Googler fired after 15 years says 'golden handcuffs' kept her there

Googler fired after 15 years says ‘golden handcuffs’ kept her there

  • A program manager fired by Google said the company’s salary and benefits made it difficult for him to leave.
  • Jennifer Vaden Barth told Insider that she played it “extremely safe” in the business.
  • She described struggling to remove Google’s “golden handcuffs”.

A Google executive fired after nearly 15 years with the company said she saw being fired by the tech giant as an opportunity because she was being held back and had started “playing things extremely sure”.

Jennifer Vaden Barth, a 54-year-old program manager who joined Google in 2008 and has held several positions at the company, told Insider she was one of 12,000 people affected by collective redundancies in January, saying job cuts like Google’s are “particularly hard” on women, let alone over-40s like her.

She wrote in a LinkedIn position that dealing with “rough corporate management” like this is a struggle for women her age.

“It is not for nothing that these layoffs have particularly affected women, especially women over 40, including me,” she wrote. “This is the time when we are at the top of our game and it is a mistake not to have accomplished women in the workforce at all levels and in all sectors, especially in leadership. ”

Vaden Barth told Insider that after being fired, she experienced “a rollercoaster of emotions” and “a series of bereavements and heartaches.”

She explained that she was “partly to blame” for staying with the company for so long and that “Google was holding me back.”

“You feel comfortable on a track, in a lane, and you were just trying to accelerate in that lane instead of being ready to really try new things,” she said. “Of course, that’s part of life and responsibilities with family and kids and all those good things that keep you from doing it.”

Google offered “golden handcuffs,” Vaden Barth said, referring to financial incentives that made it difficult to leave the company.

She said: “It made me start playing extremely safe things because of the way health care is done in America and things of that nature. I just wanted to make sure my son got to high school. , then when he settled down in college, I start looking for the kind of thing.”

Companies have contacted her before asking for her resume after she was laid off, but she feels the job search has changed so much since she was last in the job market that she is still struggling to find her way. catch up.

“I realized in 15 years that a lot has changed in the way you present yourself on paper,” she said, referring to applicant tracking systems that process resumes.

“It was an ‘oh wow’ moment. It was like, ‘I’m glad I heard about this before I wasted my time and inadvertently set myself up for failure or just not even been seen. . “”

She now “embraces” the layoff as an opportunity to explore her interests, even though she doesn’t like how it happened.

“I’m ready to transition now, in this final chapter, as a woman to really find ways to use the best of my skills and all my skills, and not back down in desperation to just get a job.

“I’m really keeping my feet on fire to be intentional about this because it’s very easy to get scared at 54 and think ‘Oh my God, I just need something.'”

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