When Google told 12,000 employees they were out of a job last week, there were a lot of feels, understandably. Some workers were confused about why they had been laid off. Others were frustrated. Some ex-Googlers were grateful to have even had the opportunity at all.
We learned all of this and more not from interviews to news outlets—only a few former employees gave those—but rather from TikTok, where the workers seemingly went to unload, find support, and assure the world that they would keep going. They were vlogging their layoffs and what came afterwards.
While sharing that you were laid off on social media isn’t new—folks have been sharing their personal layoff stories on Facebook and Twitter for years—posting “Day in the Life” TikToks feels different. Seeing someone talk about a difficult time in their lives and addressing issues like what they’ll do next, where they’ll live, and what they’re doing to find their next job just lands differently in a short video.
Given how we live in an online world of fake, filtered messages, seeing everyday people talk about how they’re handling a layoff is a rare moment. In a way, the vlogs from ex-Googlers highlight how so many of us are on the same level, reminding us that anyone can get laid off, even those that worked behind Google’s mighty and multicolored doors. Anyone can have a bad time during a layoff, even if they seemed to have it all together. Most importantly, anyone can take concrete steps to get back up.
“I know that in this time when backed up against a corner, this is when amazing things get built,” Rebekah Moran, a pregnant Google employee who worked at the company for 9 years, said in a TikTok. “I have a 2-year-old son and I have a little girl that I’m going to meet soon. This is the time to really show and demonstrate what it means to flourish during uncertainty.”
Click through to check out some of the TikToks posted by ex-Google workers and join us in sending them good vibes during this tough moment.