WHAT I'VE LEARNED FROM BEING FIRED.
NOPE, I'M NOT CRAZY. YEP, YOU'RE READING THAT CORRECTLY. HI, I'M SHA AND IN THE FIRST WEEK OF THE NEW YEAR, I WAS FIRED. AND I LIKED IT.
I am fifty-one days shy of being able to say that I've lived in New York City for exactly one year. In the three hundred and fourteen days that I've lived here, I've learned more about myself and what I want out of life, than I have in the 9,000+ days I've been alive on this earth. It's crazy how one year, one week and hell, in my case one minute can change the trajectory of your life forever.
Did y'all know, Steve Jobs was fired from his first role at Apple and Anna Wintour was fired from an editorial role at Harper's Bazaar? Well I didn't I until I googled "who has been fired?" Now, I'm not saying that I have the credentials to rub shoulders with the likes of the late Steve Jobs or the terrifyingly fabulous Anna Wintour, but I take a lot of pride in my reputation as a female business professional. I'm a natural born leader who truly cares about the development and success of a team. I have won awards for process improvements, am the first to admit fault and yet today, I find myself without a job. Hearing the words,"I think we can both agree it's just not the right fit," admittedly left me in complete shock. However, if I'm being honest, my ego was a bit bruised as I sat there thinking to myself, "Dammit, I was going to quit!"
Putting my ego aside however, I took this moment as a time to reflect on what I'd learned about myself, what makes me thrive in the workplace and what I wanted next for my career:
1. If I don't have the opportunity to engage and inspire others, I'm not interested.
Y'all know those personality quizzes that always seem to sum you up perfectly? Well, one of the best quizzes I've ever taken that sums me up to a T, is the one through 16 Personalities. I'm an ENFJ, have been since I took a similar test in high school and continue to be even now. When you take the quiz via 16 Personalities, they give every personality type a name to go along with it. The ENFJ personality is deemed "The Protagonist:"
ENFJs are natural-born leaders, full of passion and charisma. Forming around two percent of the population, they are oftentimes our politicians, our coaches and our teachers, reaching out and inspiring others to achieve and to do good in the world. With a natural confidence that begets influence, ENFJs take a great deal of pride and joy in guiding others to work together to improve themselves and their community.
I swear whoever wrote this has been following me around my entire life. Where I've spent the bulk of my career, I was able to do just this. I've always been a key voice on my teams and take a great deal of pride in that. Without the opportunity to lead, I feel lost and quickly lose all sense of engaged on the job. Oh and just FYI, Barak Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Lawrence and Daenerys Targaryen are all ENFJ's. Just saying.
2. I'm a big picture thinker and often lose sight of the tiny details.
This is one that I've always been slightly aware of but has become especially clear since leaving a larger corporation. Due to advance systems, developed processes and sheer team size, everyone within the organization was given the opportunity to manage an extremely large business from 50 ft above the ground. Details were important, yes, but running things through with a fine tooth comb FIVE TIMES, was preposterous. There's just no time to do that when you're running a $60+ Million business. Sorry. So when I joined an organization where data was inaccurate and systems weren't a thing, human error was highly susceptible and it was an extremely difficult transition for me.
I'm a firm believer that you're a product of the environment you grew up in, whether it's at work or in life. Throughout my college experience and my career thus far, I've been very fortunate to have a whole lot of hands-on training and supportive mentors and managers who have developed my talents. Without the support that I was so used to receiving, I was kicked out of my comfort zone and was left questioning everything from my competence to my abilities. I just knew that my mental and emotional state wouldn't last much longer.
3. I'm more successful when I'm given the opportunity to truly run my own business.
Yes I need hand-on training and mentors to turn to when I have questions; we all do! You can’t start a job without being trained on basics. Equip me with the tools I'll need and walk me through the detailed processes and steps FIRST. Once I'm equipped with the tool bag that has everything I need to thrive, I need you to clip my wings and let my freak flag fly. There's nothing I hate more than being micro-managed, especially when you didn't to take the time to train me in the beginning. Again, something that's ingrained in the processes of a larger corporation, not so much in smaller/leaner companies.
My advice to you is this; being let go, fired, laid off, etc. isn't an indication of who you are or what you're capable of. I'd highly recommend reading this article from Business Insider. There's a list of NINETEEN people, Mark Cuban and J.K. Rowling to name a few, who today are beyond successful but at some point, a company or someone told them differently. Instead, if you do find yourself in the same situation that I find myself in today, think about what it's taught you. For me, it's brought to light a few things I've already known about myself and forced me into a direction that I've just been too afraid to go down.
It's called a job because it's always going to be work, but ask yourself, is it work that I'm willing to do? Is it something that ignites a passion within? Or does it turn me into a lesser version of myself? Hint, it should always ignite a passion in you and if it doesn't, I suggest you find something that does.
Wanna know what I'm doing now that I'm #funemployed, read my next article here and find out!