Christmas Spirit Just Got Killed – I need help

My husband was just laid off.

There was no warning. In fact, as far as we knew, the company was doing great.. until today when they called about half of his company into a “special project meeting” where they read from a special letter from corporate and fired them all. I guess the company’s “go big” idea this year didn’t work and they didn’t let anyone know how much revenue they lost until today.

Lets put this in perspective for all of you. We just bought a house. We have a car payment. We have cancer bills we are still paying off. We have a two-year-old little girl. Christmas is coming up. My income brings us about $250 every two weeks.

We are screwed.

We also now have NO TIES to Utah. (IE: We plan on moving. We don’t really care where.)

For the love of god, please help us find jobs, or income, or something.

Please contact me for more information if you want any about my degree, experience, whatever.

I know this is a desperate post…. but I don’t know what else to do.

Erik has about 12 years experience in data backup and recover and IT and I have a degree in health promotion and nutrition education – but no experience besides an internship in the outreach department of a cancer research center – I got cancer a month after I graduated and am just starting to work again now. I have only been able to find jobs in customer service and office type stuff…. so that’s fine, too.

As per request, I’ve added a donation button to the top right corner of my webpage.

45 Responses

  • So very sorry to read this Sarah. I’ve been through the laid off thing myself, it isn’t easy or fun.

  • Sorry to hear this, Sarah. If I think of anything I will definitely let you know.

  • Where’s the Paypal donate button?

  • Sorry to hear this as well, Sarah. I don’t have any job leads, and not sure what to recommend other than, which I’m sure you’re trolling for ideas. This is a really crappy thing. My thoughts are with you guys. Also, what Kameron said.

  • Also, you might want to post on a page somewhere yours and Erik’s resumes or high-level CVs just so people that *might* know of job openings could inform you guys.

  • SHould I post them here, or somewhere else?

    • If you can add a page to this blog, add one for each (or both on one) and post the links in the comments.

  • Sarah,

    Go to LinkedIn too. Fill out profiles there and start connecting with people. Help us by giving a link to your profiles and/or CV’s so we can point you in the right direction to the jobs you guys are qualified for.

  • holy crap! i’m so, so sorry. omg, i’ve so been there. (well, sans child, but you know what i mean.) again, i’m so, so sorry. [hugs] i feel for you. will spread the word. i wish i could do more, but we’re only just barely out of that hole ourselves. i hate corporations that do this just before the holidays. it’s so f-ing selfish and horrible.


  • It’d be helpful if we knew what industry he was in. I retweeted your plea on Twitter.

    Best of luck.

  • Jeff Patterson

    If you have not already, maintain and update profiles on Linked In. Let us all know when you have so we can “connect.” Best job search in my experience was
    When I was let go I got a six month heath insurance policy through AAA for me and my wife. If was a moderate deductible, and cost about 700. One less worry. YMMV.
    And yes, if you have a paypal account post a link to it.

  • Liana Brooks


    That sucks. I wish I had a company and could hire you. I don’t, and we’re in the middle of moving. Here are some things that might work… <– all the listings for government jobs, maybe something in your field or hubby's, maybe something nearby so you don't have to move over the holidays.

    Depending on hubby's (or your) age an health, there's also recruiting offices for the military in most cities. It's a job that will start pay soon and give your health insurance right away. I know it's not ideal for most people, but keep it as an option.

    Call a temp agency, if you live in a large enough city you should be able to get a temp job. It's a stop-gap measure, and won't include health insurance, but it can help.

    Another stop-gap measure, it's the holiday season and most places are hiring extra workers. It's less than ideal, probably not in your field, and means a serious pay cut in most cases, but something is better than nothing.

    Have hubby post his resume on LinkdIn and, have him start calling people in his industry. I'm not sure how effective those will be, but I know it's how my sister found her job.

  • This is beyond terrible, Sarah. So sorry to hear this. I don’t have useful job leads for you, but I will keep my eyes peeled. You’re getting good advice here — may it serve you well. Good luck!

  • Lisa Paitz Spindler

    The LinkedIn suggestion is a good one. Also, and are good tech job search engines and often include contract positions. For you, can you line up some additional writing gigs? Maybe do some freelance blog/SEO writing?

  • So sorry, Sarah. My husband got unexpectedly laid off right before our son was born back in 2009 and I well remember the shock and worry we endured until he found a new position. I second the suggestions about LinkedIn – my husband put up a detailed resume there back in the day and even now gets calls from recruiters. The Boulder/Denver/Longmont area here in Colorado has many technology companies where your husband might consider looking for a job. My own company isn’t hiring just now but I will ask around among friends. At the very least, he should go check out websites for Xilinx, Oracle, IBM, etc (they all have facilities here). There are many smaller companies here, too…best way to find them is to look at BBB listings for companies in whatever area you’re interested in, then go visit their websites to see if they are hiring. Nutrition/health is pretty big here too (especially in fitness-conscious Boulder, haha!) so there may be jobs for you as well if you look.

