I wrote this article about a month after being laid off from Nortel in 2008. It was before I realized how lucky I was to get laid off at that time. Getting severance paid was a massive thing for me.
The Finality of Severance
As of Tuesday, October the 30th, 2008, I was officially no longer an employee of Nortel. The “severance machine” started grinding that past Friday. The portion of my severance I elected to take that year appeared in my bank account. My first reaction was shock seeing that value in my bank account.
After panicking that my instructions had not been followed for my severance (they had), I calmed down, became my usual philosophical self, and started hearing that old Peggy Lee song, “Is that all there is?“. Twenty years of my life summed up in a bank entry (a five-digit bank entry, so I am not complaining about the sum itself). It just seems so final.
Over my twenty years at Nortel, I have met and worked with some of the most amazing people. I have seen technological changes that staggered me when I think about how life was before these technological “miracles.” I have had four children, and many beautiful things have happened. Many sacrifices were made for work. In the end, I have one line in a Bank Statement to sum it up.
It could be worse. I know people that don’t even have one line in their bank account.
To The Folks, I Leave Behind
My other regret is I never got to send a “So Long and thanks for all the fish” e-mail. For those still on the inside at Nortel, please treat this posting as my “You’ve been a great group of folks to work with” posting. I learned a lot at Nortel. Let’s see if it is true that Nortel/BNR was a “great place to have worked at.”
With Severance in Hand Now, the Hard Part
I need to get a new job (some prospects) soon. I can then apply this package to some serious financial planning and debt reduction schemes. Finding a job these days is not simple; I have learned a lot but still have more to learn.
I leave you with this one factoid I have learned, 80% of jobs are found through networking, so simply applying to a plethora of employment is not enough. You must go out and market yourself and “press the flesh” like a politician to find your next job.
Nortel related articles
- On Being Laid Off (a 10 year retrospective) what had I learned the 10 years after getting laid off.
- A Year Ago, written a year after that day I was laid off luckily I was waiting to start a new job
- Sometimes it’s better to be lucky a retrospective about how lucky I was to get laid off when I did. Read on to find out why.
- Pensions and Severance an important topic I took from my layoff from Nortel.
- Twenty Years in One Line is what my severance letter did. My 20 years are summed up in a sentence.
- Financial Issues With Severance what do you do with your severance if you have options? If you get severance as well.
- On Being Laid Off my explanation of being laid off from Nortel, a day or two afterwards.
- Nortel Still Paying Out? Really, well not that much.
Twenty years is indeed a long time. Best wishes in getting into another line 🙂
Good luck. I’ve enjoyed your series on the matter.
Best of luck. It could be worse, you could still be working at Nortel. 😉
Good luck on life post-Nortel. I think you’ll find many new and interesting opportunities.