Not long ago, I was chatting with a colleague about what it’s like to lose a job. With a big smile and chuckle she said “everyone should get fired at least once in their life.” I laughed back, realizing she’s absolutely right!
Sure, getting fired is lousy and can be devastating. Not having control to make the decision to leave or stay in your job can be a hard pill to swallow. Whether it was due to restructuring or it wasn’t the right fit. But (yes there’s a big But), it can provide an enormous opportunity if you let it.
1. Learn from your experience – What will you take with you and what can you discard? This takes deep reflection on understanding what worked well in your job and what didn’t. Is it your perception on your performance, your relationship with your superior, colleagues or your staff? Or could it be your work habits or skill set and if they was used to potential? And what are your values? Did they line up with the organization you were in?
2. Learn not to give all of yourself away –Many of us go through our days knowing things may not be perfect but fall into the trap of, “if I just work harder.” Do you tend to give work your absolute and leave nothing on the table other parts of your life? Remind yourself that you are not your work – it’s just one aspect of your abundant life. This is an opportunity to evaluate how you spend your time and energy, including how you prioritize family, friends, interests and even yourself.
3. Take time to discover exactly what you’re meant to do with your life – Deeply reflect on what brings you passion and rediscover the gifts you bring to the world. It may not come instantly, so notice when you’re happiest. What little things that bring you joy? Ask yourself what situations, events or jobs have given you meaning and opportunities to express your passion?
4. Take back the control to make your own decisions – The decision to leave your job wasn’t yours. Now you have the chance to choose your next step. It may be researching and choosing companies that you want to work with. It could be deciding to start your own business or perhaps taking time-out. The important thing is that you get to decide. Redefining your goals and direction goes a long way in building your confidence and starting you on your right path.
5. Learn what’s important to you and what isn’t – When we’re in a job that’s taking up our energy the tendency is to focus entirely on that. Now’s the time to reassess your values. These guideposts are critical in helping you figure out your next step. If being of service takes precedence over making money, your next venture should align with that value. If you value optimum time with family, a job that requires your availability 24/7 may not be best. It’s all about getting the right fit, so ensure you have clarity on what’s essential for you.
These are opportunities to take back your power, be in charge and make your own decisions. The best advice I got when I was let go from my job was to take time to sort through all my feelings and thoughts so I could be open to change and new opportunities. Be compassionate with yourself as healing needs to happen before you can move forward.
Getting fired is no picnic, but it does provide a huge opportunity for personal and professional growth. And yes, everyone should go through it once in their career.
Let us know in the comments below how you turned this adversity into success.
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Originally published at eveofchange.ca