Have you ever been pushed out or fired from a job?
I have. It sucks, it’s unfair and it can really humble you.
The time I was pushed out of a job, everything was going great until my colleague was promoted to be my boss and then suddenly I couldn’t do anything right.
I started to receive negative reviews and was was put on a performance improvement plan – the kiss of death! I remember her telling me there’s only room for one of us. I knew she saw me as a threat before but it only got worse when she became my boss. Every day was stressful to go into work. She was curt with me, and then started leaving me out of meetings on my own projects. She hired someone beneath me and started giving her my responsibilities.
I knew the writing was on the wall, but my mom was battling cancer and I could only deal with so much at once. Not soon after my mom passed away, she fired me. Well actually they let me resign. And they even threw me a goodbye party to save face among all of the lawyers who were my supporters. But the people on the inside knew what was really going on.
I was so disappointed in my employer for allowing her to assassinate my character and push me out the door due to her own insecurities. And this is why write so much about mean girls in the workplace. Mean girls are particularly dangerous when they are your boss. And HR is very likely going to be on their side.
Here’s what I know first hand.
My ego was crushed because so much of my identity was intertwined with my success at work. I felt like a failure. My confidence was shattered.
Suddenly I had so much time during the day, and I didn’t know what to do with it. I started to write and found my voice helping others.
I networked like crazy but I made sure to wait until I felt less wounded, because I didn’t want to sound desperate or bitter. That can really turn people off from wanting to help you.
I made a list of everything I wanted in my next role. And the kinds of things I would not tolerate in a boss, a workplace and my colleagues. I vowed to never again ignore red flags during the interview process. And then the last time, I wound up starting my own business.
I eventually bounced back better than before. I was determined and not afraid anymore.
Being rejected is actually being redirected.
It doesn’t mean that you won’t be successful again or that you’re a bad person if you get fired.
It means that your job wasn’t a good fit for you. And it frees you to go find something better suited for you.
Plenty of people get fired and they bounce back.
Someday you will look back and realize exactly why things in your life happened the way they did. That doesn’t mean that day is today.
The key is to stay focused on forward momentum and let go of what was “lost” to find what is next.
If you choose to focus on taking action toward your future, you will create opportunities.
Let’s normalize getting fired.
Please remember that nothing lasts forever, and you can and will get through this. Setbacks like this happened to so many successful people. Lean on people who have your back and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
What did you learn from being let go or fired?