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Redundant Google Employee Emphasized Optimism During Hardship

Mass layoffs have created havoc worldwide as people struggle to find work due to fear of global recession. It is not easy to come to terms with losing a job as it takes a toll on various aspects of life and across multiple dimensions of health and well-being.  However, perception of the situation and path chosen to approach the situation can determine the inner environment and peace while moving towards the solution.

Amidst multiple stories associated with layoffs, Ali Neil, a US- based google engineer, emphasized on finding positivity while struggling with hardship. This was evident from her post where she mentioned that the news did come as a shock to her but she is proud of the time she spent at google and will continue to give 110% in whatever she chooses to do in future. Uncertainty about the future is “comfortably unsettling” though she also acknowledged that there is still a lot that needs to be explored. 

Her statement about the company being an entity and not an identity, further reflects hope and optimism about the situation. Such a stance underlines the importance of not merging personal identity with a firm in a way that it becomes hard to overcome unforeseen events associated with losing a job.  She also expressed gratitude toward all the members and managers for having a great impact on her. 

Being on a mental health leave, Neil’s example inspires humanity to find meaning in suffering which in turn largely determines thoughts, feelings, actions, and coping strategies undertaken to deal with tiring or challenging circumstances. Certain periods in life make it difficult to understand why we are placed in a specific situation or the suffering doesn’t seem to make any sense. While going through such periods it becomes important to inculcate acceptance that “okay, it’s happening for a reason and there must be something that I have to learn from it”. 

While dealing with adversities, there is a tendency to fall on three cancers of the mind (comparison, complaining, and criticism), none of which contribute to growth or ease out the solution in any way. These three factors further deteriorate the mental strength required to stay equanimous while acting upon the solution. Besides what an individual can and should do on their part, the companies have tantamount responsibility to evaluate the impact on employees’ mental health particularly during adversity and upheavals. With huge setbacks due to layoffs, the companies and higher authorities should evaluate the toll taken and ensure efficient management of the same. 

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