I have been fired more than once.
In fact, once my own father fired me. I was in high school. It was embarrassing. And to make matters worse, he did it at home.
But that wasn’t the first time, and it certainly wasn’t the last.
See, I have this problem—I think it’s an Aries thing—where I have an aversion to authority. If you speak to me in a condescending tone or try to micro-manage me, you might get attitude. I can’t help it!
The thing is, I am a good worker—great even. I have a killer work ethic and I know how to do my job, which is why it drives me crazy when people boss me around. Bosses, however, don’t like attitude. This I have learned.
Over the years, though, I have changed the way I look at things. I have come to realize that being fired really isn’t so bad.
I have worked a variety of different jobs over the years trying to figure out what I want to do. I’ve discovered that working in restaurants is the type of job I love. I’m good at it. You have your section, you serve your tables, and everyone trusts that you know what you are doing—but you are allowed to ask for help if you need it.
However, I often try to escape the service industry and do something more socially acceptable for an educated adult. A “real job“. That is where my problem lies.
I worked at three law firms.
I was fired from two.
I got a big girl job when I graduated from university and I was fired from that. The reasons vary, but it comes down to when I am unhappy in my job, my usual shine is dulled to a boring shade of gray.
I can not manage a filing cabinet with a smile on my face, I just can’t. And everyone can tell something isn’t quite right. “She doesn’t belong here,” whispers the secretary as she asks me to remove my nose piercings.
But here’s the thing—when we cycle through different jobs like that, we learn how to be resilient. We learn what we love, and what we don’t. We learn what kind of people we want to work for and in what kind of environment.
Although I swore I would never work in an office again, somehow I landed a killer nine-to-five job that was awesome—we got to do yoga at work and footwear was optional. You learn that those jobs are out there and that you are brave enough to wait.
It’s scary when we’re faced with unemployment, but panicking is the worst thing we can do.
Panicking is accepting the first job that comes our way. It’s applying for jobs that we are overqualified for and potentially underpaid.
Accept being fired. Embrace it. Take it not as a huge disappointment, but an opportunity for something new.
When I checked in with myself after getting fired, I found that zero times was I upset because I truly loved my job, but upset because it was a huge blow to my ego. How could they not want me?
After I got fired from that post-university cubicle job, I cried all the way home. What on earth was I going to do? However, what is there to do but figure it out? I knew I wanted a break from the office work, so back to the hospitality industry I went. I knew I would quickly find work that I enjoyed and was good at.
I printed out some resumes and I hit the streets. Within two days I had landed myself a serving job at a little breakfast restaurant where I proceeded to make more money than I ever made in my life. Within eight months I had paid off my credit card, booked flights and took off to Central and South America for six months on the most life-changing travels of my life.
Imagine if I had never been fired!
To me, getting “let go” has always been a blessing. There has always been something bigger and better right around the corner. It is an opportunity to reconsider what we actually want to do with your time, and maybe that is something totally different than what we thought.
Sometimes it can’t be seen right away, but if we trust in the process we’ll see that we’re getting exactly what we need.
Author: Jaime Heenan
Image: Courtesy of Janine Curry
Editor: Molly Murphy