I got fired last week.
Even typing that out makes me feel like a failure.
Of course, being fired isn't very sexy. My official statement is that I quit. If you see my Aunty Jan at the shops tell her I wasn't fired. I quit.
I don't know why I feel so compelled to lie to people about it. Most people have been fired at one point in their lives, but no one talks about it. Being fired is lonely. You have been singled out and told you are not good enough. On top of this, you have to put yourself out there, begin again and start job hunting. It's the equivalent of dating when you are heartbroken.
What it feels like to be fired. Post continues below.
Once the initial shock has worn off, the “spin” begins. A lot of our self worth is tied up in our jobs and there is a lot of shame surrounding being fired. What can I tell friends, family and future employers? What will be my official statement? Like a celebrity in a high-profile divorce perhaps my work and I have decided to “consciously uncouple”.
Usually, the default position will be 'I just needed a break and a chance to explore other opportunities'. You won't mention that you are now scrambling to work out how you'll pay your electricity bill or that you have applied for so many jobs on Seek your eyes are now aching.
You definitely won't mention that you've signed up to do those surveys that swear they will pay you, although you’re unsure with what currency. Instead, you pretend you are one of those cool, gorgeous people that have decided to take a step back and work out what they really want. But there is nothing cool about being fired. And nothing cool about picking yourself up off the ground and starting all over again.