Last week I talked about being in the process of losing my job. The axe finally fell.
I know you’re *supposed to* feel bad, and embarrassed, and worried when you get fired. Or maybe not *supposed to* but that is what everyone seems to do. That is certainly what your former employer would have you feel…if you allow the narrative to go in that direction. This does not have to be. You do not have to feel those things.
While I care about my professional reputation very much, I realized that I can care about it and STILL be totally ok with getting fired. Getting fired was not a commentary on my performance or abilities, but rather a consequence of intentional choices I made to do better by my family (and myself). While I had very much hoped that my employer would be understanding through my short term life circumstance (as employers generally are), they weren’t. It’s just not where they were business-wise, and that is ok.
Sometimes when you choose to live on purpose, it causes misalignment with others who rely on you to just keep doing what you were doing. When a business has an employee who gives every last breath and concern to work, and that employee suddenly decides to work normal business hours and care less, the business has lost a resource. When an employee responds to emails all hours of the night and on weekends, and then stops doing that, the business has lost a resource. Businesses do not enjoy losing resources.
The sad part is that the employee is usually the one who creates this circumstance in the first place. We all pretty much all start a job with an agreement on what regular work hours are. Someone who wants to move ahead might put in extra time to appear “more productive.” Working through lunch is a gateway drug to staying an extra 15 minutes at the end of the day, and then working a couple of hours on Saturday, and then coming in an hour early every day, and before you know it your job owns your life. Maybe your boss notices and rewards you…but more commonly you’ll find that your biggest success has been creating an expectation that your normal workload can expand to fill those hours.
This fantastic quote has been bouncing around Facebook recently and I just love it because it speaks to so many people’s experiences with work.
We all know the reward for a job well done is more work. 😉 And, when you start doing less work (even if you are still putting more hours in than originally agreed) it might come back to bite you.
So, keep all of this in mind when you are scarfing down a sandwich as you scramble to get *just one more thing* done at lunchtime. You’re selling yourself short.
I realize my specific circumstance isn’t applicable to all of the reasons someone might get fired (although I hear this scenario is fairly common). Sometimes you just get blindsided and have no idea why or what you could have done differently. Since I am in the midst of tearing down and rebuilding, I’m going to keep sharing the process because there are plenty of nuggets of wisdom to find on this path.*
I have spent the past few days making a list of all of the things I want to accomplish while I enjoy this unexpected career pause. I’m going to be a very busy and productive lady! Stay tuned and have a few adventures with me.