I Got Laid Off and Hired in the Same Month. Here are 4 Takeaways

Brian Jenney
4 min readMay 21, 2024
Now I can follow my life’s purpose and launch that startup the world needs: Uber, but for cats!

I will be officially laid off this month. You know the drill: Zoom call, locked out of systems, thanks for your service. So sad, too bad.

I just verbally accepted an offer yesterday — weeks before my official separation date.

It’s worth mentioning that I have 25k+ followers on LinkedIn, 10 years of experience and connections in the industry. This makes my strategy different than yours.

Or does it?

I’ve switched jobs 5 times in the last decade. I’ve interviewed at nearly 100 companies including Google, Facebook, Coinbase, Capital One and startups throughout Silicon Valley.

I’ve bombed a ton of interviews.

I’ve also nailed a lot of them.

Surprisingly, the job search as junior developer, mid-level, senior and beyond has been nearly the same.

Here are some themes I noticed throughout my job searches, including this one:

  1. Recruiters get a lot of hate but are critical to success
  2. LinkedIn is a necessary evil
  3. Interview research can make or break your interview
  4. There are certain questions which always come up

Whether you are looking for your 1st or 7th role as a developer, I think you will find this helpful.

Do you want to learn to code, get hired and hopefully not fired? Join me at Parsity.io

Recruiters aren’t your friends but they’re not your enemy either

Can we stop with the recruiter hate already?

I get it.

They ghost you.

They saw you’re a JavaScript developer and then sent you a position for a Java developer. Whomp whomp.

The reality is that they are mostly non-technical people searching through a sea of developers who match a few keywords some manager told them to look for.

I have 25k followers on LinkedIn. I have to assume this helped me, but the recruiters who found me were NOT connected to me. Most had no clue I was a talking head on the platform.

In order to be found easily, I have keywords sprinkled throughout my job history and posts.

Once laid off, I audited my profile to make sure things like Redux, JavaScript, TypeScript, AWS and other tech was represented. I want to make it easy for a recruiter to see that I’m a fit for jobs using those technologies.

You got to play the LinkedIn lotto

Cruising the job section of LinkedIn can feel intimidating.

500 applicants!

There’s no way they’ll pick me. Aarghhhhh.

I was a manger on the other end of that button recently. We had hundreds of applicants… who clicked on the button at least.

Most were unqualified or ineligible.

25 applicants actually made it to my desk.

2 were chosen.

The odds aren’t always great but, like the lotto, you can’t win unless you play.

I applied to less than 20 jobs via easy apply. None resulted in an interview.

Also — if I was seriously looking, I’d be 5x’ing that number. Those are rookie numbers.

I followed up with managers, CTO’s and engineers for roles and companies I was actually interested in. Most people won’t do this.

I even made a video on it you can watch here.

Hack your interview

There’s too much to study for technical interviews which leads most people to randomly practicing on popular sites like LeetCode or CodeWars.

Try this instead:

  1. Ask the recruiter or manager what the interview will consist of. Technical, behavioral, staring contest perhaps?
  2. Look on Glassdoor, TeamBlind and Reddit for previous questions.
  3. Find the company values and casually include them when they ask why you want to work there.
  4. Write down the stories you plan to tell…

There are a few stories which ALWAYS come up in interviews… don’t freestyle them

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Tell me about a technical project.
  3. How do you handle conflict?
  4. An example of leadership.

Don’t freestyle these questions. I literally write down a few examples that highlight my experience as a developer, manager and technical lead.

Most interviews are remote nowadays so it’s so much easier to use your notes without it being obvious.

Use this pattern:

<role> + <problem> + <your solution using tech> + <outcome>


“As a senior developer at my last company, we had an issue with code duplication across multiple sites. I created a shared UI library using React components as well as led the NPM versioning strategy that allowed the team to create features in 1/3 of the time.”


I’m a cornball. I cannot help it.

You must find a way to be optimistic.

There are too many articles and posts on social media about nightmare scenarios.

There’s a reason these stories gain so much attention — they’re interesting, emotional and importantly — unusual.

Here are some fax — no cap (I apologize, my son typed part of this):

  • People are getting hired.
  • Getting the first developer role always sucks.
  • Tech jobs pay a lot. If it takes longer to get your first role, it’s probably still worth it.

Ultimately, your path towards the first job will be YOUR path. Re-think your strategy if it doesn’t work and take what makes sense from people who have made it.

Good luck my friend.

Join me at Parsity.io to learn to build software then get hired, maybe fired and hired again!



Brian Jenney

full-stackish developer, late bloomer coder and power google user and owner of Parsity.io