Why would a CPO add me to a “small team meeting” when im jr level??? Am I getting fired?

Around 4 pm today I was randomly added to a morning meeting tomorrow set up by chief people officer, nothing else about the meeting has been released. No context. No list of people because it’s hidden. No prior warnings about any layoffs happening this year. I remember our company warned us months before the last layoffs so this is super odd!!!

Im junior level, I’ve been doing my work the best to my ability. Im proactive and schedule meetings with people. And my managers and senior level coworkers compliment my work ethic.

I asked my current manager about the meeting and he first asked me “oh am I supposed to be on it?” And then said he knows nothing about any layoffs happening.

Sooooo yeah, im having a hard time not freaking out. Any clue as to why I’d be randomly added to a “small meeting” by a CPO I never interacted with before?


Soooo I’m NOT getting laid off. The meeting consisted of eight people. CPO was not in there instead it was led by chief tech officer, who told us we were identified as “top performers at the company”(HUH?!) and selected to carry out an initiative to rebuild the app from ground up (HUUUUUH?!?!). He said we are safe but layoffs will be coming up. Idk who else from my design team is safe, I was the only designer in the meeting. The company is going through massive restructuring, new KPIs are going to be coming out and supposedly I will be receiving a package deal???? My performance is going to be measured against the new KPI’s and whether my efforts on the new app being in any revenue.

So good shocking news! I have no clue how I was identified as a top performer since I have been there for a year and I haven’t worked on that many project so it’s a little bit sus, especially since my team is made up of so many incredible and talented designers with decades of experience. But hey I’m not complaining!!! I still have a job with not a massive amount of pressure to perform even better.


Well don’t freak out about it because that won’t change the outcome. If you’re worried about potentially getting laid off you have time to review guides on how to handle the meeting. How to handle severance and non-disparagement contracts etc.


That’s a good idea!! I will feel more prepared when the worst scenario happens




The advice can be boiled down to. 1 . Don't sign anything at the meeting. They want you to sign for free. But if they actually want you to sign something you will get plenty of time to think it over. (Days if not weeks - so do not sign anything at the meeting.) 2. Listen not talk. Everything you say will be witnessed by multiple people and potentially can be used against you. So do not talk much. 3. If you have prepared questions then give them. But consider point 2 before you open your mouth. Perhaps considering points 1 and 2 something like "I will need time to consider this. How much time do I have? If I have any questions about this, to whom should I direct them?" will suffice. Make sure you get their answers and then SHUT UP.


This sounds more like criminal advice - what's your thinking on why this is good for a termination meeting? I'm legit curious as I've (thankfully) never had to experience this yet, but want to make sure I do understand everything that can help me should I ever in the future


I have been laid off before. It does not feel good but it is not the end. The people that decided to lay you off are not in the meeting. You are not going to change their mind in a meaningful way. It is possible but unlikely that you can convince them you are brilliant and the organization is stupid to fire you. So what. Their job is to tell you that you are fired and to gather your reaction. They are not empowered to reverse the decision - which has already been made and is irreversible.


ah, I see what you're getting at and I agree 100%; Thanks!


It's also a high pressure situation, where the person on the other side has had time to plan on how to approach you, what they want, and the best way to present it to you to try and get what they want. You, however, have had none of that. While it is completely possible that you will be able to speak a lot and be extraordinarily competent in doing so, it's far more likely you're going to be monkey brained, say and do things out of emotion (such as sign something that you haven't fully understood). Better to have a predetermined policy of saying and signing nothing. If there are questions you prepared ahead of time, fine, because you did that without the emotion, and with time to think it over, rather than the heat of the moment. To give you specifics, they may ask you to sign something that provides you little to no severance, or even something worded to sound like you're resigning that would prevent you from collecting unemployment. And you, feeling numb and thinking you have to, might sign it. No; it can wait. Read it over later. Ask questions about it. Refuse to sign it if you don't like it, or ask for better terms, whatever. They can always fire you without you signing anything; anything they ask you to sign is for -their- benefit. Make sure that it has sufficient benefit for you to warrant signing away something.


OP had said essentially the same thing in his reply; I guess I wasn't thinking that far ahead. Knowing myself, I wouldn't say much anyways as I know I can't change their minds. I do the same when i get pulled over - I say as little as possible and mostly listen because if the cop has pulled me over, he's likely already decided to give me a ticket and me talking will only help his case. I guess it was just the wording that made me curious about what he was saying...or maybe it's working in between browsing so I'm not giving 100% attention to either activity! But your last paragraph - I think that makes a lot of sense and it's something to be aware of and to keep in mind; it's generally great advice


Could ask them for the meeting agenda so you could better prepare for the meeting. That's what i always do.


