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- Laid-off Google employees have flocked to Discord to vent and seek financial advice.
- Almost 18,000 people are currently on the Discord server called “Google Post-Layoffs.”
- Laid-off engineers told Insider Discord gave them a way to communicate with their ex-colleagues.
Google employees who were recently laid off have joined a Discord server to get emotional support and financial tips after departing from the tech giant.
“Google Post-Layoffs” has more than 17,800 members, comprised of laid-off Google staff, current employees, former workers who left prior to the job cuts, recruiters, and journalists.
The Discord server was created on January 20 — the day Google announced around 12,000 roles would be cut from its workforce, said Zac Bowling, a laid-off engineer who worked at Google for nearly eight years. It gained 5,000 members in a day and has accumulated thousands more since, he said.
There are hundreds of channels on the server, he told Insider. Some channels are set up for specific teams, others are for different Google offices, he added.
There are also channels where employees can seek advice around severance and taxes, mental-health support, and information about the Alphabet Workers’ Union. Bowling said there are even channels where former Google workers can help laid-off staff find new jobs, set up mock interviews, and review résumés.
“It gave us a way to at least communicate with our teams, but also each other, to figure things out and to have some connection,” Bowling said, adding that he felt “immediately isolated” after his layoff.
Insider has reviewed the Discord server and viewed screenshots of the various groups. There is now a verification system in place that only allows verified Googlers to access certain private channels.
From frustration to finance
Chris McDonald, a four-year Google engineer who was also laid off, told Insider he was a member of the Discord group. The conversations range from people being upset and frustrated to those seeking practical and financial advice, he said.
“There’s been a lot of discussion, venting, and emotional processing,” he said. “It’s definitely very touching to see a lot of people are coming together to support each other very quickly over a tough moment.”
Talking with colleagues has been “very fruitful” for McDonald’s “emotional solace” after being laid off, he said.
On top of the Discord server, employees have created a Google doc spreadsheet where they track who was laid off and which departments were affected the most, ex-staff told Insider.
McDonald said he was aware of the spreadsheet but wasn’t sure how useful it would be for employees to dwell on post-layoffs, adding that it could cause more frustration.
Google didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.