I was fired. Not let go. Not a layoff. F-I-R-E-D.
Granted, that was eight years ago. But it haunted me for a long time. Before that moment I hadn’t experienced anything like that. I sincerely thought it was the end of my world.
Losing my job happened during a dark time in my life. I was young and stuck in an unhappy marriage. It was a time in my life when I was bitter, angry and dejected. I was good at my job, but my attitude was hard to handle.
I spent a little while being angry at the girl that orchestrated my firing. In this day and age, it seems appropriate that your employer would recognize that there are methods to help employees get through personal struggles. But in the end, it wasn’t her fault. It was mine. I was a mess. Divorce is a hard thing to go through. Let this be a lesson to us all; an unpleasant employee, no matter how good of a performer, has a target on their back.
The day that I lost my job, I was angry, mortified, yet somehow, deeply relieved. It was a job I didn’t want, in a place I didn’t feel comfortable, in an industry that I wanted out of for so long. Had it not happened I may still be there holding on to something I did not want. Never realizing I was free to go.
As I looked back on that day, what I started to see was that turning in my keys was the neat little bow on one of the best presents I’ve ever received. As my supervisor delivered the news with a lump in his throat, he unknowingly released the tie on the last binding I had to the area. It meant that I could finally lay to rest my twice separated marriage and let us both get down to the business of moving on.
Time doesn’t stop for you. But just like any barren spot or wound, the healing begins when we allow it to. One day you wake up, and it hurts a little less and a little less.
As I said earlier, I thought getting fired was the absolute worst thing that could ever happen to me. I felt that it was a permanent reflection of me, as my identity was so deeply rooted in my job. I took it extremely personal. I also thought that it meant that I would never find another good job. I thought that everyone would judge me.
As it turned out, I was only out of work for 45 days. During that time I packed up and moved from my home in Florida to be closer to my family. I pounded the pavement for three weeks after I moved. I looked for a job like looking for a job was my job.
Right as I was feeling completely discouraged, and ready to give up, I found a new job making the same money as I had in Florida. In the time that I worked for that company I received three promotions and accolades from my supervisors and peers. The last promotion was for a project that doubled my annual salary. That job allowed me to live comfortably for the first time in my life. And it allowed me to send money home to help out when my mom needed it most. I’ve also had the opportunity to go back to school for my master’s degree, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. And I’ve met a wonderfully kind, funny and sweet man that I love very much.
Not too shabby for a single girl trying to start over 🙂 The moral of the story? Sometimes the end is just the beginning. It was for me. I hope it is for you too.