors had all closed, but the offer yesterday was everything and more that I had asked for. I love an irony, but not when it is at my expense!:-) Last night I had many dreams, about being stuck in traffic, angry clients unclear on what it is they wanted from me, very Kafkaesque! When I woke this morning, I felt very relieved to be home with my wonderful wife. If I returned, I would simply be resentful and a prisoner of the ‘one more year’ affliction. Gotta admit, I loved it, politely declining to the Principal yesterday with “thanks for thinking of me, but I have moved on to other things.” He replied that he thought I would have “jumped at an offer like this” and immediately increased it, but I nipped that in the bud and did not want him to embarrass himself. But I am still thinking about the “woulda”, and I know he is too!:-) “‘No’ is a powerful word.” – Danny Mora

      Like you and RB40 in your last days on the job, I also had some odd physical maladies. I had read John Sarno’s “Healing Back Pain” when I heard about it on the Stern show in the early ’90s (Stern dedicated his first #1 NYT bestseller to Sarno). Really helped, like your book it took a few readings.

      Also, it turns out my burn rate is much less than I had planned for, and the advantage of being laid off has since increased to eight months. You have made the point that “you need less than you think!” on a number of occasions, and that is proving true for me. Thanks again, looking forward to reading about your adventures and photos in travel!

      • says

        Oh wow, you got another offer! The temptation can sometimes be great to return though so I’m impressed you quickly dismissed it.

        I’ve got loads of pictures and anecdotes to share from Switzerland. Maybe three posts worth, but will probably just make it into one.

        Dr Sarno is the best. Had no idea Stern dedicated his first best seller to him!

        • JayCeezy says

          Yes, funny, this was what I had been trying to accomplish for 4 years but was unable to get someone, anyone, to equate my ‘value’ with my ‘price’. My wife listened to me blather, trying to talk myself into it, and then reminded me of a very likely scenario that would play out almost immediately, and my reaction to it. No thanks!:-) When there is a bus coming down the street, I step up on the curb! Anyway, it is going to be an expensive/difficult problem for my old firm to address, and I wish them well.

          re, Dr. Sarno, in the early ’90s I had trouble with my eyes, and no explanation. Howard had him on the show, and had been seeing Sarno professionally. In a nutshell, Sarno posits that some maladies are exaggerated by the mind (not psychosomatic), in order to distract attention away from another more difficult and sometimes insoluable problem. Stern credited Sarno with allowing him to focus on his real difficulties and address them (or not, sometimes it isn’t possible). Here is what he wrote in 1993’s “Private Parts”…
          To Dr. John Sarno, for ridding me of back pain and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

    • JayCeezy says

      Thanks Sherpa. The ability to generate the content you and other good bloggers provide is something I do not possess. But I am grateful for the opportunity to read PF thoughts and the theory/practice of implementation. If I have a story worth sharing, I will submit a guest post now and then. Thank you for the encouragement, it means a great deal in these early days of doubt!

  8. says

    Congratulation! It’s awesome that I played a small role in your transformation.
    The path to your next chapter in life won’t be easy, but I think you will love it. The freedom from not having to work for someone else is very liberating.
    Good luck!

    • JayCeezy says

      Thanks RB40, much appreciated. Your story fascinated me, still does. It is something everybody dreams of doing what you did (by figuratively slapping the keys down on the desk and quitting a great job you were good at), and both you and FS pulling the ripcord at such a young age is amazing. Can’t tell you how many times I wanted to do it, too. But you really did it. The stress is really one of those “frog in the pot” things, where you don’t notice it until the figurative foot is off your neck. Stress is one of those things, too, that people put on themselves. I always marvel at those who seem OK with their own mediocre performance, missing deadlines, being late, and in general not respecting the time and needs of others; all those things stress me (rightly) and my stress was/is increased when others I am relying on let me down or don’t deliver what they are obligated to do. But I never realized how powerful the negative impact of that stress was, until I let go.

      My full respect to your wife, it is just great to have somebody “on your side” when the chips are down. Continued success to you!

  9. Mike Hunt says

    Congratulations JayCeezy,

    Good for you. I got laid off from a previous company but just saved the severance and kept working. Now at age 40, with our first newborn baby, I am going to hang in there for a little bit longer. But will plan an exit for sure…


    • JayCeezy says

      Thanks, Mike Hunt. I used to read and enjoy the posts of a guy with a writing style similar to yours, Harry Seaward. Hmmmm. Wishing you good times and memories with your new fatherhood. Now that is a tough gig, and it never ends. My Dad has been on the job for 53 years, and he still can’t get rid of me; I’m like a piece of gum on his shoe.:-) So, buckle in for a long ride!

      This experience was a first for me, after decades of struggling to get a keep a job. When I started with my company six years ago, I was one of four with my skillset; as their business book declined, the other three were gone and I was the “last man standing”. Both good and bad. But it was a real drag this last year, when they expected me to not only solve their client problems but also their business model problems by taking less so they could have more. Things are really changing in the U.S. job market, it is amazing and beyond words. You have a sweet setup and nice tax advantages where you are at for the moment, and it will be interesting to learn about your reaction if/when you decide to re-enter the U.S. job market. Even more interested to read about your ‘exit plan’ and execution, when you decide to pull the trigger.

  10. Joe says

    While doing something like this isn’t even remotely on my near or mid term radar, it is certainly refreshing to read your story. You clearly built your personal infrastructure in a manner that makes the experience of being let go a liberating one instead of a devastating one. That’s the key. Preparation.

    Best of luck to you in whatever direction you now choose to go!!

    • JayCeezy says

      @Joe, glad you found the story of interest. You clearly enjoy your work, and are good enough to discuss the technical and managerial aspects of it on your blog. That is ‘gold’, and I hope it doesn’t change for you.

      My worklife has never been one of glamour and accolades and riches. Two awesome quotes come to mind, as I consider my decades in the workplace…

      “Well, time to paste a smile on my face, and plow through this $#@!” – Bill Hicks

      “There is money, waiting for me and nailed to a post. I’m going there to get it.” – Ritch Shydner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *