Why Everyone Needs to Be Fired Once in Their Lives

Maybe you’ve been there: you get called into your boss’s office and are asked to sit down because there’s something they’d like to discuss.

Likely there’s someone from HR or the C-suite also in the room. However, it’s once your boss starts talking that you realize with what feels like a punch to the gut that you’re being fired.

Perhaps you knew this was coming because you’d seen the writing on the walls. Or perhaps this came out of nowhere and you’re left feeling shocked, angry, and sad.  

No matter the reason for your firing, whether its because of performance problems, management issues, a company acquisition, or more, you’re likely still reeling and trying to understand what just happened.

So let me be the first to say — Congratulations!

Now, before you think I’m some sadist glorying in someone else’s pain, let me explain why I think being fired is one of the best things that can happen to you and why everyone should be fired at least once in their lives.


It Reminds You to Stay Humble

In a world where the loudest, and sometimes crassest, voices are constantly shouting to be heard, being reminded of your fallibility keeps you grounded. It doesn’t matter if the fault for getting fired rests on your own shoulders or not — it’s proof that you’re not invincible.

Getting let go is a reminder that life doesn’t always go as planned, and that that’s okay. It gives you the chance to appreciate what you still have and the people who will be by your side through thick and thin.



It Takes You Outside Your Comfort Zone

There’s truly nothing like being booted to get you outside your comfort zone. Whether you were reluctantly trudging along or whether you truly loved your work, no longer having that role sets you outside where you’d been.

While this may sound terrifying, and it honestly can be in the moment, it’s also a fantastic way to get a clearer picture of who you are and what you want.


It Pushes You to Take Action

It’s easy to put off trying to find a better job or taking your side hustle full time because you’ve become comfortable and complacent. I know this because I’ve been there too. It’s hard to turn down killer benefits, healthcare, and a steady paycheck for the potential uncertainty of going for it on your own.

Getting fired is the push (or really, the shove) to really start evaluating what it is you want and where you want to go.

There’s no greater motivator than not having that safety net. It’s often a crutch and gives you the perfect excuse when you’re feeling lazy or don’t feel like putting in the effort towards finding a better job.

Personally, it took me being let go earlier this year for me to fully finalize my plan and get my act together to turn my side hustle into my full time gig.



It Teaches You What You Do and Don’t Want

In your personal life, a breakup allows you to sit back and reflect on what went wrong and what worked so that you know what you want to look for or avoid for next time.

Being fired does the exact same thing. It might be that you hated having to write press releases and reach out to media contacts, but you loved planning the overall communications strategy. It could also be that you obsessed over getting to be creative and design marketing materials, but would rather someone else handle the strategy side.

Whatever it may be, understanding more clearly what it is you loved about your previous roles, and what you loathed, will allow you to find a job that’s a much better fit for you than your previous one.


It Gives You Resilience

Knowing how you respond when things get tough (and, perhaps, how your significant other responds) can be crucial to weathering the ups and downs of your life.

Being able to dust yourself off and keep kicking butt after being fired proves to yourself that you can take what may come your way. Building up your resiliency gives you the strength for the next time things don’t work out.

While I can’t guarantee much with 100% certainty, I can promise that life is going to throw challenges your way. When that happens, you’ll have the knowledge that you weathered this storm and made it out stronger on the other side.



It Becomes the Best Thing That’s Ever Happened to You

Recently, I posted an anonymous survey in several professional groups that I’m a part of on Facebook asking people who’d been fired their feelings about the situation. A solid 82% said that at the time of their firing they were extremely upset.

Yet 91% of that same group said that they are now happy that it happened. When asked to explain why, almost everyone had some variation on the theme that being fired gave them the opportunity to find something better or pursue something greater and they were ultimately glad to have been let go.


The strength, knowledge, and clarity you will gain when you get fired will help propel you further than you ever thought possible and into areas you might never have imagined. So if you’re ever in the situation where you realize that it’s finally happening to you — take comfort in the fact that you’ll look back someday and realize it was the best thing that ever happened to you.


Have you ever been let go from a job? What did you learn?

  • Oh boy does this article come from a place of privilege….

    Yeah, I was fired once. I was still living at home, supporting a sibling in high school and a mom with disabilities. We needed that income, desperately. And I was fired. It was not the best thing that ever happened to me. It did not make me more resilient. It did not give me time to analyze what I really wanted or who I was.

    Instead, it became a mad scramble to find anything or anyone that would hire me – which ended up being a worse job that paid even less – because I didn’t have the luxury of choice back then. I had people to support and no one to support me.

    This article disgusts me.

  • Cailin

    I agree that being fired can be an enlightening experience for some people. However, it’s not true for everybody. Some people don’t have the money or support to look for something better when they’re fired; some people have to take whatever they can get. Being fired is only a positive experience in the end if it actually did lead to something better. If you lost your job and now you have to worry about supporting three kids while searching for something, anything, then it is actually probably a terrifying experience period.

  • Nicole

    My position was eliminated and while this was my worst fear in the end it showed me I could handle this and be ok. Looking back would I have done things differently … um…yes! Fear can lead to poor choices that seem to offer structure in the moment when that was what was lacking. Taking a moment to get your bearings is nice but having bills and no insurance not so much.

    My take away was really to never put myself in a financial situation that if my employment circumstance changed would force me to what felt like a scramble to find employment. The lesson and mindset to live below my means set in and has really been impactfulchange for the better as a result for me. As life can be unexpected being in a position to have a safety net is a good thing. Lastly, it made me better understand and have empathy for those going thru employment issues or unemployment.

  • Ellie

    I agree with this from my personal experience. I was laid off when I was 24 with ZERO savings (though I did have my rent and loans line up for the next month, thank goodness) and it was so scary and upsetting even though I knew it was likely coming. In the end, it forced me to be scrappy and go for a new job a step up the ladder. In the end I found a new role that was a promotion and raise. My position is still challenging over 4 years later and has allowed me to give myself more financial stability including an emergency fund if I ever find myself in the same position.

  • Yeah, this is how i felt weirdly enough ahaha x