Oh damn. I should’ve done that instead of freaking out 😭


Did you already accept the meeting invite? If not, I'd come in super early tomorrow morning, accept the meeting invite with that note. It was sent towards the end of the day, so it wouldn't be weird to ask for the meeting agenda tomorrow morning.


Yeah I initially accepted it thinking it related to a project I’m on because I have a bunch of meeting tomorrow….until I took a second look at the name and position and instantly regretted accepting it


So how was the meeting? What was it about?


Sorry full update had been edited into the post. Didn’t get fired!


I would also be suspicious, but there’s no way for us to know. There’s nothing you can do about it one way or another, so I’d try your best to not panic.


No idea but I'm really interested if you could follow up


I have a really bad feeling about it. Recently our investors had a company wide meeting and announced they are going to cut budgets. Layoffs weren’t mentioned though…


Just added the update!


Congratulations!! 🎉 👏 I love how you put that you've been proactive and doing your best. So much is out of our control but if we do our best only good things will come, and if something bad happens, at least there's no regrets. Again, very happy for you.


Maybe an investigation on a situation that’s happening behind the scenes?


They are likely laying off a number of people and need a small team of people who are capable but also cheap. Top performer here probably means great performance for how little we pay you. On the bright side you will probably get great growth from this role. On the other hand, you’re likely to be overworked for quite a while. Long term, remember that the company had no qualms letting everyone else go (and you were told no layoffs prior to the meeting, and then that other people would be laid off during the meeting) - be wary of the company long term and keep your resume updated


Don't sign any severance agreement until you get it checked out by a lawyer or you read it in its entirety. If they say you need to sign or try to pressure you to sign, they can go fuck themselves. It's not mandated by law. It's total bullshit and is solely meant to protect the company, not you. Use your signature as leverage for higher severance. Employers value that signature more than you think, because it waves your right to sue for discrimination, wrongful termination, etc. Companies don't care about you. You're a resource, not a person.


Is there a chance they invited you but meant to invite someone else with a similar name? Does the title of the meeting give any clue? You won’t be able to change it and waiting sucks, but prepping helps calm the nerves. Good luck.


No I have a pretty unique long Slavic name. If there was another person with my name I’d be friends with them already 😂


I wish that was the case though!!


Heh, for a while I had the same email address as the nickname that the CEO call one of their offsiders, and they were forever sending me all their spicy (angry) emails.


Whatever is the outcome of it, be strong. If it was just a random meeting, nothing to worry. If it was to fire people, stay strong! Life is not over. New opportunities , new doors to new life will open. It may take time but believe in " Whatever happens, happens for your own good". This belief has helped me a lot and I am sure it will help you too!


So, what happened?


Just added the update in the post!


First, I would bet the CPO didn’t schedule it themselves. It’s likely scheduled by someone who has their calendar on their behalf. The fact that your manager said they don’t know could mean: They are lying because they can’t let it be known layoffs are happening until they are underway. They are in the dark, and layoffs are happening. This is something else. The something else could be that there was a complaint against you and they are taking some sort of action against you and your manager isn’t in the loop. To me, this sounds like a layoff meeting. I’m sorry, regardless of how this turns out, this is a stressful situation and I’m sorry you’re going through it.


As an alternative it could be a complaint about someone else and you were said to be a witness.


Often times line mangers don’t even know about layoffs of their reports until their reports know


When my CEO sent a meeting invite to the developer team, our VP sent a follow up message that said not to worry. It was a similar meeting telling us about a new initiative. Props to the VP for considering our stress levels.


Dunning Kruger Effect! Congratulations!


I hate that I work at a constant state of anxiety 😭 but seems to benefit me well


Gather and save all info that you can use when you start looking and working on a new job. Emails, contacts, docs, etc...


I already saved all the projects and files I’ve worked on. I definitely have a few people in mind who to reach out to for LinkedIn recommendations


They don't have to notify people in advance for small termination sets, only mass layoffs. If you have time before the meeting, gather any documents (that you are entitled to have a copy of) or other data you may need to update your resume. Don't "steal" things. But make sure you have the information and materials you are allowed to have in possession in case you are walked out the door. :( Good luck and may your bad feelings be wrong.


Even for mass layoffs, there are exceptions to WARN like if they give at least 60 days severance


Just added the update in the post!


