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Laid-Off from Twitter? Now What?

Brett Jordan – Unsplash

In Arianna Huffington’s recent newsletter, she stated that, “??’?? ?? ? ?????? ?? ???????? ??????????????. ?????????? ????? ??? ??? ?? ????, ??? ??? ????? ?? ???? ?? ??? ?????, ?? ????? ?????????…”.

Nowhere is this more evident than what’s happening at Twitter.

When Elon Musk walked into the Twitter HQ the other day, he carried a sink and tweeted, “???????? ??????? ?? – ??? ???? ???? ??!”

Did he really mean, “let that sink in”, or was he indicating he was going to gut everything at the company, except the kitchen sink?

It appears he is on his way to gutting even the kitchen sink. Not only did he sack three of his top people in the US, but also two in Canada. He also laid off approximately half of the staff – 3,700.

Nothing is wrong with that. Layoffs happen all the time, but there is a right and a wrong way, and it’s certainly not the draconian, and unprofessional way in which he is doing it. There is nothing humane about his approach, and he has failed to consider the contributions those employees made to allow him the luxury of purchasing the company.

I can’t even imagine the angst that each employee went through last Thursday night as they waited to see if they were being let go.

Then, imagine firing the entire Accessibility Experience Team? Did he think of what would happen to individuals with disabilities who use the platform? Check out the respectful way in which the former manager of the team, Gerard K. Cohen, shared the loss and commended his team. (@GerardKCohen).

It’s a fact, Musk owns Twitter and can do as he pleases, but what a way to start and end relationships with employees?

This Twitter debacle is a wakeup call for every employee wherever you are. While most companies would be more respectful of their employees, others might follow in Musk’s footsteps. Here are some tips that are as applicable now as they were when I wrote them years ago:

  1. It’s OK to be angry. Don’t bottle your feelings. Anger, as long as it’s not misplaced, could have a healing effect, but don’t act out at work. It’s not the time to go badmouthing coworkers or your boss. Such behaviour could be construed as negative and unprofessional, could damage relationships and thwart your chances of getting a good reference.
  • Get support.  Find a trustworthy person who will listen to you and offer advice. Check with an employment lawyer to see if you qualify for severance, and how much. If not, find out if you qualify for unemployment insurance.
  • Take time for self-care. Self-care is not selfish. You poured all you had into your job. It’s time for some “me” time. Put yourself first. This is not the time to beat upon yourself and question your ability or self-worth. Take some time to clear your head and develop strategies to help you bounce back.
  • Focus on what you have gained from the experience.  Turn this negative experience into something positive. Begin by spotlighting your assets. Write out an inventory of your transferable skills that could benefit another employer. Hopefully you were keeping a journal. If so, reflect on your special job achievements, awards and recognitions received, and comments and testimonials made by your supervisor, coworkers or customers. All of these are your assets – documented evidence that validate your capabilities.
  • Reach out to your network. Let your connections on social media, including Twitter and LinkedIn, know that you are in search of a new opportunity. If you are a former Twitter employer, for example, individuals and companies are already sharing potential opportunities.
  • Remember that “This too shall pass”.  What you are feeling now is real, but it won’t last forever. Sometimes, a layoff is just the prescription you need to propel you to action. Ask yourself some soul-searching questions like, “Is it time to go back to school to gain additional skills? “What other companies could use my skills?” Do I have what it takes to start a business?” “What do I really enjoy doing, and should I be exploring this as one of my career options?
  • Remain positive. This may be a bit hard, but the road to a successful job search is paved with disappointments and frustrations. Don’t give up. Join a support group; start networking with people who will put you in touch with people who can help you or people willing to share their network of contacts with you.
  • Grab your data from Twitter. Last, but not least, download your data from Twitter. This is what people who have Twitter accounts should do from time to time. The platform does not belong to us. It’s even more important if you plan on deleting your account and moving to another platform. Here are some instructions from a Fast Company article on how to download your data and delete your account.

Hope these eight tips will help you as you deal with a layoff or as you make plans just in case the layoff axe falls on you.

SUCCESSS is a State of Mind!

The Monday Rx, a weekly career and job search prescription is back after the summer break, and this edition is about SUCCESS!

How many times have you been rejected, spurned or sidelined, and thought you had failed? Don’t worry. I have been there more times than I care to remember, but am still standing!

Why? Because failures don’t define me. I grow from every one of them. If not, I would be missing the success boat.

But, what if you think that success is a state of mind. What if we change the narrative and acknowledge that we are all living breathing, specimens of success instead of clamouring for that “one more thing” that would make us a success.

What if I told you that when I wrote No Canadian Experience, Eh? A Career Success Guide for New Immigrants, one Ontario college used the book to develop a course for their newcomer clients? Because of that, I have addressed their graduates several times, and right now am working on a project with them. Would you call that success?

What if I told you that earlier in the year, I was contacted by two Ontario universities for career coaching opportunities. I didn’t hear back from one, but I spent the summer coaching staff and delivering workshops for the other. Am I going to view the first one as a failure or bask in the success of the other?

As I write, am in discussions with a company on the African continent to coach their mid-level executive staff. Am I going to wait until it comes through to call it a success? Nope! For them to reach out to me, is already a success. If it becomes a reality, it will just be the icing on the success cake.

When I coached a mentee on salary negotiations two months ago with an 85-year-old Canadian company, she ended up with a base salary of $175K, $32,000 more than what she was offered. And, that’s not the total package. That’s success on both sides.

When I watch the career trajectory of a former client as he moved from IBM to Royal Bank to Amazon and now as VP of Technology at (by coincidence) the same company as my mentee, I thought of his words to me when he got his first executive position, “Daisy, I didn’t believe I could be an executive. You saw what I didn’t see in myself.”

The accompanying image is my formula of SUCCESS. Which line resonates with you? Let each point serve as a guide as you define your own success story. Don’t measure it by someone else’s standard.

Here is an assignment for you this week:

Set aside 20 minutes of your time, grab your journal (I hope you have one), and start reflecting on your success stories, aka your accomplishments. This is a brainstorming exercise, so don’t edit your thoughts. When you are finished, you can go back and edit it to unearth the nuggets. You will realize you are more successful than you thought.

Need help? Let’s have a brief career chat!