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Don't record yourself getting laid off (plus 3 new Chief of Staff jobs)

I go through a rundown of the Cloudflare layoff drama (and why blasting your employer is a bad look), introduce the Chiefly podcast, cover 3 new Chief of Staff jobs I'm watching, and share the most interesting stories on X from last week.


Hello, and welcome to the Right Hand Talent blog! I’m Zaharo, and I write about all things Chief of Staff.


Every week, you’ll get 3 new job opportunities that are on my radar, reqs I’m working on, my thoughts on growing in the Chief of Staff role and as a professional (plus some spiritual stuff sprinkled in), top stories I’m following on X, and more.


Here are some of my most popular posts:

🚿 3 quick shower thoughts + 1 big announcement before we dive in:

  1. People respect you way more if you're super direct with them.

  2. We don’t talk enough about how caffeine is a highly addictive drug.

  3. Stop aiming for perfection — just ship it.

🚨 Announcement ➔ I launched a podcast called Chiefly!


I’ll be interviewing current Chiefs of Staff, as well as founders & executives who have either been Chiefs of Staff themselves or worked with one throughout their career.


Our first guest is Scott Gifis, CEO at NoFraud, an eCommerce fraud prevention & revenue protection solution. Prior to NoFraud, Scott was the former President & COO at Frame.io (acquired by Adobe for $1.3B in 2021) and President at AdRoll.


Scott has experience building and leading companies from early stages to hundreds of millions in revenue and several successful exits. He previously held executive leadership roles at OpinionLab, which was acquired by Verint Systems (NASDAQ: VRNT), Criteo (NASDAQ: CRTO), Careerbuilder, and TeraSolar, which was sold in 2005.


In this episode, Scott and I cover:

  • Major inflection points in his career

  • What a Chief of Staff actually does

  • The differences between a COO and Chief of Staff

  • Advice he’d give to his 15-year younger self, and more

Check out the episode here!


🔥 What happened at Cloudflare?

This was my first thought when I saw #cloudflare trending on X. More inner dialogue: OK, it’s not totally crazy that a $27B public company is making headlines, but it’s cloud security — what could be so controversial that the X algo is pumping news about it?


Then, I came across the video behind the fervor: a POV of a Cloudflare account executive, Brittany Pietsch, getting fired. It’s 9 minutes long, but below are the important timestamps:



  • 00:30 — HR notifies Brittany about the decision to part ways

  • 00:46 — Brittany defends herself, citing her recent start date, high activity levels (which she was goaled on), positive feedback from her manager, challenges with starting near major holidays, and the absence of closed contracts not reflecting her overall performance.

  • 2:08 — Brittany also questions why the meeting isn’t being led by her manager

  • 2:29 — HR says the firing is part of a “collective calibration” at Cloudflare. They avoid specifics on performance metrics.

  • 3:10 — Brittany suggests her termination might be due to overhiring rather than individual performance

  • 4:02 — HR can’t provide immediate answers and mention following up

  • 7:29 — Brittany questions if HR understands her contributions

  • 7:56 — HR acknowledges Brittany’s questions and say the meeting isn’t the appropriate forum for detailed explanations.

  • 8:12 — HR suggest moving to discuss next steps and state that the meeting won’t change the outcome.

  • 8:55 — They start to discuss logistics.


This is a disaster in a lot of ways. Employees shouldn’t be wondering why they’re getting let go, especially if it flies in the face of everything they’ve been told by their manager.


If the real reason is actually related to performance, then it’s best to cite data. If it’s not related to performance and it’s actually a RIF, then it’s best to just say that.


People can handle the truth. This isn’t A Few Good Men.



It’s also more appropriate if the employee’s direct manager, who has a working relationship with the employee, to be involved in the termination process (but who knows — maybe they were let go, too). Brittany already felt misunderstood going into a difficult conversation because Dom and Rosie from HR were strangers, and I feel for her.


All told, there’s no doubt that Cloudflare could have handled this better, especially since they let go of ~40 people per quarter anyway.


