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.
She once told me there was only room for one of us. Every day was stressful to go into work. She was curt with me, started leaving me out of meetings on my own projects and gave others 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.
Her attacks on me were relentless and personal. She seemed to enjoy bullying me. Because she was in a position of power over me, I couldn’t do that much about it.
Not soon after my mom passed away, she fired me. (Well actually they let me resign and even threw me a goodbye party to save face among the lawyers who were my supporters).
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.
This is in part I why write so much about mean girls in the workplace and why I started Women Who Wow.
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 and was embarrassed because I had associated my self worth with my job title.
I forced myself to see things differently as one situation that just didn’t work out – not the end of the world.
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 otherw here on LinkedIn.
I networked a lot, but made sure to wait until I felt less wounded, because I didn’t want to sound desperate or bitter. That can 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.
I eventually bounced back better than before. I was determined and not afraid anymore.
I chose to see being rejected as being redirected.
Being fired doesn’t define you.
It doesn’t mean that you won’t be successful again or that you’re a bad person.
Getting fired is a reality of working in corporate America today. It can happen to anyone with or without good reason.
Plenty of people get fired and they bounce back.
Someday you will look back and realize 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’ll create opportunities.
Let’s normalize getting fired.
What did you learn from being let go or fired?