Even if it was only for six months.
’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. — Alfred Lord Tennyson
Iwas somewhat surprised that I dosed off and slept like a baby with a feeling of potential doom looming over my head.
I was not surprised, however, when I woke up at 3 am, wide awake, with that potential tapping me on my forehead like a five-year-old ready for breakfast that morning.
I decided to get up and get my mind off of it by getting some writing done to clear my mind. Someone had suggested that if you were going to get let go, you might as well use all of your
Meta benefits since they were already yours.
I started perusing the Amazon internal employees’ website for anything that I thought would be useful and not just a random waste of the company’s money and landed on a few things I didn’t know we could purchase.
As I was finishing, I was greeted by a popup notification on my phone announcing the arrival of a new email to my personal email account from “Meta Leadership.”
The doom was no longer “potential.”
As I read through the package and realized that today was going to be my last day, I began reflecting on my brief six months with the company and felt great about how it played out.
I recognized that despite being so short, I had benefited in several ways that would stay with me for the rest of my life.
I flexed a skillset muscle to another level
Data. Data. Data.
That was what was always preached to me when I was preparing for my interview with Meta.
“This is going to be all they care about, ” a good friend who had been there for about six months shared with me.
I was given this piece of advice again and again.
Before Meta, I had used data for decision-making and analysis, but much of it was after the fact or on a smaller level as it related to coaching individual teams and groups.
I hadn’t really spent time understanding the various ways to pull it, slice it, and use it for high-scale analysis and decision-making on a macro-level.
As I began my first few months at Meta and began to dive into the troves of data they have access to based on numerous reports, I found myself loving spending time trying to figure out the “story” of the data by identifying trends and patterns.
It was something that I didn’t know I enjoyed so much until I was doing it, and now that I was in it every day, I realized that I LOVED it.
Fast forward to six months of focusing on this consistently, and I have developed this ability to another level. I am excited for any future position that would require this skill, as it is now (as the kids say) “my jam.”
I UNEQUIVOCALLY learned I was “good enough”
It wasn’t that I didn’t think I belonged at Meta when I joined. I have been fortunate to have overcome the feeling of imposter syndrome some time ago in my career.
However, I’m wise enough to realize that you don’t know what you don’t know in life, and the world is full of people who think they are really better than they are (Kanye West immediately comes to mind).
So for me, this would be the opportunity to test all the hard work and effort I have consistently devoted to improving my leadership and coaching skills over the years.
And while I will in no way say that there still weren’t more than a few mistakes that I made along the way, all-in-all, I can leave saying that I felt I held my own and belonged in the room with all of the fantastic people there.
Meta hires the best of the best. You don’t get a shot to work at one of the best companies in the world without being in the top echelon on several different fronts, and I never felt intimidated or overwhelmed in any capacity.
While much of this is related to Meta’s fantastic culture and focus on making everyone feel heard and included, part of it was also related to the fact that I had put in the work in previous years to build myself to a level in which this was a reality.
I always felt I was good enough because of how hard I worked and how much effort I put into everything I did, and my six months there was now the factual data to prove it.
I met and built relationships with some amazing people
Lastly, this relates to something that I thought might happen, but I had no idea it would be to the level it did.
When you go from working for a company with 6,000 people in which you could actually chill and make jokes poolside in Cancun with the President to a company with 80k plus people run by an almost larger-than-life figure like Mark Zuckerberg, you don’t feel like you are going to build any true personal, lasting relationships.
I was thinking as long as the culture isn’t cut-throat and people aren’t trying to backstab me, then I should be fine.
What I didn’t expect was a culture that genuinely lives its core values of Inclusion and Diversity (way more than just a tagline) and Meta, Metamates, and Me — two values that almost mandate that people show up as their true authentic selves and care about not only their co-worker but themselves as well.
I was privileged enough to work with some fantastic men and women who didn’t see the core values as lip service but instead did their best to live it every day.
For this reason, even though my severance with Meta will only last sixteen weeks (something that I am very appreciative of), I was fortunate enough to build some relationships that will last a lifetime.