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If I … Am About to get Laid off By Sun/Oracle

Posted on Jan 28, 2010 in Featured, If I... |

If I … Am About to get Laid off By Sun/Oracle

So Larry Ellison railed into a UBS analyst who claimed that there were to be mass layoffs topping 13,000 employees from the Sun side of the Oracle/Sun merger. Apparently all that is hogwash says the CEO who’s boss Charles Philips just got busted cheating on his wife — Oracle is going to *hire* about two thousand employees and trim the Sun team to a lean fiscal machine. I’m not claiming that Ellison or the poor stomped-on analyst are lying, but I am saying that if you’re in Silicon Valley, you know all this is bullshit. Everyone knows that Sun employees — both recently laid-off and about-to-be-toast ones — are putting together their resumes faster than you can say “Larry Lies.”

Whats a Sunner to do? If I was about to get laid off by Sun/Oracle, I would:

1. Beef up your Social Media personal brand. Add everyone you’ve got from your Sun/Oracle network. Join LinkedIn and start jabbering industry talk. I don’t mean gossip, I mean your.specific.expertise. Get inspired by Ryan Kuder’s Yahoo! Layoff — I’m not saying to Pull a Kuder, I’m just saying, get involved in the process of being layed-off. Be an adopter to an industry of job-seekers flooding the marketing from your former employer. Be real and honest and knowledgeable to your network about the merger, the layoffs and your recent need for a new gig. Get top of mind to the people you know (who could be potential employers) by using real-time communication tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

2. Remember, you are not a victim, you’re an (ex)employee. When the bubble burst here in Silicon Valley, all kinds of creative outlets popped up. My favorite were the LemonHeads. These folks had been layed-off and determined to make lemonade from their mutual predicament. They met at mountain biking trails around the Bay Area and rode hard. I thought it was brilliant: a cheap way to network! They talked about opportunities, referred one-another for gigs, talked industry to keep their minds sharp and got an endorphin rush from the exercise to feign off depression. You’re about to be layed-off, not because you were screwing the boss’s wife (or maybe you were, but that’s another If I… blog post), but because the industry is consolidating down to get lean and move forward. Call yourself the Rays of Sun or the Sunbeams or some positive-minded kitchy thing like that. Find something for you and your Sun buddies to do outside, something active and fun. Couldn’t you use a little fun right now?

3. Do not bash your former employer. Do I need to go on about this one? Sun and Oracle have been around a long, long time. There are some amazing products, incredible brains that have gone through those doors. Respect it. When I left Yahoo!, I still bled purple and yellow and I always will. I love the company that brought me so much learning, so many great colleagues, so much opportunity. Don’t write blog posts or cryptic mean tweets about the trade secrets or insider info or anything at all inflammatory to bash Sun and especially, not Oracle. Remember, Silicon Valley is a very small town and you don’t want to be the negative one shoveling fresh shit on an already steaming pile.

4. Don’t panic. Follow these steps (a) Clean up. Clean up your resume, your social media outlets, clean your desk drawer and your hard drive. (b) Breathe. The stress of layoffs sucks. Take time to get your mental house in order. Visit a friend, go camping, go on a road trip, let your kids play hooky from school and go to the beach to make sandcastles. (c) Make a plan. Where do you *want* to work? For whom? With whom? Where? Target where you want to be. (d) Get the book The Promise. I don’t care if you think it’s crap, it’s still inspirational. Visualize your next job, tell yourself It Will Be. And then be careful, because you might just get what you’re looking for.

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