Your employer recently decided to fire you, or to put it in a friendlier term, let you go. You entered the office one day, and you never thought of leaving with a box of personal belongings from your desk. You then made that walk of shame as you headed for the exit. Currently, you are jobless.
Whether your previous role was terminated, you were relieved of your duties due to the company’s financial struggle to stay operational, or you were fired because you consistently received negative performance reviews, there is no denying the truth: being fired hurts deeply, but that does not mean the world stops spinning.
Being fired does not mean you are born to be a lousy employee, incompetent at your work, or a total failure. The reality is that all employees are being rendered jobless due to various reasons. At times, it is a matter of not finding a good fit. Other times, the career you were in is not the career you wanted. For some, the decision to fire someone is simply business and not personal.
Whatever the reason you have been fired, below are five reasons why getting fired can be a good thing for you and your career.
1. It is time for a reality check.
If you have been rendered unemployed based on your subpar work performance, being let go can actually be likened to a reality check. Perhaps you harboured a negative attitude while you were at work.
Perhaps you applied for annual leaves too frequently, had lousy work ethics, or often displayed a lack of professionalism in the workplace. If you are guilty of any of these behaviours, getting fired may actually be the reality check you so desperately need to reflect on what you really want in your life and implement changes that better align with your desired future. Here, you can find a glimmer of hope; you can always incorporate better habits at your subsequent employment. Never ever apply for a sick leave unless you have a genuine health problem that needs to be rectified. Keep your professional appearance at your new job. Never forget to dress to impress and maintain professional communication with your co-workers. Long story short, the poor habits you once had at your previous job can serve as learning experiences. One of the best things you can do for yourself in life is capitalising on the negative energy to convert your work habits into positive ones.
2. A whole new world of opportunities awaits you.
You may find what I am about to say next uncomforting: sometimes getting fired is the fuel you need to propel you to a new job. If you had poor work ethics as aforementioned, maybe you were so obsessed with remaining in the comfort zone that you hardly had any reason to search for a new challenge. We human beings are a creature of habit. That said, maybe you have been too afraid to explore new opportunities.
Widen your career search. Be on the lookout for jobs in new cities. Always maintain an open-minded approach to observe what opportunities are waiting for you out there.
3. Time to re-examine the career pathways available to you.
Getting fired does not always have to be heart-breaking news. It is all about perspective. A significant positive that might come out of getting fired could be re-evaluating your career choices. If you were fired due to underperformance, treat that as a sign indicating that you may belong in another industry. A reserved, quiet introvert may not succeed in any sales and marketing roles. An extrovert may not like a clerical job. Getting forced out of the company may motivate you to try out a new industry.
Perhaps you have been working as an accountant for several years now and want to make a move to customer service. My advice: just do it. You only have one shot at life, and if you are not going to make the move now, when will you do it? Sometimes, we cling onto jobs and tie ourselves to them because nothing scares us more than job insecurity. Yes, it is unpleasant to live life being a jobless person, but it can be the start of a whole new, better chapter. If you do not make that first move, you will never find out if the new industry you are exploring is what you are looking for.
4. Time for a getaway, perhaps?
If you have been longing to go backpacking around the world or a study abroad experience that others took advantage of while pursuing their university degrees, maybe getting fired is that push you need to travel for yourself. Put your savings to use and pamper yourself to a cultural, worldly experience.
Travelling has tremendous benefits; it rejuvenates your spirits; it challenges you to take up new languages, develop global perspectives, and discover new cultures. If you have been held back until now, being unemployed temporarily may be the best time for you to see the world. If circumstances permit, spend a couple of weeks or even a month off. Purchase a plane ticket overseas and let life guide you. You may just come back home with a whole different outlook on life.
5. You still got your emergency fund to rely on.
If you are a financially literate individual, you are familiar with the significance of having an emergency fund that can comfortably cover your essential expenses for the next three to six months until you can establish a foothold in your next career conquest. Therefore, do not worry too excessively about finances. For now, focus on finding work, and the rest will come by themselves naturally.
Final 2¢: Being fired does not mean you are forever a failure.
Being fired from your job is any professional’s worst career nightmare. However, it does not define who you are, what you can do, or your path to tremendous success. Being rendered unemployed by your previous employer does not make you a complete failure forever. You can bounce back from even the worst of circumstances. Always look at the silver lining. Whether you now have an opportunity to re-evaluate your career path or travel, take this period to reflect on yourself. Use every way imaginable to turn this negative experience into a period of self-development and self-discovery. Then, when you are out looking for your next job, be sure that the job, the company and the career path you have set for yourself align with your professional goals. You deserve to be happy with where you end up.