It’s True: I Survived Being Fired From My First Job

Imagine this: You’re working your first job in a medium-sized organisation. Things move fast, you find a few friends and struggle to make headway. Your boss expects you to be an “independent worker” but forgets to point you in a direction, so you take your own. Life becomes a blur and you make no progress.

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It was so confusing, McGuyver couldn’t figure it out.

Instead, you make a mistake so bad you can’t recover from it. Very soon, you get call into the meeting room for a 1-to-1 and get asked to leave.

Yeap. That shit happened to me and I won’t lie: It sucked balls and made me sad. It felt like I got Kimchi Slapped in the face like this bitch:

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It’s taken me the past 5 years to figure out exactly how I dug myself out of this one and frankly, I’m still a little hazy on the details. What I HAVE figured out so far is that…

It helps to have an existential threat

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That is to say: It helps when you know you a broke ass.

I still had bills to pay, and my family has stopped giving me “allowances” when I started work. I also really didn’t dare ask for any because what kind of grown-up does?

Basically, if I didn’t start making some form of money, I was fucked. That lead me to…

Start trying everything

… short of selling myself, of course.

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We were just coming off the tail end of 2010, meaning we were just pulling out of a recession. I applied for jobs like crazy while working part-time to at least feed myself.

It was pretty nuts, but it was at that point that I learnt the most about myself. I learnt…

  • That I could live without that Starbucks.
  • That I should totally have saved that $74.90 I spent on that Guitar Hero update.
  • That saving was probably my least-developed skill in my repertoire of skills.
  • That I could totally fake sounding awake if a prospective employer called me while I was asleep.
  • Most importantly, that I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do.

And now you learnt that I’m full of shit as well (if you haven’t learnt that already).

Mentally, I was spreading myself way too thin because I was applying for everything and thus, preparing for every damned eventuality. That’s when I started to…

Cut options and narrow down

In fact, I started sending less applications per day, but focused on what I wanted to do. Specifically, I focused on Branding and Marketing as a primary option, only considering related job scopes as secondary targets. It helped me focus, fast.

As a result, I got more replies, callbacks and interviews. It felt good and there was a sense of momentum. I actually started to…

Believe it would happen

Best part was it did happen. I connected with the right people and found a solid starting spot in a squad of great, great individuals (#StrawberrySquad FTW) and never had a chance to hesitate again.

It’s been about 5 full years since that fateful firing. Insiders would say I was “asked to leave”. Whatever the phrasing, I think it did me more good than most people realised. I learnt to master a very real fear and found my niche. That’s one heck of a boon for me. So yes:

Thanks for firing me!

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