How to Handle Getting Fired (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 75)
“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
— Steve Jobs
No one exactly sets out to get fired. But once in a lifetime, it happens. For whatever reason, we may lose a position, lose a project, lose a job, or lose an entire career. Sometimes, it’s not our fault, but most times it is. Getting fired is both painful and embarrassing. If you don’t have a back-up plan, it stops income, maybe hurts a few loved ones, and shakes our confidence and sense of purpose. It pushes us back on our heels and forces us to do some soul-searching and thinking.
If you get fired (and I hope you never do), you want to keep in mind a few things. It may not help you get your job back, but it will help you keep your life going in as straight a line as it can go. Make no excuses when it happens. Don’t blame the boss, don’t curse your fellow co-workers, don’t write bad reviews on social media. Doing these things won’t help you and more than likely won’t give you a good recommendation letter from your previous employer, even though you may have been a reasonably good worker.
Take time to let the initial shock of being fired pass over. Release the strong emotional ties. Attempt to understand what may have gone wrong. If nothing within your control (such as a bad economy) was the source of the firing, then chalk it up as another experience from which you will learn. If you don’t learn to take the good with the bad, you’ll give in to resentment and bitterness and never live the life you were designed to live.
Ask yourself questions. Could you have done something better? Did you have the right attitude? Were you 100% for the company or were you mainly in it for yourself? Seek out ways in which you can improve your performance. We all can improve in one area or another; after all, we are not perfect. Find out if you’re in the right field, in the right position, receiving the right salary, and most of, make sure you’re doing something that you love. Difficulties are necessary lessons on the road to becoming who we were meant to be.
Finally, don’t determine your worth by your work. Your work is not who you are; it is what you do because of who you are. You are still a whole person worthy of acceptance and love, filled with creativity and purpose, even if you aren’t working. Getting a fresh start can reenergize you and give you a new perspective. Most bad things hurt and getting fired is no different. But like most everything in life, it can be the worst thing that ever happened or the best opportunity you’ve ever run into.
“I’ve been fired five times for having a bad attitude.”
— Meg Rosoff