The day started out like any other day. I arrived early to work, made my coffee and got myself positioned to tackle the day. However, that ‘normal day’ feeling didn’t last too long when I was unexpectedly asked to step into a tiny conference room..
I never thought I would hear the words, “You’re fired”. And technically, I didn’t. I heard, “Your contract has ended, we no longer need your services.” So I did what any normal person would do in this situation: I cried.
Two people sat uncomfortably as tears sputtered down my face, and my head drooped as I tried to process what was happening. My mind was filled with a million questions. What did I do wrong? Was it something I said? Where do I go from here? These were all questions that did not come with an answer, and I had no choice but to accept that and move forward.
To make matters worse, I had to sit alone in that room as the contractor went up with a box to clear my desk. I felt like a child put in timeout having to sit and reflect on what I did. I felt lost, confused and highly embarrassed as I began to think of what was going through my coworkers minds.
It wasn’t long until they came back with the box of my stuff. I struggled as I tried to shove all the items I had into my bag and that’s when I heard the words I’ll never forget: “You will be walking out with this box today.” Oh how I wish I could have seen the look I shot back at her. If you Google Kevin Hart’s face of disgust, I imagine it was similar.
The fire was now lit and my blood began to boil. I couldn’t believe the nerve she had to say that. I stared at her for a second before the reply shot out of my mouth: “The hell I’m not. You cannot force me to walk out of here with this box.” Clearly, my pride wanted to make its presence known. As the room went quiet I now made it my mission to fit everything I had in that box into my purse. And boy, do I still thank myself for bringing a huge purse to work that day.
So after that, I’m sure you can only imagine how awkward that elevator ride with her was. As if it wasn’t already extremely uncomfortable enough, she then began to tell me how talented I was and that she knows I will be a great asset to my next company.
The sharp winter air smacked my face with her back-handed complement as I exited the building. I turned around and took one last glance at the place. And then much to my surprise, I felt… relieved.
It was then that I learned no matter how hard of a worker you are, sometimes situations are just out of your control. And it wasn’t long before I realized that being fired was the best thing to happen to me and here’s why:
1. Getting fired lit a fire: Every late night was fueled by a mad energy to prove everyone wrong. I wanted them to view letting me go as the biggest mistake in their company’s history. It wasn’t, of course. Not even close. But after every personal victory, I still felt the determination to prove to everyone I would soon be on to bigger and better things.
2. My connections, knew connections: Recruiters, employers and more. These led to job opportunities, which led to interviews, which led to offers. Remember this: Jobs come from people. Not the internet. Once I reached the point of not caring who knew, I wanted everyone to know. And it was tremendously humbling the support my family and friends gave me.
3. My outlook on life has forever changed: As the common saying goes , “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” I convenience myself that I would make this the best thing that ever happened to me, and I believed that pretty quickly. Now that I had a clear mind and was in a position to take a step back and see what I lost, I realized I was already in a better place.
4. I learned I wasn’t alone: You know who else got fired from their jobs? Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Thomas Edison and my DAD. The one who I was so afraid to tell because I feared it would have let him down. Instead, when he heard the news he told me about the time he was let go, and he too knew that better things were to come from it. And just like
always most times, he was right. Extraordinary things came my way, and I am forever grateful for the experience I had and what it’s made of me today.