9 to 5 Culture, Job Misery Support

Getting Fired is Good

Seems like everyone these days is terrified of the economy. (In the United States) We keep hearing doom and gloom stories about how the price of oil is constantly rising, the price of gas is going to soon hit $5 or even $6 per gallon, how homes are going into foreclosure and how the sky is falling.

The end is near.

You cling desperately to that job, afraid that if you lose it, you’ll lose everything. The idea that you might end up losing your home, on the street, out of options, massively in debt too deep to get out of is pervasive. You watch as another friend gets laid off, another company downsizes, and another business closes it’s doors.

Let me tell you something that may ease your mind and make you question my sanity at the same time.

If you get fired, you are in good shape.


1. You were in the wrong job anyway

If you are fired, no matter what the reason, you were in the wrong job. How do I know this? There are only three real reasons people get fired. Under-performance, insubordination and company financial problems. The first two happen because an employee is in the wrong line of work. Unhappiness, anger, frustration, and tiredness with work can lead to these two outcomes easily. And you shouldn’t be feeling any of these things in an ideal job.

Financial problems are different. People get laid off when the company wants to keep you but cannot afford to. They will downsize, eliminate positions, and cut costs in order to stay in business. It’s not your fault. If you worked for free, they’d keep you. However, you are still not in the right job if you get laid off, because this is a sign that the company you are working for is in trouble on some level. They are trying to save their own necks. If you are the type of person who likes to be on troubled waters and help save a sinking ship, there are jobs for people like you. More often than not, however, it’s best to cut your losses and move on to a place of work that is growing and thriving.

Companies come and go for a reason. You don’t want to be on a sinking ship.

2. It can be like a promotion

What is the difference between getting promoted at your current job and getting fired and then hired at a better job where you are earning more? There may be quite a few differences, but in a sense they are both promotions. The latter gives you the bonus of a new work environment with room to negotiate a salary and prove yourself in a whole new light.

After working in the same place for a long time, it’s easy to get pigeonholed into one type of worker. The chance to work in a new environment can sometimes spur someone on to great things. Try to grow a cactus in the Himalayas… and you get the idea.

Yes, it may be tough to find a new job at first. But when you do it can be very worth it. You may grow both personally and professionally from the experience, even if it is scary. That’s life, after all.

3. You are free

People are funny. You can hand one person an onion and they will look at it and toss it away, wanting something sweet. You can then turn around and hand a different person the same onion and they will make a wonderful spaghetti sauce with it. Silly analogy I know, but it goes to prove my point that life is all about ho you look at it.

If you look at being fired as “Oh no, I have no income! I’m going to die on the street! Who will pay my bills? Help!” then you are not enjoying the situation. Remember, it is a choice.

Think of it as a vacation. Now you have some time to get things done around the house, spend time with the kids, or most importantly, look for bette work. Or perhaps you won’t even do this. Maybe you’ll actually start that business you always wanted to begin. Many successful entrepreneurs started successful businesses in the same field as their previous line of work because they were fired.

The point is, you are free to do as you choose. This can be scary for some, but it will certainly give you time to reflect now that you are off that endless treadmill called “9 to 5.”


I was fired from a job that I didn’t like back in November of 2007. I was definitely scared and concerned about bills and living on the street and everything else you can think of. However, after a week or two, I chose to look at things completely differently. I came up with a plan to create the life I wanted, and in 8 months time, I have done just that.

Currently I am a web developer and writer for a great company based in Portland. Because I had to move away from Oregon (much to my chagrin!) I began working remotely. I now work completely from home for this company, and also do some freelance projects on the side to supplement my income. Well, actually sometimes I work from home. Sometimes I also work from Panera, or a local coffee shop, or even a park. Life is good when you freelance.

It was a very quick journey for me to get here, but I’ve never been happier professionally. Right now I am living a dream life. I do not think I could have gotten to this point if I had not chosen to look at my getting fired as a good thing.

I hope you can take the same lessons from the experience as I did. And if you haven’t been fired, but you hate you job, what would you do if you were?



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