2022 was a difficult year for me. I lost my Mom in April, and then business cuts eliminated my role (and many others, sadly) at vArmour in December.

That’s a lot of grief to overcome in a short period of time.

Given a mature (I have a full head of beautiful gray hair!) sense of self-awareness, I’ve learned over the years how to process these things.

I’ve been muddling through my journey with grief and am on the verge of emerging on the other side of it with an eye to what’s next for me. In short – I am taking the time I know I need to process even as I continue to explore what’s next.

Watching how others open up about their own layoffs

I’ve been watching with interest how others are opening up about their situations in light of this plethora of tech industry layoffs.

Let’s face it – with so many sales enablement practitioners being back on the street looking for work there is undoubtedly a great sense of fear that there won’t be enough open roles for all of the open heads that are looking.

Rest assured – while many companies are cutting enablement, there are also many other organizations with lots of open roles.

I’ve observed that some folks rush to announce a layoff the day it happens with almost a frantic sense of needing to be first in line for whatever is out there.

Others take time and then almost apologize for not having posted sooner.

I even read an instructional blog around how to write a layoff announcement that will help secure your next job!

Lord knows, I wish I had the wisdom I do now YEARS ago when I experienced my first layoff in tech!

I am sharing not only because I value vulnerability as a strong leadership quality, believing we bring our WHOLE human selves to every table, but because this is not my first RIF (Reduction in Force) rodeo – been here, done this before, and I believe I have some life lessons to share about this experience that may help others who are floundering in times of uncertainty.

Life lessons about my experience

  • My role being eliminated had nothing to do with me personally or professionally – same with yours.
  • I am not ashamed, nor do I think any less of myself because my role was eliminated –  nor should you.
  • I no longer define myself or my self-worth by my role (I am so much more than an enablement professional!) – nor should you. You are also a friend, a child of someone, perhaps a marathon runner, a parent or grandparent, or an artist! You are so much more than the job that pays your salary.
  • I’ve spent years curating and nurturing my network, and they’ve been an invaluable resource in times of trouble (as I’ve been to many of them). Spend time networking with your existing network and let your curiosity guide you to meeting new people to network with. You never know who you will uncover or where that might lead you to!

Admittedly, it’s taken time to broadcast out my own layoff. In my case that’s easy to explain – I’ve needed to take the time to breathe, to process, to grieve, to spend much needed time with my family (birth and chosen) and to begin to explore where I want to go next.

I’ve not been idle. I’ve been quietly speaking to my trusted network and thank each and every one of you who have spared time from your busy schedules to make time for me.

Every Zoom/Facetime/WhatsApp call has bolstered my spirits and offered perspective that continues to help me refine my what’s next.

I’m not there yet – but you can watch this space for news of when I get there … wherever *there* might be!

In the meantime – my shoulders are broad enough to extend an ear to whoever might need one.

Whether it’s to grieve about your loss, or get perspective on what’s out there or where to head next, or even if it’s just a call to add a little cheer to your day – I’m here for you and will make time for you.

Remember how credible you were and how much of a difference you made in your last workplace? Nothing has changed to that end.

You continue to be credible and you WILL make a difference at your next place of work too!

In the meantime, give yourself some time to breathe through the loss of your most recent role, and head into your exploration with a renewed sense of excitement at what might be around the corner as that next door opens.

You’ve got this!

Gayle first posted this article on LinkedIn.