Have you ever been fired? If so today’s post will make you feel a whole lot better about it.
I’m sharing what I learned from getting fired, and why it ended up being a GREAT thing.
Plus you might be surprised to find out how getting fired applies to feeling free around food, loving your work, and maintaining fun, supportive relationships.
My hero Ramit Sethi recently posted this great Quora reply about the good & bad reasons people get fired, and it reminded me that I’ve been wanting to tell you about the time I got fired at 19.
I just remember walking home to my little East Village studio crying. I was heartbroken.
I worked at a very popular restaurant nearby, answering the phone and taking delivery orders.
I already had a few years of waitressing experience, and I would always ask the manager if I could train to be a server. His answer was always no.
On my way out of work one night, the guy who trained me, Sean* (I think he was an assistant manager), caught me outside and told me.
I can’t remember his exact words, but it was something simple and direct, i.e…
“I’m so sorry but we’re letting you go.”
When I asked why, through sobbing tears (yep), he shrugged it off and said the manager noticed I had made some mistakes with delivery orders.
He was super kind and told me he didn’t agree with the manager at all, but that didn’t change the fact that I was fired.
It was true that I had made some mistakes with orders.
I was so preoccupied by my desire to be a server and move around and talk to people rather than sitting on my butt that I was a little distracted.
On another level, I was probably, errr, over enthusiastic in my pursuit of server stardom.
19-year-old girls aren’t supposed to be too aggressive at work, and especially not in the eyes of some very traditional middle eastern men. I say some because I do not want to make a blanket statement, but it was true in this case.
Today I can own up to my mistakes at that job, and honestly say that I changed my behavior.
In every service industry job after, I was super focused, had consistently high sales, and got amazing feedback from customers. Lesson learned.
In retrospect, I was fired for good reason – I made mistakes, and I was too pushy about wanting to serve.
It still hit me hard – I was pissed and sad. It didn’t feel fair.
I was totally crushed after Sean* told me – I had never experienced that type of rejection before. I always did super well in school and had been working since I was 13-14 with nothing but rave reviews.
Of course, getting fired ended up being a blessing, and what I learned can be applied in so many useful ways – whether you’re feeling stuck around your body and weight or hating your career.
Don’t get me wrong, it took me YEARS to realize the upside of getting fired, but now it’s so clear.
If you get fired, you might’ve messed up, yes, but on a higher level it’s the universe sending you a signal that you’re not in the right job or career.
I hit the pavement and applied for jobs right after I was fired, and I got an amazing serving position at an upscale Greek restaurant just a few blocks from me.
The speed at which I got this new, much better job quickly showed me that I was fired for a reason – so I could jump on this awesome new opportunity.
I learned SO much at the new job – it was a bootcamp in high-level service and relationships, from proper wine service to tricky Greek pronunciation and trickier customers. My time at that restaurants deserves its own article.
I worked there for three years and was earning around 50k as a college student – way more than I ever could’ve made answering phones.
Bottom line: If you get fired, it’s a sign you’re misaligned with your job.
For example, if you’re a super high vibe, positive person and you work in a low-vibe dive bar, you’re going to ANNOY the people who work and drink there. They don’t want to see your goddamn bubbly, smiling face. They want a bartender they can b*tch and moan with.
If the misalignment is strong enough, your boss will probably find a reason to fire you.
It’s the same with food and body. If your body rejects a certain food or entire way of eating, it’s a push in the right direction. You can cross it off the list. It doesn’t work.
Finding out what DOESN’T work for your body is just as important as finding out what makes you feel awesome.
Same goes for friends, lovers, and jobs – finding out what doesn’t work for you is just as important as knowing what you love, so you can spot mismatches from a mile away.
Thriving in your body, maintaining amazing relationships, and killing it at work take effort, of course, but they should not make you feel like you’re slowly dying or dragging boulders up a slippery, muddy hill.
You should feel like you’re supported, successful, learning, and thriving.
There is job, relationship, and approach to food that will feel easy, satisfying, and fun.
You already know you’ll have to work hard at times, but it should not feel like you’re pulling teeth or on a constant seesaw between restricting your food then binging.
There’s a sweet spot where you can find ease and flow.
You’re always getting feedback from the people and things in your life, and by listening + observing closely you can guide yourself in the right direction.
Be very present and notice the feedback you’re getting from your surroundings.
Does everything feel hard? What feels satisfying, even if it’s challenging at times?
What are you naturally good at, and what do you love?
Which foods give you energy + focus, and which ones make you feel like crap?
Start taking notes or even recording voice memos when something strikes you as clear feedback, and follow your gut at every step.
Have you ever been fired? Has your body ever totally rejected a diet?
What clues are your current surroundings giving you about your work, food, body, and relationships?
Go deeper than your head and ask your heart what it has to say.
Please please comment below – I want to hear what’s up in your world.