“It’s not you, it’s us”
I got laid off this week and I have been processing it, and I got tell you, it feels like a breakup. I started working at the company in April and I was still in the honeymoon phase. I am an immigrant in America, I received my work permit in Dec, and in April, I was working for one of the biggest tech companies in the world. It felt like the ancestors were listening, and they conspired with the Universe to bring me exactly where I needed to be.
What was my job? Glad you asked, happy to tell you. I was part of the Sourcer Development Program (SPD). We were all career switchers who were getting trained in the sourcing and recruiting industry, focusing mostly on technical sourcing. As sourcers we focused on top of funnel recruiting, sourcing and engaging passive candidates. It was an amazing gig, I can humbly tell you that I was good at it. We (my colleagues) and I truly enjoyed our work and each other. We were all in wide eyed wonder, soaking up all the amazing benefits of the tech world and we allowed ourselves to hope. I have heard before that hope does not disappoint, which I think is utter nonsense, because it really does. Hope has repeatedly disappointed me!
Things started getting scary a few months ago but all those fears were met with nervous reassurance from our leaders and managers. I continued to show up in my black girl joy, so much so that I was appointed as Optimism Champion for my team. A role specifically created to help raise morale and motivate my team especially during the time of uncertainty. I excitedly accepted and did my best to motivate! But let me tell you this, uncertainty and fear cannot be motivated away.
We finally got laid off last Wednesday. It hurt. I felt disappointed and I felt disposable which hey, I am. Eleven thousand disposable employees. Eleven thousand families. Eleven thousand hopes and dreams. Eleven thousand fears. Eleven thousand broken promises.
What struck me most about being laid off is how similar it felt to being broken up with, and yes, I have been broken up with! The tone of the lay off sounded like “it’s not you, it’s us” which unlike a break up, it’s true. This decision, or this rejection, had nothing to do with me as a person. It was a decision motivated by money and macroeconomics (I learned that word at work) and none of those were under my control. Well, my ex partner left me for a man, which kinda also means that it had nothing to do with me! So you see, there is the similarity. I am one of those people who make sure that I am good at what I do, whether it be work or love. When the rejections come, it is not that I underperformed, it just means there were forces that I could not out perform.
Unlike being dumped though, I am coming out of being laid off with so much power and purpose. I have allowed myself to process, I cried and I threw a tantrum but not for one second did I feel like I was not enough. Not once did I question myself, my self esteem and my drive. I am as worthy of an amazing job that compensates me well for the work I put as I was when I had my job. I am as worthy of working in a space that allows me to show up authentically as I did when I worked at my previous company. I am worthy of forming respectful connections with my colleagues and managers. I have a deep understanding of leadership and compassion.
(Deep breath), there are some rejections that leave you empowered and this is one of them for me. Here’s to what’s next <3