For thirty eight years, I always prided myself on the fact that I had never, ever been fired from a job. Ever. I was always the one who left a job. Truth be told (especially when I was in my twenties), the going would get tough, or I would get bored or worse, if I felt slighted in the tiniest bit, I would simply put in my notice. Leave. Find something new. If I got bored, I’d leave. If I got frustrated, I’d leave. If my sales sucked or if I didn’t get that promotion, I’d leave. I did this throughout my entire twenties. When I turned thirty, I gave up on J.O.B.s and started working freelance. I was my own boss and I got to choose which clients I wanted to work with. If I didn’t get a good vibe from someone, if they ticked me off, or if I simply didn’t like working with them, I would just stop returning their calls when they requested me. I held the power. I made the decisions. I ran my own life.
The thing about that type of control though, is that it can seriously affect your work ethic. If you think about it, if I’ve never been fired, then that would make me a quitter. Of course there are positions that, um yeah, you have to leave. If they are taking advantage of you, if the situation is hazardous to your well being, etc. By all means, quit. But in each of my situations, I simply quit, gave up. Looking back, I see that I was indeed a quitter.
I didn’t realize this though until I recently got fired for the very first time. Let’s be honest, I was indeed on the verge of quitting. I loved the job. I loved the company. But what they needed and what I could provide just didn’t fit together. I was feeling very frustrated that what I was providing to my boss wasn’t working for them, yet he was still paying me for producing the work that I felt was “useless”. I felt bad. I felt like he was wasting his money. That’s a feeling I really hate. And it was neither of our faults. I’m a great “key”, I’m just the wrong “key” to fit in the company’s “lock”. I was feeling guilt, frustration, and those of course led to anger and a desire to leave. But I didn’t. I kept at it. I pushed through the frustration. I came up with even more ideas, more suggestions, more content. But still, it just didn’t work. We weren’t the right match. So when I got an email from my boss asking when would be a convenient time to talk to me, I knew what he was going to say. I was getting fired.
My initial reaction was anger. WHAT?!? ME??? FIRED??? WTF!!! But after a bit, I realized that my being fired was a good thing. It was the first time ever that I was not the one to give up. I pushed through it. I kept at it. I didn’t quit like I had so many, many other times. Am I relieved though that I’m no longer employed at that company? Yes, absolutely. Like I stated, we just weren’t the right fit. I still adore the company and we have a tremendous amount of respect for each other. But I’m also very proud of myself for not giving up.
The next time you are in a tough spot where you would normally give up, try and see if you can stick it out a little longer. It doesn’t have to be forever. Because by sticking it out, you never know what you might be able to accomplish. Even if it’s just knowing that you can handle more than you ever thought you could.