Work Smarter//

The Hidden Opportunities In Your Challenges

Learning from your experiences.


I was walking back to my co-working space from my developer’s office (really excited that my beta version of my app will be available soon — stay tuned!) when I bumped into a former coworker from my past life. I rejoiced because it felt so good to see a familiar friendly face. We shared updates and she smiled and let me know she’d just been let go from her job. I searched for comforting words and some sort of motivational quote or advice to give, but she cut me off and said, “No I’m really grateful.”

Perhaps my look of confusion prompted her to keep talking. She shared that in her last role she wasn’t fulfilled or motivated. She was given a lot of tasks but struggled to understand the “why” of what she was doing and it made it hard to love her work. She couldn’t see or buy into the vision of her team and that made going to work very challenging. She regularly felt uninspired and detected early the setup was one where she would struggle to be successful.


She told me being let go felt freeing. She learned some things about her needs from a work culture. In her recent interviews, she could identify if the team was the right for for her and asked more appropriate questions to assess the fit. She was letting available opportunities control her path before, but now she felt empowered. She had recently landed some interviews and was now comfortable enough to not keep pursuing roles that did not seem like a good cultural fit.

In my most recent company, there was a large very public layoff and I knew a lot of people affected. It can be disruptive, traumatizing, and shattering. It can also be a big opportunity to reassess and reevaluate your needs from a work culture as you are seeking new roles. I was impressed by this woman’s decision to choose the latter path.

C-Suite Tip: When work requires evening or weekend events, use it as an opportunity to demonstrate that you still mean business, even when you are having fun. Experiment with prints and colors that may not work in the office, as long as the fit and lengths are still appropriate for your company culture.

Originally published at on September 12, 2015.

Originally published at

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