Saks Fifth Avenue

Well…I’ve been Canned. Again.

The inspiration behind this site is my story of what happened to me in the 2008 financial collapse. The long version is here. The “Reader’s Digest” version is below:

In 2008, I lost my job during what was the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Despite all my efforts to re-enter the job market, I remained unemployed until the fall of 2010.

It wasn’t until I thought outside the box and decide to go overseas and teach English in Taiwan that I finally started earning a wage again. This made for an adventurous life until I returned to the corporate world in 2014. I returned, but I would never be the same.

The short version of my 2008 Financial Collapse story

Well, wouldn’t you know it. I got canned. Again.

“I feel like this has happened before”

In the spring of 2019, I accepted a fantastic job consulting with an analytics firm and a great year followed. But like so many others, I got caught up in Covid19 layoffs at my firm and as a result, I’m now again unemployed. It’s starting to feel like 2008 again. But the difference is this time, I’ve been preparing for this for quite a while.

The unemployment rate in the US is now over 10% rivaling the 2008 financial collapse. Check out this popular gif that circulated back in April

Looks like I’m in pretty good company of other unemployed folks.

So what now?

I’ve got a strong desire to travel the world revisiting favorite places in Asia as well as new destinations like Central and South America and it’s about time I explored Europe a bit. But the current Covid19 situation has put this on hold indefinitely.

For others that are wanting to travel the world and are feeling stuck, I’ve found this website that shows you which countries are allowing tourism. It looks like Ukraine could be open for visitors. Hmmm.

So what about traveling the US?

So maybe travel bans can keep us from visiting other countries but if I’m unemployed and seeking some freedom and travel I think a good old fashioned US road trip may be in order. Mask on and hit the road mostly staying in your car can’t hurt anyone in these challenging times navigating covid19. (How many times have you heard that phrase or something similar)

Where in the USA to go?

Well, plenty of options if I do a road trip. If I do, here are some places that could be on the itinerary:

The Ozark Mountains Jasari / CC BY-SA (
Puerto Rico is the US which means I could go. Although probably not part of the road trip.
Jeff Kubina – originally posted to Flickr as Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii
I feel like Hawaii would satisfy the urge to leave your country while remaining in the USA. Probably will need an airplane to make this happen.

Travel Youtube

It’s not in stone but I’m seriously considering picking up a GoPro to capture some of these US and eventually world travel and expand my Youtube beyond the current scope of the McDonald’s Shrimp Burgerin Taiwan. After all, aren’t blogs like this a little stuck in an earlier time?

Quality Vlogging. Look at that old school fried apple pie

Have You Been Canned?

If you’ve lost your job and would like to share your story, feel free to reach out to me by email or in the comments and I’ll be happy to post select stories as well as help get your name out with links to your email or Linked In.

5 Ways to Earn Money Writing

One of the ways I’ve continued to explore earning income beyond the confines of a traditional office job is through freelance writing. Have you ever seen that person hanging out at a Starbucks during a weekday hammering away at their laptop while sipping on a latte? It’s possible they are a writer of some sort and the coffee shop is the closest they are going to come to setting foot in an office. It seems like an enviable position to be able to work where you want and when you want. But how are they getting paid?

Well, when you step outside the traditional means of office W2 income you may find that there isn’t just one standard way of getting paid as a freelance writer. So what the ways some people are doing it? Here are some examples below.

1. Start a Blog

There’s an extremely low barrier to entry for starting your own blog or website.  In fact, the only thing you really need to do to have a blog is basically

  1. Find an available domain name, and buy it,
  2. Then get hosting for your blog which typically runs between $50 to $100 a year.
  3. Choose a theme and start posting.

So while this is a bit of a gross oversimplification of the process, this is basically all you need to do to self-publish your writing on a blog.  But you’re published; so now what?

You’re published. So now what? Could these be bloggers checking their phones to see if they’ve made any money? Maybe.

