One Friday in February 2015, I was taking the day off work to host a friend from out of town when I got a call from my company’s CEO. “We’ve done some restructuring, and all of marketing and sales were laid off,” he told me. That included me. I was scared, but kind of excited. Finally, I had a chance to reinvent myself.
I’d been working in marketing for a software company while pursuing my dream of writing on nights and weekends. Everyone told me writing was just not financially stable. But in the weeks following my layoff, while I was searching for other supposedly lucrative tech jobs, I wrote just to pass the time, and my freelance writing career unexpectedly took off. Within two months, I realized I didn’t need to work in tech, and within a year, I was making six figures. If I hadn’t been laid off, I never would’ve taken that risk, and I probably would’ve still been trudging away at a desk, feigning an enthusiasm for Hadoop architecture and trying to convince people that big data personalization software will revolutionize every industry. (Not saying it won’t, I just honestly DGAF.)
I know, I know — but I was laid off. It wasn’t personal. What if you’re actually fired? I’ve been in that situation too. One day during my senior year of college, my boss at the academic journal I'd been working for called me into her office and told me it just wasn't working. "Are you firing me?" I asked, and she regretfully nodded her head. She felt I was falling short in the detail-oriented aspects of the job. I took this to heart and began to doubt my abilities. But then, at my next job, my manager raved about how detail-oriented I was. Then, I went on to become an editor for several big publications. I may have not been performing my best at that college job, but I didn’t take my supervisor’s evaluation as a definitive statement on who I am. Instead, I just become all the more determined to show I actually did possess the skills she required and more.
My point is, losing your job can be a blessing if you treat it like one. Here are some ways you can not just bounce back from being fired but actually use it to you advantage and thrive more than you were before.