Good morning and happy Friday! Is anyone else preparing for a much needed Spring break (or a much needed Spring and a much needed break!)? The sun is doing its best to fight through the clouds over here on the West Coast. It makes me feel hopeful about warm days that stretch into evenings. We’re getting there.
Today’s post is also encouraging. Chloe thinks getting fired was the best thing to happen to her! To be that sure and positive about something, it must have been one of those delicious a-ha experiences! Keep reading – and notice any changes in your body, your mood, your breathing. When I read things that inspire me, I may get a shiver, breathe deeper, straighten my back. Leave a comment with your reaction to Chloe’s story. By the way, Chloe contacted me to share her story – did you know you could do that? Oh yes, you can!
Without further ado, here she is!
All my life, I’ve been a rule follower. But deep down, I’m a rule breaker. I’m not someone who feels happy following the rules, but I don’t feel comfortable breaking them. Within the rules, there is safety. Outside the rules, there is the potential for great rewards and great happiness.
This has been my internal struggle as I have tried to figure out my “career.”
I’ve always wanted to write for a living. Whether that was writing the stories that were in my head or it was writing blog posts or web content for a company, it didn’t matter. It only mattered that I was doing what I loved to do. I just didn’t have it in me to strike out on my own. “Success” and security meant a 9-to-5 job with a company and a steady paycheck.
Even though I managed to find jobs writing within a corporate structure, I will still miserable. I had to be up at a certain time and sit in a cubicle for a certain number of hours and be responsible for attending meetings and making small talk and producing a certain number of pieces of content per day. Literally. I had a quota, and I even had to create reports showing whether or not I met that quota.
Every day, I wanted to quit. I wanted to be working for myself, where I could work the hours I wanted, take the clients (and the projects) that I wanted to take, and work as much or as little as I wanted. I didn’t want to be bothered by mind-numbing (and time-wasting) meetings, and I didn’t want to be subjected to inane water-cooler pratter.
On top of all that, I wanted to be home so that I could spend more time with my daughter. Even if I was going to be working from home, at least she’d be there with me and wouldn’t have to be in daycare. I could see her grow up instead of hearing about it from others.
But I just couldn’t quit. Here are all the reasons I told myself:
- I needed a steady paycheck. If I tried to be a freelance writer full-time, I could lose work at any time and be penniless.
- I needed health insurance. It cost too much to purchase it myself.
- I didn’t want to pay my own taxes. When you pay them yourself, there are certain “penalties,” such as having to pay your full tax burden yourself (instead of having your employer pay a portion).
- I would have a gap in my employment. (Never mind that the goal was to continue to work for myself…)
- I didn’t know if I could “make it” full-time as a freelance writer. What if no one wanted to hire me?
I kept setting schedules for myself — and then letting them pass without action. I kept telling myself, “NEXT month, I’ll quit. I just have to ___ first.”
I kept letting fear hold me back.
Luckily, my boss made the decision for me. He fired me.
After a few months of what was clearly a lackluster attitude about my work (see above), and a minor confrontation over my office space being taken to give to another co-worker, I was “let go” because my attitude didn’t “align” with the company’s values.
Of course it didn’t.
I was upset at first. After all, I had spent my life as a rule follower. I had never been fired from a job before, and it was a shock. Most importantly, I was upset because I now had no steady income and no health insurance, and I had a baby to care for and a husband with only a part-time job.
Despite my initial panic, being fired was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I immediately went to work finding more freelance work — and to my surprise, it came very easily. I was more than qualified, and I had excellent recommendations. I was able to quickly find well-paying work that had steady demand. I had enough work to replace all my previous income and then some.
Besides the financial aspect of the transition to working for myself, the biggest change I experienced was how I felt about how I was spending my days. I didn’t wake up on Monday morning in a bad mood for which there seemed to be no explanation. I no longer found it difficult to concentrate on my work, and the days no longer seemed to drag by. I felt relaxed. I felt focused. I felt happy.
It’s amazing what doing the work you love can do for your outlook. Instead of feeling like I am just getting through my days, I wake up every day with purpose and feel excited about the day ahead. I feel like the master of my own destiny — because I am. The future seems exciting to me, not just something that I have to get through in order to do the things I really want to be doing.
In the end, getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to me because it made me focus on the things that I really wanted to do with my life, and it made me make those things happen. I only wish that I had gotten fired a lot sooner!
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Chloe Trogden runs www.CollegeGrant.net, which serves as an up-to-date financial aid guide for thousands of people all over the world. Her leisure activities include camping, swimming and playing her guitar.
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