  • Just wanted to say I’m so sorry, Sarah. That’s a fucking awful thing to happen at any time, let alone just before Christmas. Thinking of you and hoping something turns up for you. xx

  • Carrie

    I don’t know if this would really fit your husband’s qualifications, but my husband’s job is always hiring talent.

  • Jeff Patterson

    Most tech companies allow you to start an “account” and host up to 5 resumes, each focused on a different discipline. It can be time-consuming but usually yeilds results.

    If anything is his background is applicable to digital media, streaming media/video, or content delivery, that industry is hiring like crazy (that’s how I got hired at verizon)

  • David Bley and have lots of podcasts for frree regarding resume writing, interviewing, using LinkedIn and just about any aspect of employment you can think of. They also have materials that you can purchase. is an agggregator and just about every job that is posted on the web is there. You can post a resume there and you can search by location, job name, and pay range just to name a few. Don’t forget to check your newspaper and craigslist. Also look at temp agencies. Many companies get their fulltime hires from temp workers.

  • This is a very long shot, given that you’re in Utah, and my workplace is in Vermont, but if you’re willing to go completely across the country, we have two job openings that might work:

    Administrative Systems Manager and Client Technology Specialist for Norwich University.

    Job links:

  • Ana

    Hi Sarah,

    I heard about your post on Twitter. First, I’m so sorry your family is going through this. This has happened to my family before (layoff right before Christmas), so I understand how awful it is. 🙁

    First, I would make sure both your and your husband’s profiles are complete and updated on LinkedIn. Since your husband is in tech, I would suggest having him contact a head hunter. I’m not familiar with IT (my husband works in software development), so I can’t recommend one in particular. Maybe someone else in your network could recommend one or two, or ask the HR department at the company your husband was just laid off from. You don’t pay a head hunter for their services. In my experience head hunters get their fee from the company that is looking for employees. It’s a plus that you guys are willing to relocate. Second, if you haven’t done so already, post your situation on Facebook and/or Twitter. Ask if everyone in your network if they know if their company is hiring. Third, file for unemployment immediately. Depending on state, there is usually a bit of lag time between when you file and when you start getting checks, so don’t wait.

    If you don’t mind accepting donations, I would definitely put up a Paypal/donation button. You don’t have to outright ask for money–people often want to do what they can to help, especially at this time of year.

    Last, applying and interviewing for jobs seems to take forever and the wait is the hardest thing. It’s frightening and stressful. I need to feel like I have control over something. If you can, try to focus on what actions you can take (maybe clean out all the junk in the closets in preparation for moving, that sort of thing). Sometimes, that’s the only thing that gets me through that period without going crazy.

    Best of luck on the job search.

  • Jaime Moyer

    I have no idea if this fits, but just saw this on Twitter:

    Systems development engineer at Ohio State University

  • Matt Cavanagh

    I can’t help as I live in the uk but I wish you all the luck.

  • Oh shit… There’s never a good time for being laid off, but this time of year is a particularly bad one.

    I wish I could be more help for you right now. Unless you’re considering a move to Canada, and even so I could really only put in good words for you at places around here, and the job market in this city isn’t so good. There are a couple of good IT places in the city, and the call centre where I work is going to be hiring for quite a few more months (they’re looking at expanding, even). But they’re not exactly jobs that are worth moving to a new country for, and it’s hard to get into a new country unless you already have a job…

    I’ll keep my eyes open for any possibilities I stumble across, though, and let you know.

  • Leigh

    I can only offer sympathies. It was a cruel thing that happened to you, but i know however scary things look right now, you will be surprised how well you will land on your feet. Have faith in yourself. Have courage. And KNOW that things WILL get better!

  • You should absolutely add yourself and your husband to LinkedIn as soon as possible. In his line of work particularly, there are a ton of job postings there, and many recruiters proactively approach tech talent.

    One thing I want to be sure you point out – this blog. This is a great showcase for yourself as a business person. You run it. I assume you created it or at least helped design it. You write reviews on a lot of books. All of those things are business related, and highly positive, items.

    When you write your profile (and your resume) you should try to focus on actual data. Say things like “grew blog followers from 0-1000 in one year”, “post an average of 15 book reviews per month”, “manage intake of 200 submissions per week” (obviously I made those numbers up). etc. Those are the kinds of things that make people realize you can do more than just what a degree says you can.

    I am wishing you all my best and will keep my eyes open for anything that will help.

