5 Lessons I’ve Learned from Being Fired

Welp, it happened. You got fired. It sucks. But now what? Go ahead and go lick your wounds, honor those feelings of sadness and defeat and then KEEP GOING. Do no victimize yourself – take your lesson from the situation and move on.

I’ve been fired from two jobs my entire working career. It happens. Sometimes things just doesn’t mix and we are only meant to take something from it and move on. I was usually pretty good about understanding when it was time for me to move on, and please don’t misunderstand me, “job hopping” is not something I advise or something you should even do but I was fresh out of high school and making my rounds in the retail world, from Victoria’s Secret to the Gap all the way to Swatch. It wasn’t until I put on that nice red polo shirt for the German watch company that it had finally hit me. My “F it Point”. Interpret that how you’d like but for the sake of readability let’s call it the “Fed up Point”. That point everyone reaches where they are just over their current situation and need to do something new and different…. fast.

My transition to the watch store was that point for me and I started putting my resume out for office positions. Not the highest of goals but anything was better than retail at the time and not before long I landed my first receptionist gig at a massage clinic and, to me, it was bliss at the time. It was semi laid back, I could wear jeans, it was by the beach and I thought I had made it… and so did my attitude. Long story short, I got one to many client complaints about my “tongue in cheek” dialogue and got let go. Interesting part was I was really good at my job but I had learned a lesson…

  1. The Customer, is in Fact, Always Right

That was a HARD lesson to learn, let me tell you. When you’re in your early twenties you swear you are invincible and literally know and have everything needed to be catapulted to the next level of living in a mansion and taking the yacht out on the weekends. Those were the days when I didn’t think about the in-between, building the bridge to get to that reality. So, anyone who asked me, what I thought was a stupid question, got a (and it still makes me cringe) kind of “tongue in cheek” response. Like, how did you not know that? It’s right there on the menu, can’t you read? When I say “The Customer is Always Right” I’m taking that beyond the face value of the saying. I look at every client – no matter where I work – like someone who literally just does not know 1) the product and 2) why the product is relevant to them. It took me a lot of trial and error to understand how to speak to people in terms of getting them to be open about the company I worked for and how our services were beneficial to them. Here’s a huge free tip that I learned… being genuine went a long way. Which brings me to the second lesson I learned..

2. Be Genuine

Bet you didn’t see that one coming. Look, I get it. We ALL wish those “get rich quick” schemes and gimmicks worked, especially living in an era of instant gratification and everything literally being at your fingertips. However, as the times and ways of living change, one thing always remains the same, being a genuine person. We all can appreciate when we have someone in our lives or meet someone who has nothing but our best interest at heart. As human beings that connection between two people, on a level of trust, is a something that will always be needed and admired. I personally love when I go to an establishment and someone working there makes a great effort to taylor my experience to fit me, trying to ask me questions about what I like instead of telling me what I should like and what I SHOULD buy. There is such a huge difference when you sit back and listen to what the customer/ client is telling you what they want.

3. Be an Impeccable Listener

To this very day, I’m still trying to perfect this one. I’ve reached a level in my career where I now have people working under me and look to me for answers as well as guidance on being successful employees. You can read every manual in the world about running an office and it’s employees but it will never compare to actually doing it. I understand now what is meant by the saying “not everyone is meant to be a leader” because it’s a lot of pressure. It requires a lot of listening and getting to know what each person’s strengths are in order to create the most effective and progressive atmosphere possible. The higher up the ladder I climb the more I’m shutting my mouth to listen because I’m actually learning faster as well as meeting the needs of our clients on a much more effective level.

4. Understanding When to Move On

Again, do not “job hop”. Not including the little side hustle jobs that are for when we need a little extra cash like being a brand ambassador or walking dogs on the side. Those are called “odd jobs” and totally meant to be an intermittent type of thing. I’m saying, the full time or part time jobs that are probably your main source of income, those jobs you want to stay with for as long as you can because it represents how loyal of an employee you are. That comes in handy in the event you might need to put that on your resume to show other potential employers but that type of commitment is hard when you are working at a place you don’t like. For me, if I’m stagnant and I’m no longer evolving, growing in my position or learning new skills to contribute to the company, I start becoming miserable and begin to underperform. I was at a job for 5 years and it wasn’t until my 5th year I finally got a second raise. There was no incentive, I wasn’t interacting with people outside of the workplace, I wasn’t able to actually see what all my hard work was producing, I was literally walking into my small corner of a cubicle everyday with no windows and just punching numbers in a spreadsheet. I should’ve quit two and half years in but I was scared to move outside of my comfort zone. I had my life, my routine and my set income. I was miserable but I was settling to be just that. So, I sat in my misery for 2 and half more years until my bosses finally had enough of my lack luster attitude and sent me off with their best wishes. I was terrified, but it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. What I learned from that situation was I want to always be in control of my discomfort caused by my progression. In other words, I should’ve looked for another job and been pushed out my comfort zone on my own terms.

5. Go with the Flow

In all my years of working, probably about 15 years now, if I haven’t learned anything, I’ve learned this. $h*% happens and that is 100% to be expected no questions asked. I have been through enough cage rattling situations to just accept the fact that my cage of comfort will always spontaneously be rattled for the rest of my life. I’ve shifted my focus on how I’m going to react to what’s going to rattle my cage next. Be ready to move and take a chance, I’ve learned to Love that Fear and embrace change. If I don’t listen to my instincts and understand when to move on my own, life is going to rip the rug out from under me anyway. Either way – life happens, obstacles are presented and with each bump a different part of ourselves is revealed. Without me losing those jobs I probably never would have humbled myself enough to reflect and make my personal adjustments to become the successful person I envision myself to be.

There it is folks, and these are probably something you’ve all heard before. That should tell you something. There is not easy button to this beautiful beast called life and when we begin to admire our losses as much as our victories – our possibilities become endless.

 

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