I was laid off from my dream job at LinkedIn

I was laid off from my dream job at LinkedIn, now I work at Google.

Down Angle Symbol A symbol in the form of an angle pointing downwards. Mariana Kobayashi in front of the LinkedIn logo Mariana Kobayashi

  • Mariana Kobayashi was fired from LinkedIn in May 2023.
  • After traveling for six months, she got a better-paying job at Google.
  • Kobayashi said the layoff was heartbreaking but taught her not to make the work so personal.

This is an essay based on a conversation with Mariana Kobayashi. The following has been edited for length and clarity.

I learned that I will be laid off from LinkedIn in May 2023.

It was a company I had always wanted to join and it felt like my dream job.

Before accepting my graduate program in July 2022, I was rejected from several other positions at LinkedIn. In the meantime, I had other jobs, but it all felt like my journey was leading into the world of technology. I think I've formed an image of LinkedIn as the ultimate, god-like place in the industry.

I felt very comfortable there and was shocked when the layoffs happened. Since I don't watch the news, I wasn't up to date with the gossip. The email landed in my inbox out of the blue.

In that one day it felt like everything had changed.

At first I was just shocked and confused because I felt like I hadn't done anything wrong. I did my job well and was very satisfied with the company. It felt like part of my identity had been ripped away from me because I had built this job as a dream, even unconsciously, and now it was slowly fading.

Living in a bubble

I later realized that I had been living in a bubble while working at LinkedIn.

I went to the gym there, I went to the office every day, my friends all worked there and even my partner worked there at one point. I wondered who I would be without my job and what success really meant. When my friends reached out to me, I felt like I had nothing to add to the conversation because I was no longer doing what was worthwhile.

Mariana Kobayashi learned in May 2023 that she was fired from LinkedIn. Mariana Kobayashi

The experience has taught me not to tie my self-esteem to my job or to commit myself so much to one company again.

It seemed like LinkedIn could have prevented the layoffs by making better hiring decisions. It definitely felt like they hired too many people in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and were unprepared for difficult economic times.

Layoffs have a major impact on company culture. Many of my friends who worked at LinkedIn and Google have also quit their jobs in the last eight months because of the bad mood.

Layoffs can be an opportunity

My best advice to those who are being laid off is to use this as an opportunity. At some point something will come along that suits you better.

I look at myself now and am proud of everything that happened. I've advanced two levels in my career – which wouldn't have been possible if I had stayed at LinkedIn – my salary has almost doubled, and I'm at a company that's a much better fit for me.

After traveling for six months, Kobayashi got a better-paying job at Google. Mariana Kobayashi

After I was laid off, I decided to travel and ended up getting a job at Google's Dublin office.