I just got fired from Microsoft after only 3 months of work

  • Tiana Watts-Porter is a 25-year-old tech recruiter who started at Microsoft in May.
  • Watts-Porter was laid off this week and has had to look for a job so she can look after her mother.
  • This is Watts-Porter’s story as told to writer Fortesa Latifi.

As I said, this essay is based on a conversation with Tiana Watts-Porter, a 25-year-old Dallas tech recruiter who was fired from Microsoft. Watts-Porter’s hiring and firing was confirmed by Insider, and when contacted for comment, Microsoft did not respond. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

I started working at Microsoft as a Senior Tech Recruiter in May. But just four months later, I’ve already lost my job due to the latest round of tech layoffs that have swept the industry.

When I reported to work on Monday, several colleagues told me that there were layoffs and they were affected. I immediately had the feeling that I would be affected. Why should I be the exception?

As a contractor at Microsoft, I was on an 18-month performance-based contract, but the layoff ended my contract more than a year early.

The thing about layoffs is they can feel indiscriminate

You can be a great employee with exemplary accomplishments and still be impacted. I think companies are trying to prepare for the worst: a possible upcoming recession.

Tiana Watts-Porter, who wears long red hair and a light blue hat.

Courtesy of Tiana Watts-Porter

After the pandemic, many companies didn’t recover the way they wanted, and one way to adjust is through layoffs. Just look at how many high-profile tech layoffs this year: from Better to Tesla Robin Hood to Microsoft. Layoffs are becoming increasingly common in our industry.

When I first realized that I might be released, I immediately called my mother and we prayed together. After an unfortunate health incident last year, I am largely responsible for looking after my mother and I wanted her to know that no matter what, she would take care of her.

I don’t care if I need to be a delivery driver or start doing Lyft and Uber rides. I’ll make sure my mother doesn’t leave without it. It helped us to pray together. My faith in God gives me hope. I know that God will see through me.

It was easier for me to find work as a Microsoft contractor than as a full-time employee

It is Technology companies increasingly rely on contractors, and as a job seeker, it’s often easier to find temporary work than a full-time position. But it’s also difficult because you don’t have the stability and continuity of a full-time job.

I’ve even found that when interviewing for full-time positions, they see that I’ve been a contractor in the past and are more apt to hire me in that role. But it’s really difficult to be a contractor because people don’t realize that contractors have as much if not more experience than full-time employees.

I’m a Senior Tech Recruiter with eight years of experience specializing in executive and executive recruiting. But when layoffs come Contractors are often the first on the chopping block.

I wish people would understand that no matter how many or how few people are affected by the layoffs, they are life changing

Some people may find a new job within a week, others may be unemployed for months. After my last few years of experience in the job market, I don’t believe in company loyalty. I stopped believing in it because I know I’m just a number to every company I work for.

In previous generations, people were told to graduate from college and get a good job, then work there until they retire and cash out their $401,000 accounts. But it just doesn’t work that way anymore. If companies have no loyalty to their employees, we should have no loyalty to them.

I’m worried about my future, but I’m doing everything I can to make sure it’s safe

I want to get to the next opportunity as soon as possible so my mother knows she is taken care of. And though I worry, I find peace in knowing that God has already determined my future and will not lead me astray.

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