- Wise Words -
Breathe deep my friend,
this is not the end of the world...
by mitchell kreuch
I was let go: My company was on fumes and running out of money, the CFO’s financial shell game was catching up to us, we had few prospects for our next fund-raise and the only thing that the new CEO could do to show his strength and cut expenses was to sack the entire executive team… starting with me. I was 50 years old, had 3 kids in college, little severance and no health insurance. I was f&@#ed with a capital F.
I’ve spent the better part of the last 25 years working in the highly volatile digital sector and have coached many early and late-stage professionals about the job search be it a new career or the horrible “in between time” after a lay-off, RIF or firing. I’ve started dozens of conversations with one sentence: “Just breathe deep my friend, this is not the end of the world...”
This time, I was forced to really dig deep, rethink my situation and recalibrate. Over 5 months, I met with over 50 companies, came close to offers several times and heard "no" more times that I would have liked. As a late-stager, the process was longer, the jobs fewer and the competition greater. With that in mind, I put together a playbook based on my experience searching for my next act. I don’t believe that any of the learnings below are unique to the stage of your career or the seniority of your position...they’re universal, however early or late-stage you are!
Related columns: "Layoffs. The Afterlife" and "Chutes & Ladders: Career Ups and Downs"
Mitchell Kreuch is an experienced digital media executive and currently works at Twitter (@mkreuch) in the Global Agency Development team with responsibility for the WPP group of agencies.
He has worked at start-ups as well as multi-billion dollar businesses such as Yahoo!, Disney and Gannett in various Sales, Operations and Partnership roles. Prior to Twitter he was CRO and interim-CEO at Kinetic Social.