Donald Trump made this expression famous on his TV show Celebrity Apprentice. It comes at the end of the show and serves as the climactic conclusion. We then follow the angry, bitter or forlorn person out the door and into a waiting towncar to leave the show forever.
Such drama; such finality. Interestingly, being fired is generally considered such a bad thing. Getting laid off, let go or removed carry a connotation of failure and defeat.
My experience is just the opposite – being fired can be the most freeing experience of your career. Having a boss take the initiative and launch you into a phase of contimplation and consideration is one of the central tenets of a Deliberate Journey.
I’m sure you can relate.
Haven’t you found your self at work feeling less than stimulated and focussed. While it’s a part of life, you may realize you have reached a dead-end or have found your self marking time instead of making a difference. You feel stuck, but not completely beaten. Things are not the way you wish they were, but they are not bad enough to warrant a major risk or change.
You are in Career Purgatory – Not where you want to be, but better than nothing!
During your Journey, you experience lulls and flat spots. You enter periods of decline and frustration. When these feelings are palatable, your brain kicks in and you start thinking of what you could do to change, improve, reboot or evolve. For awhile, you get excited – “how cool would it be if……”
However, right after the excitement, you are confronted by one or more of the Negative Forces. These live in what I call the Battlefield. That place in your psyche where the excitement of fresh ideas meet face to face with the internal enemies called Insecurity, Vulnerability, Fear and Self-Doubt. Individually or collectively, these can quickly kill your ideas, dreams, hopes and passions and settle you back into your cubicle for another 8 hour shift!
Your ability to recognize and manage these formidable forces is key to success at work and in your personal life. It is more difficult than can be taught in a simple blog post. I still struggle daily with insecurity and vulnerability. Interestingly, sometimes analyzing them make it even harder. Allowing yourself to ruminate and consider can actually give the Battlefield Foes more time to operate – y0u talk yourself out of making a move or taking a chance when you sit and reflect on all that could go wrong.
The beauty of getting fired is simple – the Battlefield Foes become secondary. Your “life boats have been burned” – there is no where to go but forward! The very real issue of making money over take the irrational fears of insecurity or self-doubt. You must take action. What better opportunity to do it right.
If you are lucky enough to get fired – or if you can at least go through the exersize in your mind, ask yourself questions like:
- What do I believe to be my passion and purpose?
- What work is best linked to my passion and purpose?
- If I could – what work-related role would be my ideal?
- What training, experience or opportunity is needed to achieve this?
Create a “war room” of sorts in your house. Buy the Post-it flip charts to hang on the walls. Write down dreams, aspirations, hopes and needs. Collect data related to the life you want. Brainstorm as many variables as you can think of and spend time sitting, reflecting and considering the inputs.
The data talks to you. The ideas flow. Soon, without the burdens of the Battlefield Foes, you can see a desired future. A future that, if it weren’t for your boss, you may not have had the courage to pursue. Soon, the very people who fired you will be on your Christmas card list!
Be Deliberate – craft the future you desire when self-doubt and insecurity step aside and let you see clearly!