So, you lost your job? You got fired. You got canned. You got the boot. Whatever you call it, the bottom line is, it sucks. It’s happened to me, and trust me, it is something I hope to never have take place again. Has it happened to you?
If it’s happened, there are a number of things you’re going to feel. Chances are you’re going to panic a little bit. You’ll be angry and hurt. No matter how you look at it, the experience and the aftermath are going to weigh you down.
Once the initial shock wears off, which can take a few hours or a few days, then the time comes to collect yourself and start looking forward. That sounds pretty simple, but as I recently discovered, that path isn’t the one that’s always taken.
Holding Onto Anger After Getting Fired
I was reading through Facebook, and stumbled upon an article that struck my fancy. It was an article listing some things you might have done wrong that led you go get fired. I clicked into the article, and also looked into the Facebook comments that followed the link. As I don’t want to call attention to the person about whom inspired my post, I’m not going to link to the article or the comments, but I will paraphrase the comment.
“This article is annoying. Women are awful to each other in job settings. I was fired 12+ years ago. The HR person, a judgmental lunatic named ______ _______ made my life miserable and ruined my job. She was jealous of me and that I was smart and good at what I did. I got fired and it was all her fault.”
I read this and was floored. And, I’m going to tell you, even though I paraphrased this, I did not embellish or exaggerate one single thing. If anything, I took a few things out of her comment.
Let’s look at some of the key things that happened here:
- She insulted the blog owner – She didn’t agree with the article but rather than put that kindly, she insulted the owner. That’s just bad form. The author didn’t bother to reply to the comment, nor would I have. I’m all for meaningful discussion with my readers, and I know that some may disagree with me, but when the conversation starts off as disrespectful, there’s no reason to continue on.
- She generalizes – She comments about how women are awful to each other. Interesting. Does that mean that she herself is awful to other women in job settings?
- She has held a grudge for over twelve years – That is a long time to hold a grudge. Was the job that great or important that she is still holding on to this much anger over twelve years later? Many couples that go through terrible divorces hold less anger after that long.
- She actually named the person – After twelve years, she put the person’s name in the comment field. How passive-aggressive and unnecessary is that? It serves no person except to show bitterness that should have long died by now.
- She assigned all the blame – She blamed every bad thing that happened at her job on the HR person that ‘ruined her job’. I find it hard to believe that one person, presumably not even her boss, could have that much influence.
- She took no responsibility – The last sentence says it all. She assigned 100% of the blame of her getting fired on this other person, meaning that she took absolutely zero responsibility for what went down.
- She is totally self-unaware – How can someone claim that a co-worker was that vicious when describing the experience with such venom and not see how any reasonable person is going to see them as the maniac? She lists out all kinds of character flaws about someone else, then demonstrates them in glorious fashion. It’s honestly painful.
You Got Fired: Take Your Lumps And Take Responsibility
As I said at the top, I’ve gotten let go. I was angry. I was hurt. And, yes, I blamed my boss. When I walked out of there, and even after, I was storming mad. When I left that place, I knew that on one hand, my boss was right: I didn’t perform well at my job. But, my boss was supposed to be my leader, so I put it on her.
Until I didn’t.
Eventually, as I got past the experience of being fired, I realized that some of the responsibility was mine to take. Yes, I feel my boss underperformed in her job in the way she mentored and led me, but I still had other things I could have and should have done. I have always been successful so once I struggled, instead of reaching out for help, I didn’t. I assumed I would just figure it out and it would all come together. That was my strategy. It was a bad one, and that part was on me.
Taking ownership of that responsibility was key.
What Taking Responsibility For Your Job Loss Gives You
Once you take responsibility, here’s what you get:
- You can let go of the anger – Being angry sucks. It takes a lot of energy. I’m generally a peaceful person anyways, so when I get angry, it affects my whole life. The job was over, but if I held onto the anger, the negativity was going to stay with me. By finding a way to let go of the anger, I was able to release that anger.
- You can learn for your next job – Once I took responsibility for getting fired, I was able to look back objectively at what had happened, learn from it, and apply those learning elements to my current job. Which I’ve been successful at, in good part because I was able to make adjustments and understand things better after having gone through what I did. Do you think the person who left the comment above has learned a single thing in the 12+ years since her firing? From what I can tell, I’m guessing no.
- You keen your awareness – Having gone through my experience, I now have a better understanding of myself and of others in the workplace. I now recognize people that have similar personality traits as my former boss that made us clash, and I try to steer my career away from them. If I’m reading the person who left the comment correctly, her position is that she just avoids working with other women. Great strategy.
Take Charge Today
If you’ve been fired, whether it be recently or years ago, I would encourage you to take responsibility. You don’t have to take 100% of the blame, because usually there’s plenty to go around, but make sure you be honest and take the portion that’s yours. That may seem weak, but it really can turn into an opportunity to strengthen you professionally and personally. I can’t think of a single person who wouldn’t benefit from that.
Readers, if you’ve been unfortunate enough to have been fired, how have you responded? What are some of the best and worst takeaways you’ve had or seen from others that have gone through the experience?Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.