First person account: Time to focus on strengths, says laid-off CXO

Covid made my job redundant for cost reasons as the company is owned by a private equity firm. I have been with the firm for almost a decade and things were smooth until Covid hit our business model hard. This impacted my role even though I was recognised as a strategically minded leader.

There are moments when everything looks bleak. But this is the time to focus on strengths and leverage those. I had to dig deep within my network and tap every possible connection.

Apart from the skills and knowledge gained over the past two decades, some other softer attributes that truly helped me were the ability to stay positive, an insatiable curiosity and ability to identify opportunities. In addition, one major factor is flexibility. One has to be flexible about factors such as work location, job title and compensation.

The challenge is quite simple…there just aren’t as many jobs as the number of folks who have lost their jobs. Certain industries have been hit harder than others. The biggest challenge for mid to senior-level professionals like myself is that companies are today functioning on a shoestring budget.

Businesses and companies are guided by global economies; we need to be aware that major global corporations think from the balance sheet and not from the heart. The biggest takeaway has been to treat people with respect and dignity. After serving the company for almost a decade, it was all over in a short phone call without an opportunity to say goodbye to friends made over the years. Another important lesson is constantly upskill and network.

*This is a first person account of a laid-off CXO at US-based telecom IT product company

As told to Prachi Verma Dadhwal

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