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Five Life Lessons You Can Only Learn By Getting Fired


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Sometimes people don’t like it when I speak to groups of job-seekers and I ask people to raise their hands if they’ve ever been fired and then we cheer for them.

Watch on Forbes:

"You shouldn’t applaud that kind of behavior," people say. They think that only terrible employees get fired, but that is not true.

There are certain muscles we can only grow through hardship. If you have an easy life, you won’t grow as many muscles. That’s how Mother Nature works.

Getting fired is not a mark of shame, although some people think it is. It is easy to get fired for doing your job too well or for having better ideas than the boss has. If your boss doesn’t like being upstaged, that’s it for you!  You could be out the door tomorrow.

I was inoculated early. I got fired from a couple of different jobs at an early age.

The jobs were dead-end jobs and the managers were fearful. That doesn’t make them bad people. It just means that they did not want someone around them who asks a lot of questions. They were easily spooked.

Nobody sets out to get fired. It can happen when you least expect it.

Maybe there was a time in history when only terrible employees got terminated, but I doubt it. Certainly in the thirty-plus years I’ve been working I have seen many smart, enthusiastic and upright people get fired. They didn’t appreciate it at the time, but getting fired taught them valuable life lessons.

Here are five life lessons you can only learn by getting fired from your job:

1. You learn that the world will throw you curve balls, and you have to be ready.

2. You learn how far people will go to assert their authority.

3. You learn how to maintain your dignity in the working world’s most undignified situation.

4. You learn how to get up, dust yourself off and continue on your path.

5. You learn that you can survive getting fired without forgetting who you are.

Getting fired is shocking even for people who were expecting it. It’s one thing for an entire plant to shut down or a company to go out of business. In that case it’s sad, but it isn’t personal. It isn’t you specifically they’re trying to get rid of.

When you get fired, it’s very much a statement from the manager to you. It says "I don’t want to be around you." It might sting to receive that message, but soon it will hit you that your flame is big enough to singe people. You are more powerful than you think!

When you get fired, you see how far some people will go to avoid having a conversation about different working styles. Your fearful manager can’t do that. They can’t talk face-to-face with someone who works for them, especially not about sticky topics like communication, conflict and relationship dynamics. They are the manager and they call the shots that’s it. You crossed them and you have to go. They can’t wait to see the last of you!

When you get fired, you realize that the idea of getting fired was a lot worse than the actual experience.

You pack up your stuff and you leave, and you carry on with your day. Of course you will start worrying about next month’s rent, but it’s not really worse than worrying about whether or not you’re going to get fired!

When you get fired, you learn how to cope with reality, the greatest teacher of all. You might have to scramble to get a temp job or wait tables or drive people around town to make money.

You might have to move to a new apartment or a new city or live with your parents for awhile. All of these experiences are incredible muscle-building lessons, if you are open to the learning.

Every heroic figure has to overcome adversity. That is the only way to become a hero!

Getting fired is a step on your hero’s journey not a failure, nor anything to feel bad about.

Don’t feel bad about getting fired get the learning, instead.

Maybe there are jobs you shouldn’t take and managers you should avoid. As we go through life we can learn a lot about ourselves, and what we need from a job.

When you get fired, you learn that you can survive this tough experience and much, much more. Getting fired is a kind of snakebite. It is painful for a while but you’ll do a better job avoiding snakes in the future!

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Shutterstock

Sometimes people don’t like it when I speak to groups of job-seekers and I ask people to raise their hands if they’ve ever been fired and then we cheer for them.

Watch on Forbes:

“You shouldn’t applaud that kind of behavior,” people say. They think that only terrible employees get fired, but that is not true.

There are certain muscles we can only grow through hardship. If you have an easy life, you won’t grow as many muscles. That’s how Mother Nature works.

Getting fired is not a mark of shame, although some people think it is. It is easy to get fired for doing your job too well or for having better ideas than the boss has. If your boss doesn’t like being upstaged, that’s it for you!  You could be out the door tomorrow.

I was inoculated early. I got fired from a couple of different jobs at an early age.

The jobs were dead-end jobs and the managers were fearful. That doesn’t make them bad people. It just means that they did not want someone around them who asks a lot of questions. They were easily spooked.

Nobody sets out to get fired. It can happen when you least expect it.

Maybe there was a time in history when only terrible employees got terminated, but I doubt it. Certainly in the thirty-plus years I’ve been working I have seen many smart, enthusiastic and upright people get fired. They didn’t appreciate it at the time, but getting fired taught them valuable life lessons.

Here are five life lessons you can only learn by getting fired from your job:

1. You learn that the world will throw you curve balls, and you have to be ready.

2. You learn how far people will go to assert their authority.

3. You learn how to maintain your dignity in the working world’s most undignified situation.

4. You learn how to get up, dust yourself off and continue on your path.

5. You learn that you can survive getting fired without forgetting who you are.

Getting fired is shocking even for people who were expecting it. It’s one thing for an entire plant to shut down or a company to go out of business. In that case it’s sad, but it isn’t personal. It isn’t you specifically they’re trying to get rid of.

When you get fired, it’s very much a statement from the manager to you. It says “I don’t want to be around you.” It might sting to receive that message, but soon it will hit you that your flame is big enough to singe people. You are more powerful than you think!

When you get fired, you see how far some people will go to avoid having a conversation about different working styles. Your fearful manager can’t do that. They can’t talk face-to-face with someone who works for them, especially not about sticky topics like communication, conflict and relationship dynamics. They are the manager and they call the shots that’s it. You crossed them and you have to go. They can’t wait to see the last of you!

When you get fired, you realize that the idea of getting fired was a lot worse than the actual experience.

You pack up your stuff and you leave, and you carry on with your day. Of course you will start worrying about next month’s rent, but it’s not really worse than worrying about whether or not you’re going to get fired!

When you get fired, you learn how to cope with reality, the greatest teacher of all. You might have to scramble to get a temp job or wait tables or drive people around town to make money.

You might have to move to a new apartment or a new city or live with your parents for awhile. All of these experiences are incredible muscle-building lessons, if you are open to the learning.

Every heroic figure has to overcome adversity. That is the only way to become a hero!

Getting fired is a step on your hero’s journey not a failure, nor anything to feel bad about.

Don’t feel bad about getting fired get the learning, instead.

Maybe there are jobs you shouldn’t take and managers you should avoid. As we go through life we can learn a lot about ourselves, and what we need from a job.

When you get fired, you learn that you can survive this tough experience and much, much more. Getting fired is a kind of snakebite. It is painful for a while but you’ll do a better job avoiding snakes in the future!

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