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GCG's Layoff Survival: 3 Tips Toward a Quick Rehire

GCG's Layoff Survival: 3 Tips Toward a Quick Rehire

February 24, 2009 | By Jill Duffy

Nels Anderson was a casualty of the economic downturn, and was laid off from his game dev job at Klei Entertainment in January.

More than 900 other developers in the Vancouver area had also lost their jobs in the six months leading up to his layoff, a recruiter told him. His prospects could not bode well under these conditions.

But in less than a week, he had a new job.

In a new article on Gamasutra sister site GameCareerGuide, Anderson points to three habits he has formed that he thinks helped him to land on his feet so quickly.

Even more astoundingly, Anderson had only been at Klei for three months. His attitude about the company may be the first clue to why he recovered so fast: He’s not the kind of guy who burns bridges.

“Klei is a fantastic organization with absolutely awesome people,” Anderson writes. “I don’t hold it against the company that I had to be let go.”

Anderson continues, “Despite the grim outlook, I began talking to people I knew in the local industry almost immediately after being laid off. Two days after I was laid off, I had an interview. And within a week, I had accepted an offer from Hothead Games.”

Anderson offered his story to as a way to remind other developers that the actions and attitudes one adopts throughout one’s career, not just during an employment crisis, are integral to surviving a lay off and recovering quickly.

The main thrust of Anderson’s advice is networking, but he offers three specific things developers can do to network effectively.

“I had actually spoken to Hothead over a year and half previous at the Penny Arcade Expo, shortly after I graduated with my master degree,” Anderson says. “I chatted with various Hothead folks at local events and generally stayed in touch ... I don’t doubt this groundwork helped demonstrate that my skills and passion warranted an interview. I had also been working on a number of personal projects that ensured I’d have something substantial to discuss during that interview.”

Anderson’s article, which includes with his three tips for surviving a lay off in the game industry, is available on, Gamasutra’s sister site for educational and career-related issues in the game industry.

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