I started working for Perception-Point, an Israeli start-up, about a year ago. A friend of mine who is a co-founder, recruited me to be their blogger and help with the product’s marketing. I had just quit the Israeli Cyber Bureau, where I’d been working part time as a cyber analyst, so I was closely familiar with the world of cyber-tech. Plus, I had just started in West Side Story, so a part time job that I could do from practically anywhere with a WiFi signal, seemed like the perfect package.
When I had first decided that I was going to conquer Broadway, I notified my bosses that I would be moving to New York in April 2017, and that I would like to hold on to my position and continue blogging from a distance. Their initial response was positive, and I was happy to see this job as a source of income that I would be taking with me when I left.
Nevertheless, a new factor was added to the equation. A renowned executive, who has successfully lead two start-ups to the Exit promised land, was parachuted into the CEO’s chair. During the first few weeks he focused on reviewing and revising the company’s strategy, which led to a series of changes. One of his observations was that the company had moved out of product development too quickly and that it needed to take a step back and work on the product (a computerized mechanism which prevents cyber attacks). This step back also meant that there wouldn’t be any product to blog about for a while, so I wasn’t surprised when my friend, the co-founder, told me he had ill news for me about the my future in the company. The bottom line was that there was no current need for my blogging services, and that by the time there could be – the company would be better off hiring the services of experienced cyber bloggers who have a sturdy crowd of followers.
It all made perfect sense to me. Nevertheless, I was being fired, and that made me doubt my writing talents, worry about my financial viability and feel ashamed of my self. My friends and family were all very supportive and encouraged me to look at the bright side of these happenings. I would be leaving no strings attached, and would be able to immerse myself in a local job in New York, till I got in to the Broadway show cycle.
Still, the shame I was experiencing was unexpected, and got me thinking about what losing my job in a start-up meant to me. There was something about losing this job which reminded me of the time I had stopped walking around with a Kippa – the Jewish skull-cap. I had been reluctantly walking around with one all my life, and finally felt the need to dissociate from the frum practice of life I was leading, and broaden my orthodox perspectives. This act was far more than symbolic, but it’s symbolism bore the most prominent effect. Discarding my Kippa meant losing the manifestation of my association with a traditional way of life. Similarly, the thrill of being associated with the energetic bubble of the Start-Up Nation, the joy of walking into a hi-tech office in the mornings, and leaving by noon for an evening show – were no longer a part of my life. Who was I without the Kippa? What am I without the start-up? I am just ME, and maybe that’s not such an easy thing to be.
When I called my father up to tell him the news, he said he thought it was better that I leave this job behind, and that he thinks I’m a talented writer, regardless my employment as a cyber blogger. I was deeply moved by this, and told him that a man’s greatest desire is that his father tell him he is competent, like he’d just done. Though not part of any plan, losing my job has made me win a self-confidence insurance for the rest of my life, and that is definitely something worth losing a job for.