Meta laid her off unexpectedly. Now she says she’s higher off—3 methods she used to rebound

Rawan, 29, a content material creator and former Meta worker poses along with her Meta badge after getting laid off and having to show it in.

In early November, Meta worker Rawan, 29, got here throughout an eerie Sunday headline within the New York Instances: “Meta Is Stated to Plan Important Job Cuts This Week.” She put the article behind her thoughts. She had an enormous presentation developing and needed to focus. And anyway, she was a prime performer on the firm — what may she have to fret about? Rawan joined Meta in 2019 after a number of jobs at varied companies world wide and a 12 months in China on a Schwarzman Scholar fellowship. The daughter of Eritrean immigrants, Rawan grew up touring between Saudi Arabia and California and knew that she wished some facet of her life to be “international.” She moved to Silicon Valley on the recommendation of mentors who informed her it was one of the best place to construct a profession in tech. Rawan’s final identify has been omitted resulting from privateness issues. Upon becoming a member of Meta, she fell in love with the work and ascended by means of completely different roles, tackling among the greatest issues in machine-learning and content material moderation. In her final six months, she transitioned to a product advertising and marketing supervisor position and was invested in her job till the very finish, placing in hours of additional time to arrange for a presentation to her director and ignoring any layoff murmurs. “I even keep in mind joking to my supervisor saying, ‘All this effort and time spent prepping … think about if I get laid off and I do not even get to current this,'” Rawan tells CNBC Make It in an electronic mail. They each laughed and moved on. Three days later, Rawan had an electronic mail in her inbox: She was one in all Meta’s 11,000 laid-off workers within the November spherical. “My first thought was ‘Um, OK. Lemme stand up and wash my face as a result of at the moment is about to be an extended day,'” Rawan remembers.

The lengthy day

Inside hours of the company-wide announcement slashing 13% of Meta’s workforce, Rawan watched her coworkers’ accounts get deactivated. She knew it was solely a matter of time earlier than hers met the identical destiny. “I keep in mind logging on LinkedIn that day and it was like a memorial board. Colleagues of all roles and ranges had been impacted, together with administrators,” Rawan provides. The psychological toll that comes with experiencing a layoff is well-documented. It’s not the identical as being fired, nevertheless it comes with its personal set of emotional wounds. For Rawan, shock got here first. She spent the final hours of her time on the firm reaching out to shut colleagues and mentors, thanking them for his or her assist through the years. Then, confusion set in. The day after Rawan misplaced her job, she spoke to extra pals she had at Meta, trying to “make sense of issues.” “There was no rhythm or purpose,” she says. In fact, there was a purpose. In an electronic mail to employees, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that he “made the arduous choice to let folks go” in an effort to “convey our bills in keeping with our income progress.” However Rawan was on the lookout for “patterns,” one thing that may clarify how the corporate selected who stayed, why she was particularly impacted. Finally, she realized it might need simply been as arbitrary as her begin date: She was the latest member of her group. Nonetheless, the random nature of such a life-shifting second felt unfathomable to her on the time. It was particularly jarring as a result of she believed she had finished every part “proper”: getting a fantastic training, selecting what seemed to be a secure firm and incomes excessive efficiency critiques. It then turned clear to her that the “security web was an phantasm.” Now, she sees the randomness of the choice as comforting — it means it wasn’t her fault: “I do know it isn’t a mirrored image of my worth or work ethic.”

The pivot

The query of what comes subsequent is hard to reply once you lose job safety in a single day. Rawan first questioned whether or not she ought to comply with the gang and publish her personal layoff story on LinkedIn. She finally determined towards it, realizing that she was not but prepared to leap into the hunt for a brand new 9-to-5. She already had plans to journey to South Africa for a good friend’s marriage ceremony and every week post-layoff, she determined that point out of the U.S. might be precisely what she wanted even when it did not really feel like essentially the most “financially accountable factor” on the time. The gap from New York Metropolis, the place she moved in 2021, gave her time to mirror on her profession path to this point and what she actually wished going ahead. She additionally had extra time to dedicate to her content material creation interest: Whereas at Meta, she had been operating social media accounts for private {and professional} improvement. She has a love for making details about school, profession and journey alternatives extra accessible to under-represented communities. As she started to construct her social media platforms, the fervour undertaking became one thing else: a dwelling. Although she didn’t disclose her social media revenue, Rawan says she is “capable of comfortably cowl” her bills. Rawan now has practically 200,000 followers on TikTok and 60,000 on Instagram, partnering with manufacturers like Microsoft, Glassdoor, LinkedIn and Canva. However to her, crucial perk of her new hustle is the liberty that comes with it: “I haven’t got to get up sooner or later and fear about somebody firing me.” Rawan additionally now has full management of her time and schedule. Plus, the flexibleness of content material creation affords her the flexibility to tackle different kinds of labor when she needs to. “The good thing about being a content material creator is that I haven’t got to only select one path,” Rawan says. She is now toying with the thought of reentering the company world or beginning a enterprise of her personal. No matter she chooses, she says that content material creation is a profession that may be in her again pocket alongside the best way as a result of she constructed it from scratch and it’s totally her personal. “Getting laid off has been the catalyst I wanted to reevaluate my life, my priorities and my profession in a manner that I am sure would not have occurred had I stayed at Meta,” says Rawan.

The key to a layoff rebound