When You’re Told You’re Terminated: Shock, Anger, and the Unknown

by | Nov 7, 2022 | Stress Management

We’re back together with The Weekly Wisdom and this one is not easy to write about, but I need to because of all the (continual) layoffs. I’ve been holding space and “commenting for reach” on LinkedIn posts from peers looking for work, but I’ve never shared my Termination Story. Well, it’s time, eh? Let me go suit up like Wonder Woman and take a large gulp of tea. *big breath*

For those who prefer the audio version of this post, click the play button below.

My Termination Backstory

Many moons ago I worked for an entity that hindsight taught me was a terrible fit. Now, when I applied to the job and got it, there were already a few situations happening at the time.

One, the recession of 2007-2009 had laid the foundation of the 2010s. As they say, “If you know, you know.” Two, I had just graduated with my M.S.W. in 2010 – an expensive degree – and things were still sketchy in the economy by the time I was on the job hunt in Summer 2010. Three, all the other jobs I applied to were a “No,” if I even received a response, and some interviews were a nightmare. PS) Interviewers do *not* check your nail polish while I answer your questions after traveling hours to see you. So, as you can imagine, when that “Yes” came my way, I snatched it up. Bills don’t pay themselves.

After doing the job for only a handful of months, I was let go during the probation period. FYI, South Dakota is a state where you can be “terminated at will,” aka the employer does not need a reason to let you go.

I won’t lie: when I see mass layoffs on the news, or in my personal circle with people I care about, I get pretty damn pissed off. I’m generalizing, but the whole “we did the (profits) math wrong” reasoning – while some get more pocket money on the top levels – is atrocious. These are people’s lives…

Are people and the entity always a good fit? No, definitely not. However, when you’re an upstanding employee, you show up, you do your job and you work hard to learn the job… And you can still be let go like that *snaps fingers* it’s some of the worst news a person can get.

Getting Scrappy and Finding a Safety Net

Now, there was good news along the way:

I went back to my previous employer and they welcomed me with open arms. Was that humbling? Oh, yeah… But was it needed? Yes. They reminded me what a good, supportive team feels like and a public history focus is natural to me like breathing. To be fair, I had good teammates back in the mini-job, we’ll call it, and they were shocked when I carried my box out the door, but my ol’ stomping grounds were just special. To this day, I remember them fondly. And another bonus (which may seem petty) is that my replacement was a kick! I heard the stories after my exit and it was pretty entertaining.

To be honest, after hanging with my previous entity for a while, I still saw the appeal in social work – though, I really questioned if I even wanted to give it another shot after that job – and tried once again. The rest is history…

Validating You and Others in This Situation

Why does my story matter? It may not… But it may also validate that sinking feeling in your stomach… The tears that are ready to fall over your bottom eyelashes, but you refuse to cry in front of “them.” It may make you feel less alone, or still worthy despite the situation.

I want you to know you are worthy. 100%. The team you’ve worked with (unless it’s shitty leadership) is worthy. The experiences you’ve gained are absolutely worthy. And your future is waiting for you.

It may feel like rock bottom now, and I’ve been there, but know that you are not alone. I’m here and so are many others who have been in a similar situation. Let’s wrap this up with some housekeeping:

  • Connect with me on LinkedIn by clicking here, so I can help you in your search (or a friend/family member). Your brilliant work is needed on this planet and I’m more than happy to pay it forward. So, let’s get you there!
  • If you need inspiration, here’s The Zone of Purpose™ Podcast or get your free Priority Pack today by clicking here.
  • If you’re in a place where you want to invest in your development further, my program will help you get your voice back, clear up your values, needs, and possibilities, plus so much more… Click here to check it out and there’s a Full Moon Discount going on until the end of today, so get that quick application in! The moon equals money, my friends!

And for the time being–right now–just give yourself a huge hug… Grab a mug of tea or a cozy little beverage, and love yourself despite the ups and downs. You will get through this, but I’m holding space for you right now and I’ll listen to what your heart is telling you.

That’s it for this week! Feeling inspired? If you’re looking for more updates and want a more direct connection, join (for free) the FSW Circle. And if you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact me 1:1 this way. Chat with you soon!

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