Finding My Way Back to Art After Being Laid Off

Two Book Recommendations for Finding Yourself When Lost

Jesse Ruiz (she/they)
6 min readJun 12, 2023

By Jesse Ruiz

Photo by Maksym Kaharlytskyi on Unsplash

Is it a blessing or a curse to be laid off? Most people that I spoke with since being laid off have told me that I would look back on this time as a blessing. But to the contrary, many people on the anonymous professionals app, Blind, have been hopeless and unhappy with layoffs. I have spent the past 12 weeks digging deep into questions about purpose, meaning, time management, philosophy and creativity. I asked myself questions like: what makes me happy? What work will bring me peace and alignment? What does my creative work look like in a world where I do not have to work a normal 9–5 job?

In my process of coming to terms with being laid off, I have decided to quit tech forever. I’m happy that I was laid off but honestly it has taken three months of uncertainty, fear and struggle to arrive at this point of clarity and alignment. I want to share this message to challenge tech workers out there to ask deeper questions if faced with a similar situation. This is an opportunity to conceive of the future with some degree of liberty. Although I will not be so crass as to suggest that this is possible for everyone, my contention is that being laid off comes with not only a protected status but also requires a…