They shared their layoff heartbreak on LinkedIn. Then it went viral.

by Jacob Solomon Feb 5, 2023 News
They shared their layoff heartbreak on LinkedIn. Then it went viral.

With its references to pop culture, timeliness, and a photo of a handsome young man on a swing, it was destined to go viral.

Today is Colin Burke's last day at the company. Thousands of teammates and friends were laid off this morning.

Burke announced his search for "all things" brand marketing or social impact after documenting his time as a social impact marketing hire. He said to reach out with any opportunities or give him his information.

Burke received close to 2,000 private messages offering job tips and interviews after he posted a post. Burke says that there is a template for people being laid off. I didn't know what I was doing back then.

Since launching as a job search site, LinkedIn has become a social network. imbuing their professional persona with their personal life has become equal parts commonplace and beneficial. Building a personal brand even if you are an accountant has been done. The "laid off" posts, which have been flooding feeds in recent weeks and heightening everyone's anxiety, epitomize that shift.

For a recently laid off worker desperate to find a new job, Burke's experience is almost too good to be true. The phenomenon is not as rare as it used to be. As hundreds of thousands of layoffs grip knowledge industries like tech, media, and finance, workers are turning on each other on the site where their future boss is most likely to see them.

According to data provided to Fortune, the number of posts mentioning layoffs increased by 22% from November to December. The number of "open to work" posts grew 22% over the course of two years. More than 18 million global members have added the "open to work" frame to their profile photo.

The trend makes sense to the dean of the business school. Gen Z will make up 25% of the workforce by the year 2025. That has removed the shame that older generations might have felt about layoffs.

The power of a well-timed personal story

One of the 2,800 people laid off by Peloton was Burke. He wanted to thank the people he worked with, but he also knew the value of a personal story.

He says you need to think about how grateful you are for the experience as you write. Hours after I was laid off, I wrote it.

Nikita Kulkarni was laid off from her job atInstagram in December of 2022, after three years at the photo sharing website. She got the email around 7 a.m. She dashed off a short post with less flair than Burke did. She didn't have a model to work off of and the only other post she saw was her coworker's.

She says that she added metalayoffs to increase the reach and hit publish. The post has been liked and commented on by many people she knows and her coworkers.

Layoffs are advised to pause before sharing. She says you should not discount the emotional impact of being laid off. It's not the time to bash your former employer, it's the time to put forward the knowledge and skills and confidence you've gained and will bring to your next job opportunity

Workers should strike while the iron is hot, according to the convention. Some laid off young people are not rushing to share their story on social media. She was laid off from her job at the agency. She was inspired to write her own story by a friend who shared her own story.

She says she took on a more serious tone in her attempt to match the style ofLinkedIn. O' Neall has not been able to press publish because of that. People who know me would be curious about what happened to her. She says she didn't know that she started drinking the corporate drink.

Burke's posts depict a measure of certainty she is not sure she has. She says that you need to be like, "Hello, I'm unemployed, but I'm so passionate about my job and am looking for something in this industry" onLinkedIn. I'm not there.

Posting may not lead to a job, but it helps break the layoff stigma and forges connections

As the workforce changes, the LinkedIn layoff posts will become more acceptable. She doesn't think they will replace the traditional application process completely, but they will still account for more technical details. She says that the posts on LinkedIn help job hunters get to know each other.

That can be testified to by Kulkarni. She used the old-fashioned way after interacting with people who contacted her from her post. She says being laid off makes people feel sympathy because they want to help.

On the day before our interview, Kulkarni spoke with a recruiters from a large tech company who said they would speed up the interview process if she were laid off. If it weren't for my post, they wouldn't know that. Historically there has been a stigma. The stigma is going to be flipped on its head. We can't all be bad at our jobs if a lot of people have been laid off.

She says that Gen Z talks about mental health and grief in a way that is easy to find online, whereas her father talks about secret shame.

The old fashioned way to apply for a job as a brand manager at Nike was to use his resume and cover letter. He suggests anyone who has been laid off to make a post on the professional networking site.

He says that being laid off is similar to being in a spreadsheet. It really sucks, especially with Gen Z, because we're so conditioned to think we're unique, but remind you that you're not.

She thinks she would have great success with a post, despite the shame she feels about her layoff. She concedes that she will give in if neither of them comes up with an offer.

She says she knows it works, but it's so weird that it's just a website. I was wondering why I was scrolling through this. I don't understand why I can't escape this. It's cringe, but it works.