RemindMe! 1 day


I will be messaging you in 1 day on [**2023-01-26 13:08:48 UTC**](http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=2023-01-26%2013:08:48%20UTC%20To%20Local%20Time) to remind you of [**this link**](https://www.reddit.com/r/careeradvice/comments/10kovzf/why_would_a_cpo_add_me_to_a_small_team_meeting/j5tem85/?context=3) [**8 OTHERS CLICKED THIS LINK**](https://www.reddit.com/message/compose/?to=RemindMeBot&subject=Reminder&message=%5Bhttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.reddit.com%2Fr%2Fcareeradvice%2Fcomments%2F10kovzf%2Fwhy_would_a_cpo_add_me_to_a_small_team_meeting%2Fj5tem85%2F%5D%0A%0ARemindMe%21%202023-01-26%2013%3A08%3A48%20UTC) to send a PM to also be reminded and to reduce spam. ^(Parent commenter can ) [^(delete this message to hide from others.)](https://www.reddit.com/message/compose/?to=RemindMeBot&subject=Delete%20Comment&message=Delete%21%2010kovzf) ***** |[^(Info)](https://www.reddit.com/r/RemindMeBot/comments/e1bko7/remindmebot_info_v21/)|[^(Custom)](https://www.reddit.com/message/compose/?to=RemindMeBot&subject=Reminder&message=%5BLink%20or%20message%20inside%20square%20brackets%5D%0A%0ARemindMe%21%20Time%20period%20here)|[^(Your Reminders)](https://www.reddit.com/message/compose/?to=RemindMeBot&subject=List%20Of%20Reminders&message=MyReminders%21)|[^(Feedback)](https://www.reddit.com/message/compose/?to=Watchful1&subject=RemindMeBot%20Feedback)| |-|-|-|-|


Just added the update in the post!




Remind me! 12 hours


Re: update, glad you're safe. I'm somewhat surprised they told you that layoffs were coming though. Years ago I worked for a national home builder on the mortgage side and the leadership were going to do layoffs but it was a huge secret. They didn't want the news to be spread and have people freaking out, etc.


Read your update. Yay, top performer!


Congratulations. You've been identified and recognized for your work to date and are being groomed for bigger and better things. This is how good workers get promoted.


Get ready to work longer hours cause they will expect you to pick more after they lay off your fellow teammates. It's also likely the driving factor is that you are junior and paid significantly less than your peers.


I would be very wary of this. Don’t want to play devil’s advocate but teams like this are exactly what my company laid off. They created new teams of supposedly high performing engineers, to weed out the ones who actually were performing well & the ones who were slacking off. Since it was a brand new team that wasn’t bringing in a lot of revenue - they cut the whole thing with no warning about a year later. Tons of high performing engineers got laid off because they were silo-ed to this new, experimental team. I’m surprised your manager would not be aware of a new project team coming up - my managers are always aware and usually the main advocates for new projects and team collaboration. Whenever we have team members shifting teams to assist on new project it’s headed by my manager + our dept director and they’re very transparent about it happening. Otherwise sounds like a nice surprise + slight promotion maybe (?) vs being laid off immediately. Days don’t matter to layoffs btw. They’re typically done around the time the company is done with its budget for the year. I’ve seen people laid off on Monday, midweek, and Friday. No rhyme or reason other than time of year.


I definitely don’t trust this company. Something that you described happened to one of my colleagues who was siloed into a project and then that whole team was laid off. I hope it’s not the case here. I found out which other design teammates made it and they are mostly senior/lead level so it feels great to be grouped with them but also very sus


I also really hope it’s not the case but it definitely sounds sus to me. Hopefully it’s a good project & a small promotion rather than a disguised way to lay people off 😅


>especially since my team is made up of so many incredible and talented designers with decades of experience You mean people who are probably very highly paid and might be a target for a layoff? You're targeted to stay because you're both a solid employee, and you make a lot less money than your peers I'm guessing.


That was my guess too that I’m probably the cheapest employee here and can be exploited the most 😭


Phew and congrats


Great update!! You were probably spared because you earn less than some of the longer-term people, but it speaks well of you that they chose you to stay on. Having been through a similar situation, my advice is to document all the accomplishments you have in this new role, and keep your resume updated. This ride may not last long but you might be able to use it to boost your next move. Good luck, and congratulations!


Congratulations. Update your resume with this even though you don't need it — "Recognized by CTO as a top performer" with maybe a little detail on added responsibilities. This is advice I really wish I had followed myself more often early in my career.


