So in today’s chapter chat the discussion of the 38 Studios layoffs occurred and about what was going to happen to IGDA Boston (e.g. an influx of attendees at their next meeting). I discussed what we did with IGDA Chicago and all the stuff I pulled together based on having done this in the past for other local layoffs. I was asked if I’d write it up so it could be referred to over and over again and, instead of just doing some email you would have had to have received or a document you’d have to know about and have access to, I thought I’d just do a quick write-up here so that it can have a more permanent home that everyone can access easily. So without further ado, here are some of the steps I/we took with IGDA Chicago when we had some major local layoffs:

Step 1: Find out about the layoffs (which is not hard to do with gaming press these days)

Step 2: Reach out to the local studio and offer your sympathy and support (it helps if you know the management directly and have their contact info). Ask them for a list of those affected in case you get offers of resources and jobs that can’t be broadcast publicly.

Step 3: Email your Executive Advisory Board/Executives List (you have one, don’t you?) and let them know what’s going on and ask if there is anything they can do to support those affected. Point them to your blog, Job Board, Facebook Group, LinkedIn, etc.

Step 4: Make a post on your blog saying you’re mobilizing efforts and to keep an eye out here and on the various groups (link to them) as support comes in. Tweet, Post, Discuss, etc. on the various networks and make sure to ask people to send it on to those they know who have been affected in case they weren’t originally part of your chapter before all this happens.

Step 5: Start posting on your blog and on your networks about what’s going on, emailing where necessary, and keep it going for at least the next week or two.

Here is just some of the support/resources that were provided via IGDA Chicago and IGDA Orange County when major layoffs happened:

  • Started getting more and more jobs posted to our local job board.
  • Reached out to the IGDA HR SIG and some of those folks came back with jobs (even if it meant relocating).
  • Held a local job fair run by the studios who were still in the area and hiring for those affected.
  • Setup local meetings with recruiters (many who for large layoffs will fly out several recruiters and host an event with food and drinks for you for free) – HINT: Do research on the recruiters to see if they are credible and not shady first.
  • One local studio offered up their extra space for people to come and create new projects to work on, to help them meet and start studios, or just have internet accessible computers to use to look for jobs and work on their resume.
  • Pass out information on other job boards, “what to do when you’re laid off” articles, etc.
  • Offered up help to review and edit resumes.
  • Offered up help to review or design new personal business cards (something you should have anyway).
  • Held extra social mixers where everyone was just invited to a local pub/bar/restaurant to meet, eat (sometimes drink), and console and encourage each other. [Sometimes that can go a long way.]

I hope this helps if your chapter ever finds one of your local studios going through tough times.

Stay awesome!

P.S. This was written up quickly due to my not originally planning on writing this so my apologies for any long sentences or grammar/typos. 🙂