2. Earn Affiliate Marketing Income

Well if your content is good enough and you start to gain some traction, you start to gain readers and eventually you find yourself with an audience.   An audience has the potential to be a customer and as a blogger your in the position to direct a message to your audience.   That could be to try a product or service you recommend as an affiliate.  It’s not hard to do if you have their attention.  Do I have your attention?  If so and you want to start a blog you could do so just by clicking here.    See what I did?  I just recommended Siteground as a host because I’m an affiliate.  They’re good and I use them.  So imagine you, dear reader, signed up.  I’d make some money.   Just like that.

If one of your readers signs up for one of your affiliate products or services, you earn a commission.   If you have a large audience you may start to receive several commissions a month, a week or even daily.

3. Write for Others

So writing is entertainment and it educates or informs but first and foremost, it should captivate the attention of the reader.   And if it’s doing so, that writing has value in a way that is similar to the way that TV, Netflix, movies, or the news captivates.   So just as studio’s pay directors and writers and actors to produce content that has value, there are website owners, news organizations, and publishers that are willing to pay for others to write content.   If you want to be a writer, you’re going to want to do two things:

  1. Find the people willing to pay for your writing.  (or let them find you)
  2. Demonstrate that you can write by showing them a bit of proof.

Now if you are reading this, you may be detecting a bit of irony in that this writing is probably a bit on the mediocre side.   Well, what can I say, it’s like I said, there’s a low barrier to entry to blogging.  So while my writing might not be Shakespear, I’m confident my ideas are good.  Hopefully, I’ll continue to improve and look back on this in a few years as a shining example of how far I’ve come.  If nothing else we can at least say I used the word “ironic” correctly which is more than I can say for an angsty 90’s singer.

4. Find the People That Will Pay You

If you’re looking to do #1 and find the clients that could use you as a writer you’ve got to recognize that to some extent, like so many things in life, it’s a numbers game.  So do your best, but also put yourself in front of as many people as possible.

  1. Getting your writing out through your blog is one method.
  2. Reaching out to others that might be interested in your writing is another method
  3. Marketing your writing services on various sites like Upwork and Fiverr is another method. Sign up for Fiverr with this link and you’ll get up to $100 credit.

5. Show Them You Can Write

If you’re looking to do #2 and demonstrate you can write by showing some proof, you’re going to want to be published.   Early on, it’s not going to be easy.  But creating a blog has almost no barrier to entry.  The next step will be reaching out to others and seeing if they will allow you to guest post for them.   It’s a bit of a quid pro quo.   They get some free content which is hopefully your best writing, and for your efforts, you get a bit of exposure.  Exposure means reaching a new audience which means the potential to reach new customers or clients.

But what if your writing isn’t that good?  Well, you could stick to the office job.  Or you could remain unemployed.  Or you could push yourself to practice and get better.  There are tools out there like Grammarly which aims to help improve your writing.  It’s definitely helping me.

10 Reasons Getting Fired Actually Isn’t so Bad.

When most people think of the experience of getting fired from a job, they imagine it to be traumatic and painful; the type of trauma that can send some former employees away in tears.  After all, getting fired is a rejection of sorts.  Not just a single person, but an entire actual organization is saying, “We think we’d be better off without you.”

There’s plenty to be concerned with after your termination happens. Your income is getting shut off.  You’re likely to lose your health insurance in the very near future.  You near future also is going to consist of a fair amount of time sending resumes on sites like,, and  Who among us hasn’t felt the frustrations of having to log into Taleo and enter all the information that is already laid out clearly in our resume?

Please type out all the information that is already in your resume and every detail about all the jobs you’ve ever had.

But all these things considered, getting canned is not that bad. Why? Well, let’s see.

1. Do I need to state the obvious?

You can look forward to a tomorrow where you can sleep in late. That’s right. Cancel your 6:00 am alarm.  It’s time to catch up on your Netflix.

2. Your morning commute doesn’t require starting your car.

After you’ve been fired, you new morning commute may only be as far as a trip from the bed to the refrigerator.  Consider the money you’ll save not having to fill up and sit in traffic every day now.  Your car might last a bit longer as well.

