Coping with Failure

Yesterday I was fired and given no reason for my termination. My last employee review was perfect, I had never been written up or warned for behavior or shortcomings of any kind in my work, and I had received a 10% raise. Nothing but positivity. Why am I being fired with a day’s notice if I did nothing wrong? Even more importantly, how can I learn from something like this with no feedback whatsoever? I knew we were doing poorly as a company, and I have to imagine this was the root cause of my job’s demise. Perhaps by not saying anything about poor company performance, my employer was hoping to avoid widespread employee panic? I’ll likely never know; my efforts should be focused on securing another job and moving forward.

I want to take a moment to specifically drag the grueling process of modern-day job searching into view before I continue. In today’s world of applying online, filling out forms, recruiter calls, and ghosting, it’s extremely difficult to keep your head high when you’re suddenly dropped flat on your face. I’ve had recruiters ghost me after the 3rd interview (an alarming number of times) and I’ve had hiring managers no show to phone interviews. You would expect much more professional behavior, right? It’s easy to feel defeated, expendable, and worthless. But maybe it’s a good thing these opportunities didn’t work out. Who wants to work for a company that treats potential candidates this way? Interviews are a two-way street, after all!

It had been extremely hard for me to deal with yesterday’s failure because I blamed myself for being laid off. I know this might sound short-sighted, but let me explain. I spent hours thinking about what I could have done wrong, and why nothing negative was ever mentioned in my reviews. Ultimately, the answer was right in front of me. There wasn’t any information other than what I had been able to glean about plummeting company sales and inability to afford employee raises, and I didn’t know what I did wrong because the problem wasn’t me. The issue that caused me to lose my job was completely unavoidable and out of my hands. I had to simply accept it and move on. Did I feel utterly wronged and left “high and dry” by my boss? Absolutely, 100%. Will it matter in 6 months or a year? Nope, I’ll survive. Time to move forward and put my interviewing hat on.

Identifying new opportunities from a winding path of life choices is a superpower I think I have developed over the last decade. I like to call it being resourceful or dynamic. In the pursuit of my academic and professional goals, I have seen stumbles, U-turns, and plenty of hiccups. I have found that instead of worrying about one door that may have closed, I try to open my eyes to identify the plethora of doors that are open because of the winding path I have taken to my current self. I can continue to see my options, as opposed to being blinded by how things could have been different. Each bend and turn in my life experience has given me a new tool or perspective to use in my current life.

What I’m trying to say is long, straight paths are boring; take the scenic route and make sure to follow the sunshine. Time to update my resume, I ready for the next big thing 😉

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