It’s a tough job market out there for post-collegiates. You’re quickly discovering that your bachelor’s degree is about as useful as, well, a bachelor’s degree in a crummy economy and even if you’re in graduate school, you’re likely finding that there’s a lot more competition for those barista jobs that there has any right to be. It’s not uncommon for someone in their early-to-mid-twenties to have dealt with unemployment. Unemployment is a difficult and trying time and there are many blogs out there that are happy to tell you more about it, including mine!
However, I’m not here to talk to you about unemployment. I’m here to talk to you about getting fired, being let go, getting the old pink slip, feeling the hatchet fall, being told to get an empty box and put your things in it and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I am here to talk to you about getting fired – and why I think everyone should be fired at least once.
“What?” you must be asking yourself incredulously, “I just barely got this job/love my job/love the drinking money I get from my job! Why would I want to be fired? That is some serious Republican-candidates-on-womens-health-issues-crazy talk!” I can understand your point – and appreciate your topical humor – but hear me out. There are five really good reasons why you should be fired at least once in your life.
- It teaches you to hustle. You probably think you’ve hustled before. You’ve juggled school, working, bills, a social life, etc, all on a limited budget. Maybe you’ve been unemployed, counting your pennies and trying to make it work. As hard as that’s been, chances are nothing will be harder to manage than the day-to-day living when you unexpectedly (and against your will) lose your job. You will have to work harder than you ever had to before to make things happen and those skills will serve you well when you bounce back.
- It makes you broaden your horizons. Being unexpected unemployed as opposed to taking six months to live off your savings and “figure it out while you just live” can actually be the more rewarding of the two options. As you start hustling to make things work, you’ll find yourself being more open to different job opportunities, exploring other career options, more strongly evaluating your skill set, and taking more chances.
- It keeps you humble. Let’s have some real talk – college gives you a skewed perspective of the world. When you graduate, you feel confident that everything you’ve ever wanted will come your way because you are smart, talented, motivated, good-looking, well-liked, and the proud owner of a piece of paper telling the world as much. But that is not the way the world works for most of us and being fired is an important reminder that none of us are immune from bad fortune.
- It makes you more appreciative. It can be easy to get caught up in being gainfully employed. You’ve got cash to burn, you might be able to move out of a 5-person shared house into a more normal living situation, you have something to get up for each morning, and it can make it really easy to start complaining about everything. Losing all of that stability – and seeing how your friends and family support you during that time – can really help make you appreciate how good a job or situation can be.
- It prepares you for just about anything. While I think being fired can be a great important post-college life lesson, I certainly hope that your career is interesting, fulfilling, and stable. Sadly, I am not a job genie (although how sweet would that gig be?!) and you may encounter more than one stumbling blocks on your road to legitimate adulthood. That’s why being fired for the first time can actually be one of the best things that happens to you. Once it’s happened to you once, in the worst circumstances, anything else that may come up in your professional life won’t seem so bad – and you’ll be ready to handle it with your signature aplomb!
Rebecca is a Hall-and-Oates karaoke enthusiast who occasionally works but mostly blogs over at Post-Collegiate. You can follow her on Twitter, enjoy television gifs on Tumblr, and send her beer recommendations to postcollegiateblog [at] gmail [dot] com.