I Got Fired…

As a lot of people are thinking about what they are going to do this 4th of July weekend I have actually been reflecting on where I’ve come in the last year.

This time last year I was working in an amazing city (Philiadelphia!) for a great Online Marketing Agency (SEER Interactive) where I had great clients (Sorry NDA’s) & amazing co-workers (too many to name).

 

Yes, life was good!

South Street Bridge In Philly

 

Got A Curve Ball

One afternoon after a long day of meetings of renewing client contracts and others clients upcoming campaigns I was instant messaged by one of the team leads asking if I could come and meet. I thought it was a bit off for a last minute meeting  so late in the day but I said sure and headed over to meet.

I walk into the room and there were all the team leads and by the looks on their faces and the feeling in the room I could tell.

I was getting fired!

There wasn’t much sugar coating, in fact it was basically today is your last day. I was stunned and didn’t know what else to say except “thank you for the opportunity” and walked out of the office for the last time!

 

The Morning After Getting Fired

The next morning was hard. I don’t know if any of you have gotten fired before, but this was a first for me. Until then, I’ve always known what my next step in my career has been and I was in control of it.

The next morning I didn’t know what was next for me. I also had a lot of self doubt creeping in about  if I am even good at my job or if anyone would hire me. I did a lot of self reflection.

Finally I decided to take all of these thoughts and feelings and recorded it verbally into my audio journal on Evernote. This was huge! I’ll spare you the 16 minutes of audio but once I was able to say out loud everything I was feeling I felt better and was then able to focus on what was next for me.

 

Next Steps

I then wrote down what was important to me and what I should be doing going forward. I came up with these 3 things:

  • Be closer to family
  • Travel
  • Continue to work with great people

 

Be Closer To Family

My sisters wedding
I come from a close family and I was the only one on the East Coast. So moving back across the country to be closer to them allowed me to be around for big events like my sisters wedding and I think even more important the smaller day to day events that I had been missing out on for so long.

 

Travel

Cadillac Mountain- Acadia National Park

With the time off I got to do a lot of traveling! In fact shortly after I was fired I spent the next month traveling up the East Coast through Cananda and back to Philadelphia. ( I took tons of pictures)

 

Continue to work with great people

I then created my consulting company Local Stampede  and got to consult for more great clients, other agencies, and even do some speaking. It wasn’t pulling in as much as I was before, but I was a happier.

 

1 Year Later

So in reflecting back on what has happened since getting fired I realize it was actually what I needed to have happen in my life and was a blessing. It has made me a stronger person, marketer, and allowed me to live a happier life this year.

Main things I learned from getting fired:

  • Vent, Reflect, Move Forward! Don’t focus on the past
  • It’s not as scary as you think. I could still afford to eat
  • Learn how to enjoy things on the cheap. For example by couch surfing instead of staying in hotels.
  • Work when you can, but wait to commit to a new job that fits you! I was offered a several jobs at different companies but either the terms or the company weren’t a great fit for me.

As for work I’ve actually taken a full time position as a Senior Digital Marketer at SolarWinds.com and am moving to Austin Texas this weekend which I am excited about.

 

What’s Your Big Growth Story?

This experience really forced me to grow this last year! What experiences have made you grow the most?

Have you ever been fired?What was it like and what helped you to deal with it?

I look forward to your comments!

 

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7 Comments
  • James Hartley says:

    Thanks for your article. Last Thursday, I got the same bomb shell. The company I was working for ended up cutting all their employees so that they could be in the “black” and then sell. That’s their plan anyway. But I feel the same way you did & feel like this is also a good thing. It’s slightly terrifying, especially when I live in NYC and don’t have the option to relocate, but I believe I will look back one day and say, “thank goodness it happened”

    So I don’t a big growth story YET, but I’ll get back to you in a couple of weeks…

    • Benjamin Beck says:

      James,

      So great to hear from you man! Sorry to hear about the job, but I know you’ll excel even further! Keep me posted.

  • jayson bagio says:

    Hi Ben,

    I know this is late and you are probably enjoying Texas right now. Benj Arriola hinted me when we were talking about PubCon on SEO Philippines FB group and posted this link.

    Well I get fired back then (4 years ago). I was a victim of office politics and bad relationship with the new team leader hired by the company. One day I was sitting at my desk and the team lead asked me to go out and have a meal on mcdonalds, then he gave me the news and wanted me to sign termination paper. I didn’t even touch the fries and the burger (LOL), I stand up – told him that I am not getting fired and signing the papers. Instead I told him that I will file my resignation immediately. The office allowed me to. I was crying packing up my things and left.

    It was hard at first but I learned to move along. I told myself that I could only deal with things that I have and makes me happy, not with the things that has happened already and out of my control.

    I became more active on SEO communities, I met Jason Acidre for the first time and he inspired me a lot, started studying real link building strategies on my own. Started SEOteky, had a good number of clients, earned good pay, does speaking on conferences, I gave free intro to SEO training for colleges, attend meetups etc.

    I found balance in work and life, traveled whenever I can – Cebu, Palawan, El Nido, Caramoan, Ilocos, Oslob, Pangasinan, Coron, Camarines.

    Getting fired is not scary at all, just deal with it at the best way that you can.

    1. Shi+ happens
    2. Going out immediately and looking for another work is a bad idea, relax and take the opportunity reflecting on what had happened.
    3. You can’t take your money to your grave. No one knows if you will get killed on a freak accident hours from now. Use some of it to enjoy life. TRAVEL! Have some fun! Either you do it with your family, girlfriend or some ME time – that should work.
    4. Happiness is a choice.
    5. Learn from your mistakes, I remember that Dwayne Wade commercial “Fall down 7, stand up 8”


    Jayson @seoteky
    Ben Visit Manila ;)

    • Benjamin Beck says:

      Jayson,

      Thank you so much for your awesome comment! It was a tough experience to go through but luckily I was blessed enough to be able to enjoy the time off and work on my own projects until the right opportunity came along. I am really happy with the team and job I now have at SolarWinds.

      As for finding an opportunity to visit Manila I am always trying to find ways to make it back there! Maybe I can make it to the next event that Benj & Jason Acidre speak at. Also which FB group are you talking about? I just applied to one hopefully it is the right one :).

      Thanks again for sharing your story! Ikaw pa!

  • Marcus says:

    I like to think that things happen for a reason – or at least, good people make things happen when they have to. So, sometimes, coming up to the precipice where you have to do or die is a good thing.

    Heck, if Peter Venkman, Egon Spangler and Ray Stantz had never been fired from the university they would never have started the Ghostbusters and what kind of world would that be to live in! :)

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