I was included in a RIF of all teachers less than 5 years seniority due to budget cuts in my school district. This led me to healthcare IT and the HITECH Act retraining program that I leveraged into my current position of 9 years. I am happy with the change.
After nearly 30 years, I found myself part of RIF with some other highly skilled (and well paid) peers. The time it takes to find the best fit for you depends on the size of the market you live in, or your willingness to relocate. In my (and several of my peers) case, relocation afforded me the opportunity to bump up into the role I always wanted but was too content to reach for.
I've been laid off several times over my 30+ years as a Nurse Informaticist and generally fared well. However, in my last layoff I was caught totally by surprise and had to rebuild my resume, contacts lists, etc. very quickly. That was 3 years ago and we still have not recovered from it professionally or financially. Professionally, I ended up taking the first jobs that I could find rather than take time to find a "good fit." (They were not good fits). Financially, if I had known that there was a risk of losing my employment I would have made different decisions with respect to loans, financing, etc. I am now making much less than I have in the past but ultimately am very happy where I am now.
When I returned from paternity leave, I found out that I had almost been laid-off. I had been at a large pharma company for 2 years and was on my 3rd manager (the first got a promotion, the second retired), who told me that instead of firing me, they "reassigned" one of my colleagues. Luckily for him the position was better and he is still there. I should have taken this sign and left well before I actually did.
I was 55 when after 30+ years as a developer for a PMS vendor with a succession of owners I was part of a RIF. I believe that a simple line was drawn across a salary spreadsheet; people above the line were let go. I was out of work for close to a year, but was able to use my industry knowledge to get a analyst position directing development teams.
Thank you Mr. H for your words and thoughts on this subject.
I was part of a RIF for an IT Vendor, in the long run I ended up at a hospital IT department instead.