May 17, 2012, 6:00 am

Is Losing Your Job The Best Thing That Could Happen to You?

by: MD    Category: Alternative Income
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We’ve all heard a tale or two about someone that lost their job and then turned things around to become completely successful at something else. The classic rags to riches story. Life hands you a lemon and you make lemonade. You get fired from one job and then end up starting a multi-million dollar company. You know the deal.

I’ve actually seen two sides to losing a job. I’ve seen friends bounce back stronger than ever by finding better work that paid more. Getting fired can be like getting out of a toxic relationship. You’re finally released from prison and now able to do anything that you want with your time. I’ve met at least 5 personal finance bloggers that lost their jobs and then went full-time blogging after. Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income and Bob of Christian PF are two that come to mind.

I’ve also seen the flip side, the negative reaction to getting fired. This is a complete depression from losing a job. This is the feeling that you’re useless and not good enough to work. I saw a friend go through this in 2009 when he got fired from a job, not because of the economy, but because of his own foolishness. This person in question had been warned and progressively disciplined. He felt that he was untouchable because he had some friends in the company. He screwed up one time too many and ended up getting fired permanently. I saw him spiral into a year long period of depression after this. He lost his girlfriend and became unbearable to most of his old friends. He had no motivation to do anything. He slept on his brother’s couch and felt sorry for himself.

The point here is that losing a job can be inspirational for some and total doom for others. You can bounce back higher. You can also become very depressed for a long time.

How can losing your job be the best thing for you? Allow me to explain the positives of losing a job for those of you that are completely worried about getting fired tomorrow morning:

  • You’re free to work on your own projects.
  • Your health will improve because of the reduction in stress.
  • You can finally move.
  • There are better jobs out there.
  • You’re no longer comfortable. You’re now working harder than ever.
  • You’ll have more time for your friends and family.
  • You’ll finally get that vacation you’ve been dying for.
  • You’ll be humbled in a huge way.

Getting fired isn’t that bad, right? All I’m suggesting is that losing one job isn’t the end of the world. This is also why I often promote the idea of making money on your own.

What would you do if you got fired tomorrow? Would this be the best thing for you?

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I’ve gotten fired from two jobs. After the first, the company started outsourcing everything and cutting back, so I probably would have been let go at some point anyways. The second job was a bad fit from the start. In truth, they shouldn’t have hired me and I shouldn’t have accepted the job, so when they finally put me out of my misery, I was actually relieved. I was starting to really question myself and I know people were starting to wonder about me (I’d always been successful at everything I did in terms of my career until these two jobs happened), but within a few weeks I found a new job that was awesome, and I’m still here six years later. Losing that second job especially was one of the best things that ever could have happened to me!

Many success stories have come after people have lost their job. You do not have to get fired, you can plan an exit and then use the extra time you get to generate revenue for your self.

by: OttawaGuy | May 17th, 2012 (12:36 pm)

Travel, and wouldn’t look back.

I also think, depending the job you lost and your skillset you could fall on either side of the emotion coin.

For example, if I’m a high school educated auto worker, I am above my pay-to-education ratio, good benefits etc… and lose that. I am likely to be more depressed. If I have an MBA (TFB!) good contacts in the industry and financial assets to fall back on, then ya… I’d be more excited about turning the whole situation around.

If I got fired I’d be fine but it would take a while to find a similar position where I live. In the time between finding a new job I’d try my best to be self employed and get my blog up to speed. In addition I would work on starting up some other side hustles and hope something sticks.

Could be! When the back is against the wall….

I think a lot hinges on how you do in the first few months after getting fired. If you can quickly gain some momentum and get back on your feet, then it shouldn’t be too bad, but the longer you stagnate, the harder it will be.

when you hear the anecdote about someone losing a job and it being the best thing ever, is that just survivorship bias talking? you only hear the heroic stories. what about the other 95% whose life sucks after they lose their jobs? I wonder if it’s just because we celebrate winners and don’t hear stories of losers (because they’re not nearly as exciting).

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Well, I quit my job and no longer had insurance or benefits but it leads to more time for entrepreneurial adventures. I don’t regret it but it was stressful.

If you’re a young single guy with a bit of money in the bank, then sure, losing your job isn’t the end of the world. You get a chance to travel, try out new life experiences, take a stab at starting your own business, experiment with homelessness – all that good stuff. If you have a family and a mortgage and are living paycheck to paycheck, then losing your job is pretty much a disaster.

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It’s mixed. I was fired from a really miserable job, went through six weeks of frantic splashing my arms around, and found another job FAR better–not in pay but in skills I was learning.

Another time I had a client, really messed up a critical presentation (everything that could go wrong did, and I had to take the fall), and lost out on a lot of future business. In a way, I was “fired.” But was it the best thing to ever happen to me? Probably not.

Lastly, I know people who continue to get “fired,” say “Wow this must be the best thing to ever happen to me!” and not know what to do with all of the free time they now have. They spend 3 months trying out an entrepreneurial idea, another 3 months looking for a job, 6 months after that working this new job, then getting fired and repeating the process again.