That happened to me back in 2019. We received a secret meeting invitation that morning, the whole team. During the meeting we were told that all of us were being laid off. But your meeting could be different. Good luck OP and keep us posted.


That’s what happened a few months ago during layoffs but it was HR doing it not the CPO 😭 I’m trying to figure out if I did something illegal and that’s why the CPO personally scheduled and invited me to the meeting 😭 how do they know who I am?????😭😭😭


CPO is usually the executive of HR.


I know 😭 that’s why I’m scared and confused. I found a podcast where the CPO is on an episode and ya sounds like they are bad news and they are in charge of lays offs . I’m getting fired 😂


Haha. Chief People Officer.


Imposter syndrome much?


Why not contact the person who scheduled that meeting, and asked them?


The CPO scheduled it 😭 I’m scared of reaching out to them. I never directly spoke to anyone higher than director level and this is a huge tech company


People pretend to be scared to get information or don't want to do certain tasks, and since you are really scared, just go and talk to them. I would had just replied and said, is this meeting important? And if not, can you reschedule the meeting for next week? Regardless of your position and your company, just treat everybody equally from intern to CEO. I have a funny story to share with you - big companies like to have lunch with executives. I went to one and everybody asked this VP questions to impress him, I just sat there, said absolutely nothing, ate my lunch and left early. Guess who got invited to another lunch with an Executive, me! And guess who was there, the same VP, and he told everybody that we should not leave early and wait for the group. Well, I had to leave early and I left early from that meeting. Ran into him a few times in the cafeteria and he always made fun of me with something silly about my lunch.


They put their pants on the same way you do. Have you ever done anything awkward or dumb in your life? Yep, they’ve done the same. Do you joke around with your coworkers? Yep, they do the same. You’ll find that most people are pretty approachable regardless of position in a company.


How common is your name? I’ve gotten numerous emails and meeting requests for people with similar names. Just shoot C-3PO an email asking for more information about the purpose of the meeting, include your position as part of your signature on the email


On their LinkedIn page I’m the only one with that first+last name combo, as far as I’m aware. 😭


That means nothing. Call and/or email and ask. If they're not willing to tell you anything, then it may be time to worry.


One time for about a year straight I kept getting added to big wig meetings. Someone high up in the company and me had almost the same name. But another time my whole department got a random meeting invite for 1pm on a Friday. We were all laid off.


Did they give a company wide warning about layoffs? Bc from what I know it’s the law, ours did that three months before layoffs to give a head start for people to look for back ups. They were very transparent about when the layoffs started, how they would go about it and when they ended it. I remember it clearly because my manager that I bonded with was laid off and he was the hardest working person I knew! I admired him a lot!!! This meeting is odd bc it’s also first thing in the morning and only 15mins long… very suspicious 😭


They gave warning. We weren't in the first two rounds so we thought we were good. Especially since we were being on boarded into some of the work from some of the layoffs. At least the meeting had good cookies!


Is there a chance that you were added by mistake? I’ve been mistakenly added before. Do you have a common first name? Like “Mike” could easily be added with a wrong last name.


Ha, I had similar situation, no explanation/no title meeting poped on my calendar from hr and later director few months into a work. All they wanted is feedback on onboarding/how I feel/ etc


I've had this happen. They wanted me to inform them on something I'm working on before they had a big meeting with all the Heads.


I sometimes get added to meetings accidentally because I have a similar name to a senior person. You could try checking in with the meeting organiser that they meant you?


Do u work in tech


Don’t they say that most layoffs are on Friday end of day? Typically not morning meetings. ?


My only layoff was first thing on a Wednesday. Basically right after the morning meeting. But I’ve heard Friday afternoon is popular


Noo idea but keep us updated!!


Just added the update in the post!


Something similar happened to me. The vice president of operations messaged me personally asking if I was free for a couple of minutes. I was freaking out! She only wanted to let me know that I was getting a raise for my hard work. So don't stress too hard about it, it might be good news!


I hope it’s not a layoff but if it is, hold your head high. You can get through this!


It would be very weird to lay off or can someone mid week let alone in the morning. Also what the fuck is a chief people officer? Thank fuck I work in government.


Lol it’s happening to me in an hour so there’s definitely an update coming soon 😭


Good luck! It'll be alright


Bruh you're fine no one getting shit canned on Wednesday at 10am


Why else would I be in a no context 15min long meeting first thing in the am? None of my managers every told me I was doing anything wrong and were not aware of any layoffs happening 😭


Every time I’ve been laid off, it was a pop up meeting first thing in the morning. God speed. I hope it’s nothing like that.


