What to do when you’re fired – a reflection and a look to the future.

you-are-fired-min-1

20 years from now I will still remember this day. Today was the day I’d been waiting for for weeks. It was officially confirmed I’d been sacked from my first full time job after less than a year.

Now – I knew this was coming. After weeks of meetings with my employers, paid suspension and suffering through rumour after rumour about my situation I’d gone through the familiar stages of grief before that letter fell on my doorstep.

Denial

Surely they couldn’t be serious. Are they really suspending me? They’re probably trying to scare me to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. I should get a letter to come in and state my case in a few days.

Anger

It’s been over a week and still no letter. How could they do this to me? I’m good at my job. I just made a mistake. A split second decision that has ruined my life. They’ve offered me no support after this event. How can they live with themselves putting me through this stress?

Bargaining 

Okay. I’ve got a meeting for next week. I’ll just explain to them how bad my mental health has been lately and I’ll swear to do better. They won’t be heartless. If they let me come back I only have to stay for a short time until I find another job.

Depression

They’re going to sack me. How am I going to support myself? I have bills. So many bills. I’m such a failure. I’m so ashamed. If they fire me I don’t know how I’ll recover from this. I feel weak and tired. So tired. The meeting is over. I said what I had to say. Whatever happens happens.

Acceptance

They’ve sacked me. It’s there in writing. I feel oddly calm. Perhaps because the wait to find out is  finally over. I’ll be okay.

 

After going through these stages of grief, in some ways I feel stronger. As someone who has never had to endure massive hardship perhaps this traumatic event will be test of my character.

While I’m not in the best mental place right now and probably won’t be for a while, there are a few things that I would say to someone else in my position…

  • Lots of people get sacked. You might have heard it’s difficult to lose your job in this day and age but that’s just not true. Check out this article from the guardian. It really helped me process the idea of being sacked when I felt it was the worst thing in the world.
  • Keep yourself busy. If you’re waiting to hear the official word all you can do is wait. So don’t waste your time thinking about it. Meet up with friends. Clean the house. Apply for other jobs. Don’t sit around overthinking it.
  • That being said – learn to relax. Feel like you want to lie in bed all day eating crisps and cereal straight from the box? Do it. This is a very stressful time for you and you need rest.
  • Accept help. If your loved ones are offering to help you out financially or lending you a shoulder to cry on take it. They don’t think any less of you and you could use the support. This is no time for pride to take over.
  • Know that this too shall pass. You hurt a lot right now. I understand. I still hurt. However it won’t always be like this. You’ll move on. You’ll find a new job eventually. Don’t let yourself spiral so far into the oblivion that you can’t get out. Go through your grief and move on.

I hope sharing my experience was helpful to some of you, it’s been an emotional time and I felt that any advice I could share might help another going through this pain.

If you have any reflections on your own grief, let me know in the comments I would love to hear them.

Nikki

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