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I was shocked to be laid off from my tech job — but I quickly realized it was a dream come true

Robin Madell   

I was shocked to be laid off from my tech job — but I quickly realized it was a dream come true
  • Lucas Frischmann was laid off from Snap in February and left the country 1.5 weeks after the notice.
  • He'd been working in tech since he was 15 and had roles at Twitter (now X), Meta, Snap, and more.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Lucas Frischmann, a 34-year-old former Snap employee from Los Angeles. It's been edited for length and clarity.

I completed a 3.5-year apprenticeship as a media designer and engineer, and I've been in the tech industry since I was 15.

Then I started my career as a software engineer and later transitioned to different positions at Twitter (now X), Meta, and Snap. At Twitter, I was a senior product manager from 2016 to 2017 before spending four and a half years at Meta in global product and program management roles from 2017 to 2020.

After three years of self-employment, I joined Snap in May 2022 as a technical project manager and was just laid off in February. My feelings about my layoff quickly transitioned from initial shock to recognizing an opportunity.

I finally had the chance to pause, recharge, and explore my dream of traveling, which had been deferred by the pandemic and previous commitments. This traveling period has also reinforced the importance of direct social interactions in an increasingly digital age and helped me spark some new tech ideas.

I received the news of my layoff during an early morning video call and left the country a week later

My manager shared the news with me in an early morning video call, and it kind of felt like a dream come true. Despite the challenges my colleagues faced, which weighed on me emotionally, my immediate reaction was one of positive anticipation.

I'd long aspired to take a significant break, with specific plans for an Asia tour postponed since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though unsettling, the layoff coincided with my long-term desire to explore and connect with the world more deeply with my wife — who has a similar layoff experience from Twitch.

We terminated our lease, put everything in storage, and took off just a week and a half after receiving the layoff notice.

Snap gave me a severance package, but I was already prepared for a change

Thanks to prior planning and savings, we weren't concerned about immediate financial stability, job security, or the severance package itself.

Snap's support was within industry norms, enabling me to embark on a journey of self-discovery and exploration soon after receiving notice. Leaving so quickly wouldn't have been possible without the support of our LA friends, who helped us in many ways.

These friends let us keep valuable items at their places, assisted with moving, checked in on us regularly, and even offered us a place to stay before we left — and when we should return.

Our trip has taken us through Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Italy and other parts of Europe, such as Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. Each destination has been a chapter of learning and exploration.

Traveling has broadened my perspective of the world, other cultures, and how tech is used to connect people

Our travels have been opportunities to network, learn from diverse business cultures, and understand the global tech landscape.

For instance, Bangkok has offered unique insights into work-life balance and a business pace, which is very different from my US and European experiences. Bangkok's business culture feels much more "laid back and go with the flow," while in the US, we're more focused on execution, momentum, and getting business done more efficiently and quickly.

Currently, I'm offering my expertise and experience to companies facing tech, product, program, or operational challenges. I've used this traveling time to reflect and observe how people use technology and live their lives. I reflected on the modern lifestyle and noted how many people "misuse" their smartphones.

Instead of using them to gain knowledge or improve their lives, people often spend time on irrelevant content just for entertainment. This isn't bad in general, but this seems out of balance for most people.

My business idea — LatteLink — was partly inspired by my observations during my trip. I reconnected with many friends, and while it's great to see how paths are changing, it's also very sad to realize that we're losing touch with old friends so quickly.

This period of travel isn't just a break but a quest for new ventures and opportunities

I originally wanted to build an app where users could connect locally, like in a coffee shop, but I've shifted focus to creating a kind of personal customer relationship management (CRM) system to maintain meaningful relationships beyond social media and provide valuable tools for individuals, not just businesses.

In my friend circle, fewer and fewer people are using social media. My current project aims to help maintain meaningful relationships through regular check-ins and updates.

I came up with this idea as I struggled to keep up with all my connections. While traveling, I met an old work colleague, and it turned out we both lived two years in the same city but never met.

Traveling also helped me zoom out and see the bigger picture, not just the tunnel view of tech. For example, I'm about to invest in a real estate project for tourism, which I'd never thought of doing before — my focus was 100% on tech.

Looking back, I see the layoff as a pivotal, positive turning point for me

It's been an opportunity for growth and exploration. It's also allowed me to engage with the world in new ways, like going to a coffee shop during the week and talking to people.

Traveling with my wife has been rewarding for both of us. We don't have a formal plan; we just have a loose checklist we're trying to complete for now, which gives us a sense of adventure and adaptability.

I'm excited to see where this path of exploration — both of the world and of myself — leads.

If you were laid off from a tech company and want to share your story, please email Manseen Logan at

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