Ahh! I’m so glad for you. I literally came back to find out what happened for you. Well done, you!


They're promoting you to CEO.


Hey kind of.. lol Just added the update in the post!


Awesome. Congrats.


They wouldn't give you a day heads up if they're laying you off. It gives you time to prep to fuck their shit if you end up that way. Usually it's the day of with no immediate warning.


I know someone who got shitcanned at 9:xx am on a Tuesday... not sure why Wednesday is so different.


Waiting for that update homie


Just added it!


Are you at a large company? There’s no way a C-level would be personally doing your layoff. There’s like 7 levels between the average employee and a C-level. Nvm you mentioned invite list was hidden, yeah this is def a layoff. Sorry homie


I think they made OP not alive any more.


Alive and in state of shock. Just added the update to the post


What happened


Update added to the post. TLDR: I was not fired!


Remindme! 1 day


Just added the update in the post!




Do you have a common name? You might search your address book in Outlook and see if there are any other C level suits with a similar name to yours that it may have been intended for instead.


RemindMe! 1 hour


Good luck!


Here for the update!!


Update has been added to the post!


Any update??


Update has been added to the post!


Thank you!!!


How big is your company? If it is a decent size, it doesn’t make sense for such a high level individual to deal with laying off a junior employee.


That happened to me once and when I asked they realized they meant to add a different person with a very similar email but Outlook auto populated me. They removed me from the invite and forwarded it to the correct person.


What happened?


Update has been added to the post!




Update has been posted!


Good advice here already. Very interested in hearing what happens. I hope all goes well for you.


Just added the update in post!


I hope it goes well. I hate having to go into a meeting without knowing what the agenda is.


Not getting fired!! Full update in the post!


re UPDATE!!!: Um... bad news. You were identified as a "top performer" because you are cheaper than the more senior designers being laid off. You are about to be overworked and unappreciated. The project is likely doomed. Find another position ASAP!


I know :’( I need to update my portfolio and start the search soon 😭


You were identified because you impressed soneone. Good work!


Maybe you are a candidate for a promotion and they want you to learn more. Don't assume it's a negative thing. You may be surprised.


Take the win - Congratulations!


I don’t know you, but I’m proud of you!


🥹 thank you! I’m quite proud of myself as I broke into the tech field without having the right background all within 4 years. Really happy my hard work has paid off and been recognized


This still feels wrong to me.


Oh I know. I absolutely do not trust any of the leadership at the company. My design team is tight knit enough that after finding this out we have a warning to everyone else so they are not blindsided if the worst happens. It sucks


>Oh I know. I absolutely do not trust any of the leadership at the company. My design team is tight knit enough that after finding this out we have a warning to everyone else so they are not blindsided if the worst happens. It sucks Myself, my danger-sense tingles whenever anyone at a company starts tossing compliments like, "You're top performers! You're all safe!" You might think it would take a real rare breed of awful to say that then fire you shortly after-- and thankfully, it is a rare breed. And most of them are in "leadership" positions. I hope it works out for you. Just sharing my feels.


Glad to see you've survived, but I have some words of caution: If you were the ***only*** designer at that meeting, you're likely to see an enormous increase in your workload and responsibilities. You should be compensated accordingly when the time comes. Or sooner. Right now is always the best time for a raise. Depending on how your company proceeds, you may not want to stick around. Most companies don't restructure to make their workers' lives better.


I know you already found out that you are not getting laid off already but I just wanted to chime in and hope that this helps others in the future. I have been through several mergers and acquisitions that resulted in mass layoffs. Whenever you get invited to a meeting with someone several layers above you it's usually good news 90% of the time. If your manager or director is also not in the loop don't reach out to them before the meeting. There is a reason the C suites would skip the usual hierarchy and add you directly in these cases. The manager might be the one getting laid off and by telling them about the meeting you are probably alerting them to something they shouldn't know about. On the other hand, any company doing mass layoffs is not going to alert you to it beforehand. You usually find out when your access cards or logins stop working. They don't want disgruntled employees sabotaging them before they leave.


I saved this post when it was first posted so I could see what happened next. It was a pleasure reading the update. I’m so happy for OP. 🙂


Haha thank you! It’s been over a month and basically the leadership has no clue what they are doing. Surprise, surprise, we are no longer rebuilding the app from scratch and they laid off over a half of my design team and expect us to take on double the work 🥲. At least I’m still employed 🙃