I don’t know.
Sometimes I write my professional thoughts here: tutorials and theories all related to how anyone can grow their brand on social media. This means I’ve written case studies about how to create viral organic Facebook posts all the way to creating viral ads. I wrote these articles to tell random in-bound business folk what I’ve accomplished… making me seem as if I know what I’m doing in the direction of my career.
However, I think I’m done writing tutorials and theories here on this blog. I’ll write all of that mumbo jumbo “smarty-pants” lingo on where it belongs… I’m saying if you want “knowledge” then head to my LinkedIn.
From now on, I’m using this blog as more of a place to calm myself. This is where I’ll continue to talk about relationships, my own mental health, car accidents, family matters, and anything that just needs to be said… for me.
It’s what I used to do and it is the one thing I miss doing. I haven’t written just for myself, with no regard of what others thought, in a very long time.
No filter. I’m writing for me today.
I got laid off recently: not fired… laid off.
I really can’t go into much detail because of confidentiality issues, but I will say this… it was devastating. I’m not exaggerating.
A few co-workers, when hearing the news, left early for the day and even called in sick the next day. In addition, all three of my summer interns teared up… people were in shock.
From 1pm – 3pm, my phone was blowing up with a barrage of messages hitting me with, “wait what’s going on? are you okay? Is this for real? I’m going to miss you!”
I didn’t respond. I let the moment sit…
See, I got laid off not because of my work. In fact, I was constantly told my work was outstanding! The amount of praise a few weeks prior would make anyone think that I was staying for a long time.
I got laid off due to “creative and leadership differences.” See, I had an idea of what I wanted my position to be… and my manager thought otherwise.
I got laid off over speaker phone.
I wish there was a way we could’ve talked things out and, if during that talk we couldn’t come up with a solution, then I could put my two weeks. The transition would be smoother and the emotional blow wouldn’t be as stinging. Instead it was done while my manager was on the road.
I think I handled it well. Once the manager hung up “I gotta go,” I asked about next steps and was on the move: gathered my things, went to a computer store to get a hard drive (to potentially back up my data), gave proper text messages goodbyes, and purchased Thank You cards to start writing my gratitude to the people who I helped me through my time at the company. I even ended up writing a 2000 word transitional email.
Thank you cards, transitional e-mails, you have to do it because it’s the right thing to do, period. When working for a company, I want to know for five things: i) I’m a hard worker, ii) I’m intelligent, iii) I get results, iv) my intentions are genuine, and v) I’m a good guy.
I try to keep this true even when I’m leaving.
And, according too many at that company, especially to the fact that even the higher ups (directors / executive) said they would be my references and are sad to see me go… is a hopeful remainder that I do carry these traits.
In the end, my manager and I didn’t see eye to eye.
It’s funny because we did see eye to eye for most of the time when I was working there. And then I went on vacation and when I got back… everything changed: new hires arrived, content was missing (I create content), and there was just a massive miscommunication issue between all parties. In fact, looking back, seeing all the new hires arriving – I think it was a horrible time to go on vacation.
I recall scheduling a lot of content and doing my best before I left. But it was a disarray when I turned my phone back on… holy shit the messages.
That Sunday and holiday Monday (memorial day)
I tried to fix things.
I re-structured folders for new people.
I sent apology e-mails.
I got lectured.
But it’s fine.
Then when I work started picking up again, I reached out and did as many 1:1’s as I could. I told people simply, “I know we didn’t start well but I want to make sure we work well together.”
I complained a bit and then I picked myself up to try to figure out a way I could make things work. I’m honest. I’m genuine. I’m heard.
I think my failure is that I was rather opinionated and always expressed my feelings of concern. I guess in those three-four weeks (from vacation to being laid off) I was trying to evolve the way I used to do things over at the company to the new way things were happening at the company.
A few weeks.
It’s funny because I joked with my manager – before vacation – that I’d probably get a good scolding and probably get fired after I returned on vacation… because of content being misplaced of some sorts.
I feel stupid.
I didn’t have phone access when I went on vacation (turned it off) and when I returned – I received over 101 text messages and half of those was work… asking me “where did I go? where is the content? what can be scheduled? no one knows what you’re doing?”
I feel stupid.
Even though I planned the vacation over a month and a half… even though it’s something I repeated over and over… even I requested via the documents… I should’ve outlined things step by step with my manager.
I feel stupid.
And now I’m out of a job: a job that I was actually good at…
What’s worst is this –
Everything I did… all the content I have there… all the stats / data of my work… all my contacts I made (emails / proposals / influencers) is locked up via google documents, hard drives, and on their desktops.
Everything I gave them is theirs…
I’m starting over.
But it’s fine because at least I know, reputation wise, based on the barrage of text messages, well wishes, and people who have reached out due to what happened… has led to me believe that I left a pretty good impact while I was there.
All I wanted to do was do well.
I told myself, when I first got the job, that I was going to do everything in my power to follow the rules, to work hard, and to commit myself to the company: it was once in a lifetime opportunity.
I really did.
I truly did.
The one thing I do admit I was doing wrong – was many times, due to money issues, I did overstay at the office a little longer than usual – sometimes falling asleep right there on their ground floor.
Yeah. I would bounce around from the office floor to the car I had to a friend’s couch. It’s funny because I’m used to it… mattresses don’t feel as comfortable as let’s say a floor.
Those three weeks.
If I were to change gears I think this is what I would’ve changed:
i. I wouldn’t have been so honest with my concerns – especially how opinionated, aggressive, and loud as I was…
ii. I would have been more communicative… think hand holding and repetitive to my manager (especially in the last three weeks).
iii. I would have saved every single thing I did. Yes, I should’ve backed everything up because I’m so proud of my work and what I accomplished: from videos to connections to everything.
I fucking loved what I did.
I was good at what I did.
God damn I’m tearing up right now.
So what now?
Life is a like a bicycle, you gotta keep pedaling or you’ll fall down. The day I got laid off I started moving. Packed things, told people I got laid off, and just moved…
The next thing is acceptance.
Acceptance is the hardest part, but it’s something that you need to force yourself to deal with because then you’ll fall into a pity party. No one likes to help anyone who sulks in their tears. People like to help others who cry with purpose.
I’m not going to lie, I do have my downs.
When I see the product, when an influencer (a connection / relationship I’ve established) talks about the product, when people from the company (like an intern) reaches out for guidance (one of my favorite things to do is educate), when a co-workers says “what’s up?” when I see the product in the news, when I see a campaign being created that I could’ve been a part of, when I still think of ads that pop into my head… all of these things make it so hard for me to move on…
But yet again.
I cry for a bit.
I punch a wall a second time.
I go for a run.
I call a friend to remind me not to sulk: “Jonathan just ACCEPT it!”
Then I move forward.
When I tell people I got laid off – and then I say “life is like a bicycle” – they always say things like “I LOVE your attitude.” It feels good for a second, but secretly I’m breaking inside.
I think how it was done.
How everything turned out.
I’m still breaking inside.
At least I can say I’m proud of myself.
I don’t blame anyone there.
It was a lifetime opportunity and I cannot thank them enough for everything. It makes sense why they did what they had to do…
I think it’s the how that replays over and over.
It just a reminder that whoever you’re working for – take a step back and don’t make it your life because you never know what might happen.
I guess now I hope that I can come out of this doing something great. The thought of judgement hanging over me, the thought of people watching me to see if I’ll bounce back, the thought of people seeing if I’ll amount to anything… looms over.
I better succeed.
I have no other option.
Thanks for listening.
In my friends place – San Francisco, CA