  • Code42 makes backup software. It’s in Minneapolis, but it does have job openings. I have no idea if any of these are a fit, but here they are:

  • So sorry, Sarah. Been there too, more than once. If you have the time and energy, what about a benefit auction on your site? I for one would gladly donate a signed book and a basket of goodies for you to raffle off…

  • michele

    The economy in Seattle is very good. People I know are getting hired left and right. If you are able to move and want new jobs you can probably find something pretty quickly in the Seattle area.

  • Jared


    I sent you a PM via your Facebook page in addition to commenting here.

    Obviously, I can’t make any promises but I do work for a company headquartered in the Seattle metro area and we are always hiring, including many positions in IT. Check that PM for more specific information.

  • Very sorry to hear this. I can relate. At the company I worked at for the past three years I found my notice of termination – or lay off notice … whatever you want to call it – in my boss’s printer at the end of this October. It was a classy way of getting laid off, I’ve been unlucky in that I haven’t found a full time job since.

    One suggestion I haven’t seen mentioned while skimming through these posts is signing up for a temp agency. Not sure what’s around Utah – I’m living in Chicago – but that might be able to help you find some quick financial relief/get your foot in the door with a company.

    It’ll be hard to find work until the first of the year when companies start hiring again, but best of luck to you and your husband on job hunting.

  • Have your husband give BNSF Railway a try, The Railway is throughout the country and has an enormous computer network. I am a retired Locomotive Engineer and know that the Company is known to always be on the look out for people to bulk up its huge and growing IT sections throughout its Rail network. Good luck. PS, if nothing in IT, being a Locomotive Engineer was a great way to earn a very good living and pension.

  • Crap! So sorry to hear this. I did a quick search at the local university’s job page. They always seem to have IT jobs open, not sure if any fit Erik’s qualifications, but here’s a link:

    Lots of Java related jobs. The UCD Health Center also has openings fairly often.

    Fingers crossed for you all. If you do come this way, look me up. I’ll do what I can to help you get settled.

  • Matthew Crocker

    The only thing I have that you haven’t thought of is that my work is also hiring a Field Service tech. Don’t know the pay, offhand, but I can ask if Erik is interested. (The Web Developer position was just filled this week, FYI.)

  • Matthew Crocker

    Oh, and: He needs to file for unemployment ASAP. Did he get any kind of severance package?

  • Oh that business is terrible. This time of year and no warning. Geez. I feel for you. Do hope you find the escape to a new place soon.

  • I’m very sorry. We had that happen just after my little sister was born. Laid off at Christmas with no warning, my mom had no job, and three kids – one of whom was an infant. You will get through it.

    Anyway, you have a degree. While you shop for other jobs, have you looked into substitute teaching? You won’t make a ton but you will be able to make money (and a bit more since you have a degree) and while you’re there you can bring your laptop and apply for jobs and such. It’s also very flexible so you can either work everyday or not. Go to your county school’s website and see if you can get in now. It’s so close to the holidays tons of people are taking time.

  • This is awful news, Sarah. It’s never good to get this kind of bombshell, but doubly shitty when it’s this close to the holidays. Hope all the great pointers above help to turn something up quickly for you and Erik.

    Best wishes from across the Pond.

  • So sorry to hear your family is going through this! Some places you or your husband may want to look for jobs are and The latter is contract work, but would enable you to make money now rather than later.

    I’ll also be sending an email about the company I work for. We have remote positions available as well.

  • Here’s an opening in IT at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts:

    If the link doesn’t take you directly to the post, look for “Systems and Applications Manager” in the dropdown box.

  • Carol Berg

    So very sorry to hear this. I second Courtney’s advice. Google, LSI, and Western Digital are also in the area. HP has Colorado locations, along with spinoffs Agilent and Avago. And there are always startups around. Best wishes for a quick rebound!

  • I know Utah’s not an idea place for you, but I had good success working for one of the Multi-level Marketing companies. It’s not in the sales part, but in corporate. They are almost always hiring customer service and IT people and they have decent benefits after a couple months. I worked for Synergy Worldwide which is a subsidiary of Nature’s Sunshine and a really great place to work, in Pleasant Grove and Spanish Fork respectively. I knew tons of people who worked for Xango and I know Mona Vie is there in Utah as well. I can definitely put a good word in for you guys at Synergy. I’m looking for work myself, so I can’t help much more than that as whatever I’m doing is definitely not working.

    I’m so sorry for this news, but you seem to be the expert at complications. I know I couldn’t do half of what you’ve had to deal with lately AND run an extremely successful blog AND write for a thousand other blogs and places AND write stories AND be extremely awesome.

  • Nina

    Kaiser Permanente in the Denver area is putting in a big IT center and may still be hiring. Check their jobs web site. Good luck!

  • Oh Sarah, I’m so sorry to hear that. What a crappy thing to happen at Christmas. Very best of luck with the job search *hugs*

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