3. You Can Do Your Job Search Right.

It’s possible you’ve had a passive job search going for a while but have been too busy to dedicate the time that is required to do it right.  Now that your schedule is freed up, you’re going to have the time to interview and talk with those chatty recruiters and find the right employer for you.

Please choose a complex password to safeguard your resume data which you’re trying to distribute to everyone that will take a look.

4.  If you were let go from your job, it’s safe to say it wasn’t a good fit for you.

Maybe your style clashed with the company culture.  Perhaps your boss didn’t like the cut of your jib.   You might not have shown enough enthusiasm because you were unhappy about your salary or career path.  Your post-termination world is a chance to correct these things.

5. It’s about TIME.

If you’ve been diligent about money and have sufficient savings, it may be the right time to take a vacation.  Aren’t you overdue for some “me time”?  If you’ve secured your next job that’s even more reason to take a vacation.  This rare time of having a job offer in hand and not currently tied down to a job is the ideal time to take a vacation.  Why not go see the world?

6. Maybe You Don’t Really Belong in an Office.

If you find yourself receiving the pink slip more often than you’d like to, you might want to consider if your career is right?   Maybe office life isn’t for you.  You could do like Peter from Office Space and take up a career in construction.  Or you can test the waters with freelancing and try to earn location-independent income.

7. Losing your job helps you be woke.

Cringey slang aside, doing the same grind, day after day, year after year, can cause us to go on auto-pilot with each day being a carbon copy of the last.   We start to go through life like zombies sleepwalking.  Ever arrive at work and barely realize how you got there or remember the drive?   Once your income is cut off, you’re going to need to wake up and evaluate your situation.   I’m a big believer that a lot of the happiness your experience in life comes from solving problems.   Well, losing your job created a problem and fixing it will almost definitely bring some joy to your life.

8. You’re most likely going to be meeting new people soon.

Phyllis from Accounting may be a lovely lady, and her stories about her cat were captivating and inspirational.  But there may be room in your life for new people with new stories.   If you’ve lost your job, most likely you’re going to be meeting new people.   It opens the door for all the linked in recruiters, new coworkers, new management teams.   And while you’re executing the job search, it’s a great chance to get out there and network.

9. It’s going to make you stronger.

Losing a job forces you to adapt to your situation.  Moving on to a new environment makes you a more rounded worker with greater perspective.  I’ve met people that have worked at the same company for 20 years.  And that’s an admirable level of dedication.  But I always feel a bit of sympathy that they’ve only seen one company’s way of skinning a cat.  Different companies have different cultures and different ways of accomplishing tasks.  Typically no one company does everything the best way.  If you work at several companies over time, you can cherry-pick best practices and have a unique perspective that others might not be able to provide.

10.   You deserve a break.

Getting canned usually gets you away from a bad situation.   Many people that lose their job feel a sense of relief to no longer have to return to a workplace that isn’t appreciating them and may have become toxic.  Go where you’re valued.

Green tea kit kat is really yummy.

If you’ve never had a green tea Kit Kat, you gotta try them. (A “break” get it? Ok, I’ll show myself out.)  Available on Amazon.   And I’ll get an affiliate commission if you buy from Amazon.

How Much I Earned From Four Months of Blogging

Tell anyone you’ve started a blog and you’ll inevitably get the question about how much money you’re making blogging. It’s pretty straightforward to answer how much money I made THIS MONTH.  But it’s not at all easy to answer how much money you CAN make from blogging or how much you’re likely to earn in the future. It’s largely dependent on how much effort you put into being successful.  But what could a person expect?

Different Way Bloggers Make Money

Well, there are many things to consider about making money from a website.   There’s a great variety of ways to earn money.   Here’s some that come to mind for me:

  • You can sell your own product
  • You can promote your own service (I do a bit of tutoring on the side)
  • You can promote a product of another company which is typically called affiliate marketing ( I promote a few services I have used and recommend)
  • You can run ads on your site and get paid for your views. ( I believe you need a lot of traffic for this to be profitable..probably not ideal for early on)

These are some of the fundamental ways to make cash from your website or blog.    This blog “Getting Canned” seeks to provide entertainment and information about the experience of losing your job and I do hope to generate a bit of revenue from affiliate marketing to help keep the site running.

