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future of work personal development work culture

I got fired over Zoom 🤯

Ever been fired over Zoom? 

This week, it happened to me – halfway through a six-month contract. I got a calendar invite for a ‘catch up and chat’ with my manager.

Big budget cuts and the client wants to focus on paid social media, not organic posts (I’ve been writing playbooks for them).

I’d done what they hired me to do, and none of the other teams had any work left for me, so that was it.

She did it nicely and better via Zoom than email – though it felt hardcore and surprised me.

You’ve done a great job. We couldn’t have done it without you. Love to have you back next year when budgets are back to normal. Let us know if you need a reference… 

Bit more than a ‘catch up and a chat’ !!

Two conversations were happening in tandem. The one on Zoom with my manager and the internal one in my head with Anxious Annie. FUCK. I can’t believe it. How are you going to pay the bills? What about the yoga holiday! Have you been slacking again? 

She’s good at her job 🙄

I find these short-term contracts with agencies exhausting. It’s hard to relax and do your best work when you’re on float with multiple projects. I feel disposable (had a week’s notice on this one), so my LinkedIn profile is always ‘open to work’.

How much energy do you put into precarious work, even if it pays well? It’s hard to get the balance right. 110% usually, all or nothing, which is a route to burnout. 

Here’s what I did to get over it.

1. BREATHE. Wrote down what just happened. Seeing it on the page helped get it into perspective – a tip I picked up from the author of The Kindness Method, Shahroo Izadi, on the Solo Collective podcast.

2. Went for a walk.

3. Finished the job and sent a friendly email to the team and my agent. Set my boundaries for future roles (3-months minimum, it’s hard to do strategy and make a difference in less time). A longer notice period.

4. Booked a Rapid Rewire masterclass with Steph Kwong via Growmotely“Learn a proven, cutting-edge methodology to confidently create rapid change for yourself, guaranteed.” Gotta feel it to heal it! Powerful stuff.

Have you ever been fired? How did you deal with it? I’m taking a break from Agencyland.

 Nika


Justice for Johnny! 🎉 😁 I’m happy you’re at peace and have your life back. 

Highlight: watching his doorman Alejandro Romero deliver his pre-recorded testimony from his car, vape and then drive off. “I’m tired … I don’t want to deal with this court case … everybody’s got problems, and I don’t want to deal with this no more.” Modern law. Remote justice.


5 Things 🧠 💥

Talent to Money Summit is on 7 & 8 June online. The first global summit run by The Ask, helping you to start (and grow) a business you love. Great speakers who will be sharing their stories and strategies for success. I heard about this via the Newsletter Mastermind group (Ness Labs).

How ‘digital nomad’ visas can boost local economies (HBR.org). A visual overview of the current visas via country and how they might play a key role in fostering entrepreneurship and the creation of technology clusters around the world. Time for the US to get on board or risk being left behind.

Recommended Substack newsletters related to the future of work (Workforce Futurist). It takes a village to grow a newsletter. Thanks to Andy Spence for the shoutout and profiling work you’re enjoying. Some new writers to check out!

Building a swarm of thoughts with the founders of Napkin (Ness Labs). An interesting experiment – gathering a group of 100 authors to help build the next-generation thinking and writing tool (it looks great – watch the video). Get a month for free when you sign up for their newsletter. 

Gitlab: The Remote Playbook 2022 – this is the 3rd edition of Gitlab’s famous playbook. This time focusing on how your team works, not where, evolving design, mastering future of work skills, reducing burnout, and boosting wellness at work. Learn how they’ve scaled as an asynchronous, no office company. 


Written by Nika Talbot, founder of award-winning Firebird Studio. Content designer and UX writer. Based near Brighton, heart in Italy 🇮🇹

Send me a note: nika@nikatalbot.io.

Enjoy reading this? Why not buy me a glass of Prosecco? 🥂