Have you heard of Facebook?

It’s mid-2005. I’m sitting across from the CEO of a growing startup in what I hope – as a 23-year-old leaving the path of a journalism career to actually pay some bills – is the last interview for the job.

‘Guerrilla marketing’.

The CEO is kind, but my mind is racing as he now asks me to give some examples of the ways I’d engage in guerrilla marketing; ideas I could bring to the team. I’m racking my brain for a semi-intelligent answer – suddenly I realize how young I am – and the next thing I know I’m saying –

“Have you heard of Facebook?”

I still remember that day fairly vividly. It was the day I became conscious of something I think I’ve always done but never realized I was doing it: using personal experience to guide my actions, and the spirit of experimentation to create new opportunities for myself. For years, my CEO (and mentor) would remind me of how I blew his mind that day, as I logged in to my infant Facebook account right on his computer. There was a profile pic, the Wall, ‘too close for missiles, I’m switching to guns’. Facebook, just over a year from its own creation. Playing a random and active part in my career’s creation.

In a Jerusalem tech tower, there we were: 22-year-old me, a successful and recognized entrepreneur, and my contemporary, Mark Zuckerberg.

What I have pulled from that experience, which was the foundation of six years at Answers.com and the rest of my ongoing career, is that if you manage to become self aware enough, you can figure out how to use your own personal experience, worldliness, perspective, and spirit of experimentation as your guide. Shhh – do you hear that? It’s you, with the ability to feed your gut feelings. To build an idea into action. To learn a new trade. To become an influencer.

That day I opened a door for myself. And I got the job. And became a guerrilla marketer for as long as that was in style. Then a social media marketer, a content marketer, a marketing manager, a community manager, a brand builder.

Throughout my six years there, I learned so much about people. About high tech. About leadership. About startups. About Israel. About myself, as part of a pre-internet and post-internet generation. About early adapters. About humility and learning and biding my time.

My advice is, train in becoming self aware enough not to miss opportunities. But also self aware enough to know when it’s time to watch and learn and listen. That last part helps you know when the time is right to take opportunities, to take the leap of faith, to trust the brainstorm.

Maybe the best opportunities are born from the desperate need to justify your 22-year-old self. Or from knowing you have something to offer; you just need the guts to do it.

Some answers at the end of an era.

Three months ago, my company, a profitable American-Israeli-start up-turned-public-on-NASDAQ, was acquired for $127 million by an American holdings firm.

A week ago, something terribly sad happened. My company felt one of the hardest pains of being acquired; two-thirds of my office were laid off. As TechCrunch put it, it was ‘gutted.’

The saddest thing about the layoff to me was the tearing apart of the amazing team we were. As a group of people, we just… jived. We worked. We inspired each other and we shared with each other. Don’t be fooled; there are so many i’s in team – it’s just a question of whether the i’s are creative, brilliant and modest.

I think part of the reason we were so family-friendly as a workplace was because we ourselves felt like an extended family. So many of us are immigrants, with little-to-no blood relatives here in Israel. In six years of working there, I’ve joined in so many simchas – weddings, births, bar mitzvahs – and unfortunately, too many funerals. The family element was always there; personal lives were invited to enter the threshold and find supportive excitement or supportive comfort.

So, since last Monday, I’ve been mourning the team we were. We all have been. It was such an amazing, opportunity-granting time for all of us.

Now, those years are over.

But, colleagues: There is a reason head hunters are seeking team members out. There is a reason other companies are swooping in to scavenge the personnel – the company’s biggest asset.

If each of us made such an awesome picture together, I’m sure – and my hope for all of us is – we will each take back what makes us awesome, and find the next team to make great. And while taking back our individual assets, taking a little example of everyone else’s, too.