I was laid off from DoorDash and was depending on it for my H1B visa. I'm mentally struggling to process the shock of looking for a new job.




DoorDash laid off 1,250 workers on November 30.Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images
DoorDash laid off 1,250 workers on November 30.Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images  
  • DoorDash laid off 1,250 employees on Wednesday to help cut costs.

  • Insider spoke to a worker who was let go and needed to find a new job before their visa expired. 

  • The worker said finding out they'd been laid off was the biggest challenge they'd ever faced.  

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with a former DoorDash employee. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect their privacy, but Insider has verified their identity and former employment. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

I woke up on Wednesday morning, as usual, and checked my email around 9 a.m.. I immediately saw a message in my inbox that was sent around 4 a.m. PST with the subject line: "Your employment with DoorDash."

I opened it and was initially very confused. The email said DoorDash is reducing the size of its workforce and that my role was one of those being impacted by layoffs. I was in complete shock - there was no warning.

A couple of weeks ago, we had an all-hands meeting with the CEO but layoffs were not mentioned. So finding out I was being laid off this week feels sudden and unexpected. It is definitely very disappointing.

The email also outlined I would get around 17 weeks' pay as part of my severance package, which I think is reasonable and relatively generous.

I lost access to everything overnight

Even though I'd just been laid off, I knew I had work meetings scheduled for that day, so I went to open my laptop and log in. I had already been locked out of the device and I lost access to everything on it.

I messaged some of my colleagues to see if anyone else was experiencing the same thing and some of my peers had also been let go. I think they kept people that were necessary.

Being laid off from Doordash is a very heartbreaking moment for me. The saddest part is that I really liked what I was doing at DoorDash and my role was part of a very long-term career plan.

My visa is at risk now, which is a huge mental struggle

I really liked the job, but I was also dependent on it to stay in the States. I'm a visa holder and DoorDash was supposed to sponsor my green card. Without their sponsorship, I am no longer eligible for permanent residency in the United States.

I have an H1B visa and you can only hold that when you have a job. Once you lose it, you have a certain number of days to look for your next job.

Because of the visa situation, I am under pressure to find a job quickly and it's a huge mental struggle. 

Being laid off has changed my perspective. Waking up on Thursday and Friday I felt like other problems I may have had, like small fights with friends, just weren't important anymore. I used to enjoy watching TV, and now I don't enjoy anything.

Knowing the job market is not great is a significant added stress. Right now, I'm reaching out to many people on LinkedIn and messaging back recruiters who contacted me before. 

The tech industry is struggling, which doesn't bode well. I don't know if I can find another job in the necessary timeframe that will sponsor me so I get to keep my visa.

The unknown is the scariest part

In the worst-case scenario, I might apply to go to grad school in the US or I might have to go back to my home country. My family is not in the country, so I can only depend on myself.

I don't know what's going to happen in the upcoming three or four months. There is so much to process, but I don't have time to process it because I need to move on and find a new job.

It's very saddening, shocking, and disappointing. This is probably the biggest challenge I've faced. 

Editor's Note: A spokesperson for DoorDash confirmed with Insider that CEO Tony Xu was asked in an all-hands meeting on November 17 about what factors determined its year-to-two-year strategy for its cost structure and managing its relationship with its largest shareholders. They said Xu answered by saying "generally people are still spending on food" and that "I think we have a really robust business and to me, it's about being more and more efficient over time."

Update: December 6, 2022 - This story has been updated to include the following response from a DoorDash spokesperson: "In the CEO's message to employees, it says that DoorDash will set the termination date for March 1, 2023, to allow "those with visa applications (and a desire to stay in the US) as much time as possible to find a new job."

Are you a DoorDash employee or delivery partner with a story? Contact Jyoti Mann at jmann@insider.com or by Twitter DM at @jyoti_mann1

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