But my gripe is with recording yourself getting laid off. This is 100% a bad look. Here are the cons and pros as I see it:


Cons

  • First, privacy & legal concerns — was everyone on the call in a single-party consent state? Brittany didn’t know who the HR employees were, let alone where they lived. Recording a call (let alone publishing it) without everyone’s consent could be a massive legal issue. Why risk legal headaches?

  • Going scorched earth is best reserved for military operations — burning bridges with your current employer closes the door with them for future references or re-employment

  • You irreparably damage your professional reputation — breach of trust, lack of professionalism, playing small, short-sighted games vs. the long game, you name it.

  • Big question mark for future employment opportunities — I’m sure Brittany will get offers to interview or join companies from this. But I think net net it’s a negative outcome. It’s far more likely that many more doors will stay closed vs opening anew. While employers are looking for candidates to check all their boxes, they’re also on the lookout for reasons to say no.

  • Big question mark from colleagues in your network — if you record yourself getting laid off, what other conversations will you record and publicize?

  • Your personal brand is defined by a single negative event: It overshadows your accomplishments and it makes it that much harder to move forward, learn from an experience, grow and heal as an individual and professional, etc.

Pros

  • You potentially bring about change because you’re sparking a public conversation around how big companies bungle layoffs

  • Interesting job opportunities come your way

  • You go viral, grow your social media following, and become an influencer (seriously)

One of my favorite sayings is “you gotta risk it for the biscuit”. But in this case, the risk seems extreme and the biscuit is highly uncertain and improbable.


My advice: don’t record yourself getting laid off.


It’s not the “gotcha” moment you think it is.


It’s a self-own.


Here’s a quick roundup of Chief of Staff jobs I came across last week & my thoughts:


💩 Chief of Staff @ ~POURRI — flipping the funk on odor, naturally


Why I like it: I grew up with the brand and it’s a great excuse to use the poop emoji. Plus their founding story is badass – Suzy Batiz bootstrapped ~POURRI in 2007 with $25,000 and grew by word-of-mouth for the first 6 years (and sold over 60M+ bottles of fragrance by 2019)!


Suzy is a big believer in your intuition being your number one superpower, and that we should “think less and feel more, using logic and data only to confirm what we already know is right in our gut.” I love this :)


~POURRI is looking for a Chief of Staff with analytical, project management, and communication skills to help drive decision-making and timelines, improve workflows & processes, and execute special projects.Ideal candidates have experience as a Chief of Staff or in a similar role, as well as a self-starter, risk-taker, and challenger mindset.


📍This role is onsite in Addison, TX


🕶 Chief of Staff @ KREWE — one-of-a-kind frames


Why I like it: My first purchase in Austin was a pair of KREWE sunglasses at their SoCo concept store, so I have a soft spot for them!


KREWE is laser-focused on productivity and efficiency, and they’re looking for a Chief of Staff to help streamline strategic initiatives, oversee program management, and communicate OKRs across the org.


This is an ops-focused role, so on-target candidates have been senior project managers or analysts who have an “extreme dedication” to improving processes. You'll also have 3-5 YoE and skills in data analysis, budget management, and consulting with a focus on operations.


No salary is shared but my guess is there’s a tight band around $150k (or maybe even a ceiling) given the analytical & consulting experience required.


📍This role is based in New Orleans, and relocation assistance is available.


🏋️ Chief of Staff @ KICKOFF — AI-powered remote personal training


Why I like it: KICKOFF’s mission is to make life-changing coaching accessible with a focus on guidance and accountability that motivates. The company was founded in 2019 and they last raised a $7M round in 2022.


I also love when a company is front & center with their values. Here’s KICKOFF’s:

🚀 Drive impact with 10x projects

🧑‍🔬 Learn with B+ quality & iterate

💜 Support and challenge each other

🪑 Remember the 3 legged stool (client, coach, and company)

🏠 Take ownership

📔 Simplify


Their Chief of Staff will be focused on strategy development & execution, and overseeing analytics and cross-functional special projects. Ideal candidates will have 2+ YoE in consulting, investment banking, or related, 2+ years of startup experience, and strong quantitative skills.


They also value candidates who have worked in an environment where they were required to learn quickly, inform strategic decisions, and work hard (hence the management consulting & investment banking filter).


📍This role is based in NYC.


My bookmarks on X:

 

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