Here is What I Learned After Surviving 5 Layoffs

Usman Aslam
3 min readFeb 28, 2024
Image by ArtemisDiana

Hey there, career warriors! Can we talk real for a moment?

Surviving not one, not two, but five layoffs since 2009 has been a rollercoaster ride of epic proportions.

So, let me spill the beans on the nitty-gritty of what these wild twists and turns have taught me, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find a nugget of wisdom in there for your own journey.

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1. You’re not just a name, you’re a number

Picture this: you’ve poured years of hard work and dedication into a company, thinking you’re part of the family.

Well, newsflash, my friend, in the corporate dance of layoffs, you’re just a digit on a spreadsheet. Ouch, right?

Lesson one — don’t let the illusion of job security cloud your judgment. Understand that you’re as secure as a sandcastle during high tide.

2. Gut punches are a part of the game

Back in 2009, I took a hit that felt like a gut punch echoing through every facet of my life.

But here’s the kicker — it wasn’t just about me.

A close friend and colleague, with 13 years invested in the company, lost everything in the aftermath. Home, job, security — all wiped away.

Lesson two — the corporate storm doesn’t just affect your 9 to 5; it can reshape your entire world.

3. Embrace the side hustle

When the job market post-layoff resembles a barren wasteland, consider the power of a side hustle.

My buddy ventured into a contract gig, and surprise, surprise — it became his beacon of hope.

Lesson three — don’t underestimate the potential of…



Usman Aslam

Ex-Amazonian, Sr. Solutions Architect at AWS, 12x AWS Certified. ❤️ Tech, Cloud, Programming, Data Science, AI/ML, Software Development, and DevOps. Join me 🤝