Sometimes, it can feel like the worst thing that could ever happen to you.
You walk into work one day, and your manager takes you aside. You’re forced into a meeting with your boss, human resources, and a security guard standing off to the side.
“Uh, oh,” you think. It’s happening. You’re getting fired.
But getting fired doesn’t always have to be a setback. For many of us, it is simply a small detour in the road as we change course, re-direct, and find our way back to the top. But how can such a negative experience turn out to be so positive?
Here are three reasons why getting fired is truly a blessing in disguise:
1. You Were Burnt-Out, and You Were Failing as a Result
There are a multitude of reasons why you could have been fired. It’s possible the business was moving in a different direction, and your position was no longer necessary. It’s also possible that you were underperforming, or had made a mistake that led to your termination.
Either way, you’ve come to this crossroad: you’re being left behind by the business. What good could possibly come out of this? For one, it’s possible that you were simply not good for the business, and thus, the business was not good for you.
Disengagement is a common concern in the business world. So much so, that Gallup conducts a poll that measures the engagement of employees from thousands of different companies in the United States and around the world. The State of the American Workplace survey is released every year analyzing the performance and engagement of workers in every age group.
Overall, 51 percent of the participating employees stated that they are NOT engaged while at work. What does this mean for the business? In general, American businesses waste between $450-$550 billion dollars annually on actively disengaged employees.
But enough about the business itself; what does this mean to you personally? Many people state they are disengaged for a significant reason: stress and burnout. The pressure from work leads many people down the road to losing interest in the job. Thus, they under-perform when they’ve reached a level of severe burnout.
If you’ve been fired from a job due to lack of performance, chances are, you were suffering from burnout. It might be due to the fact that communication was lacking, compensation was minimal, or there was no sense of teamwork.
But all of these factors can be emotionally and mentally draining and are the opposite of what drives employee motivation. It might seem like getting fired benefits the business only – but in the process, you are also freed from a toxic environment that was holding back your potential.
2. Your Health was Declining Daily
Stress is something that every working professional will experience on a regular basis. It is a mental state that adds urgency and pressure to our work and can make us stronger. Stress isn’t always bad. But in the case of burnout, it can be extremely detrimental to our bodies.
If you were experiencing burnout at your job that eventually led to your termination, you most likely went weeks or months under constant stress.
Stress is an animal reaction in our minds as a response to danger or demanding circumstances. It causes our heart rate to increase and our minds to race. Prolonged exposure can result in mental illness (such as anxiety, depression, or mood disorders) as well as a host of other physical health problems.
It’s important to remember that our minds and bodies are closely connected. According to WebMD, stress can affect all parts of our bodies, including our digestive tract, respiratory system, and heart. Our muscles can become so tensed that they ache, and our nerves can cause us to shake uncontrollably and sweat profusely. Stress in moderation can be beneficial, but stress in excess can severely damage our mental and physical wellbeing.
Getting fired may cause you to feel stress in a new and different way (the stress of job hunting), but you will suddenly be free of the toxic stress you were experiencing at work. After a few days, you will most likely feel a bit rejuvenated, happier that you don’t have to go back and report to your boss, or sit in on any more meetings. Although the type of stress will change, your body will eventually be happier and relieved.
3. You Needed the Extra Push to Greatness
We have all had those jobs where we are simply working to get a paycheck. For whatever reason when you first started, this company called you back and offered you a wonderful starting salary and competitive benefits.
Now that you’ve been fired, you’re going to miss out on some of those benefits. But in reality, this job was probably not meant for you. It was holding you back from reaching your full potential. It was merely a placeholder in your life.
In this capitalist society, we have to work to survive. However, some of us have found a way to love what we do and get paid to do it. Was this job that fired you your dream job? Chances are it wasn’t, and now you have a brand new opportunity to pursue that dream.
Even if this job offered you a high paycheck, your satisfaction is what is most important in your career. Research has shown that those who pursue a career based on personal satisfaction (and not money) are actually more successful in the long run and considerably happier with their lives. They may not have giant mansions or fancy cars, but they are comfortable and content with their home and working lives — which is something we should all strive for.
Getting fired from your job might feel like a major setback, but it really frees up your future. You can now pursue your dream job, live a healthier life outside of that toxic environment, and can find purpose in what you do on a daily basis.
You are the only one in charge of your destiny. Only YOU can decide where you want to take your life from here. Use this minor detour as an opportunity to re-examine your life and re-center yourself.
You are here, you are whole, and you will find greatness.