A couple of months ago, I got fired from a crappy corporate job. I was in shock at first; very upset with myself. I had never been let go before in my life. I was the one still at my desk when others went for a smoke. I had tried (even when I didn’t like it), I had tried! I was baffled – my former boss had said I had to leave because I thought outside the box. You’re smarter than three-quarters of the people I know, but here we need people who read from a script, he said.
He was right. I didn’t like the job. I had a hard time in a business-to-business trade magazine environment. I was not cut out to take advantage of poorer men for large sums of money. At first, I really thought I could be. I was buying into the “lots of money” dream. I truly was. I’m ashamed of that, but if I’m honest I was into it nonetheless. I wanted to have nice things and travel a lot, too. I listened to the promises and I seized my fake title and played it out for all it was worth.
It did not take long for this self-deception to wear off. I was no longer good at deceiving myself. It became more difficult to play the role, and my dissatisfaction with my own actions showed. This part was certainly my fault. My former boss was right – I had bought into it for a month. But that’s not me. I’m not cut out for being a corporate dog. So I was let go. I’m still not sure who’s to blame. Probably both parties, but in many ways I feel the victim.
Either way, I was depressed for a few weeks and laid around the house, drawing comics that signified existential crises and getting down over my lack of employment. I watched too much Law & Order and cuddled the cat too much. But then, an unprecedented opportunity came up. A job! Someone wanted me to make them a website. For money. Real money.
Wow, I thought. Maybe this can go somewhere in a few months. So I took the job. Just to have something to do, to get out of the house. Then, a second job came up. Then a third, a fourth, and a fifth. And then I learned more about how to build and design sites in a more professional way. I watched tutorials and read through books on CSS. Momentum caught up with me and now I’ve got some things to work on that will sustain me for a while. It looks like by this time next year, I may be working for myself completely.
So here I am, in the middle of sort of starting my own business. It’s crazy; I never, ever thought I would be doing this. But opportunity had presented itself, and here I am. I’m learning more things on a daily basis than I have in a very long time. I’m keeping up with the news, and the world, and giving myself too much to do on a daily basis. It’s wonderful. It’s frustrating, and it’s wonderful.
I never thought that this is how being unemployed would turn out. I feel like, ironically, being fired was the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ve grown and learned so much in the past three months. There’s been a great big wash of relief, as if a great sigh were exiting from my heart. Maybe it’s because I just read The Alchemist, but I’m sure that this has happened for a reason. Or three. Regardless, I’m grateful as well as surprised.
So what’s your story? I’d be interested to hear about others’ experiences with entrepreneurship, starting and owning your own business, or being unemployed. Please share!