That means that on some of my pages, I refer to products or services like web hosting or scheduling software that I use and recommend.    If someone clicks the links and signs up for a service, I can earn a commission.   So how much have I earned from doing this so far?

Earnings From My Two Sites

Well I started this site in April 2018.  So I’m about 3 months in and I’m just now starting to ring up a few commissions.  I’ve helped refer others to sign up for web hosting and domain services and earned a few commissions that will pay out this month.   The sales commissions were earned from either clicking my site links or me sending the customer the link directly.    Here are screenshots of sales I’ll be paid for this month.

From Bluehost.   I referred two signups and should earn $130.

Bluehost Affiliate earnings
Bluehost Affiliate earnings for the quarter

And I’ve had one signup for the host I am currently using to host this site, which is Siteground.   This resulted in $50 of commissions.

Here’s earnings from Siteground affiliate program .

This felt pretty good to see earning commissions like this with minimal effort.   Full disclosure:  For web hosting signups, I typically have worked with the person to help them set up the site so it wasn’t totally passive income.

Earning my First Passive Income

I did earn my first passive income commission this month.   Someone saw the value in the M1 Finance signup which paid out a commission of $100 to me.   This resulted from them viewing my site and clicking the link.   I wasn’t involved.  To be honest, I didn’t even realize I earned this commission a few weeks ago because I’m a bit behind on my email.   But how’s that for passive income?   Thanks, fellow investor out there.

M1 Finance Affiliate commissions
My first signup from M1 Finance

Dare to dream but perhaps someday I can earn the types of commissions that some of the top people do.  It’s crazy to think some folks out there are making 10’s of thousands of dollars a month.   Take for example Michelle Schroeder who made $136,000 last month from blogging.

So the question is could you generate income from blogging?  This is capitalism so there are no guarantees.   It will take a little luck and a good deal of hard work.  Generally the harder you work, the luckier you’ll be.  In my opinion, it’s certainly worth a shot.   If you’ve been terminated and can spare around $90 that’s enough to get started.   Ping me if you need help.

How To Get Started Making Money From Running a Web Site

The first step is signing up for web hosting. If you don’t feel like spending money and are tech-savvy, why not try Digital Ocean?  Sign up here for a free $100 credit just for trying Digital Ocean.

Click here for a $100 Credit good towards hosting with Digital Ocean.

And What am I Doing With the Profit?

Some money gets reinvested back into the business and the rest gets invested into my new favorite no fee robo-advisor M1 Finance.

M1 Finance

Disclosure:  I have an affiliate partnership with M1 Finance, Digital Ocean and Siteground and may earn a commission on new signups over a certain threshold.

Recently Fired? Why not Escape to Vietnam?

Vietnam is a great place to visit in Southeast Asia. If you’ve recently lost your job and are watching your budget, you’ll find Vietnam a very affordable place to stay for a good while and soak up asian culture.

Delicious and healthy pho is plentiful from a variety of street vendors at prices that are a steal. Vietnam is also known for a special type of “egg coffee”. I ate most meals in Hanoi for a price of around $1 to $2. Good luck finding meals for that price in the US! Vietnam is a destination that promises fun, affordability, and culture.

Pho for lunch in Hanoi, Vietnam
Coffee in Hanoi, Vietnam
Vietnamese Egg Coffee at a charming little cafe in Hanoi, Vietnam.

If you’re an American that has traveled abroad to several countries you’ll know that there’s a good list of countries Americans can visit with no visa. They will typically allow you to arrive and simply fill out visa on arrival paperwork and you’ll be on your way through the immigration gates to explore a new world. 

Getting a Vietnam VISA

The Vietnam visa process is a bit more complicated. If you’ve done a bit of research online, you may be asking yourself “How do I get a Vietnam Visa on arrival?”

My initial research seemed to provide some conflicting answers so I’ll break out your options clearly. Here’s an overview based on my experience and a fair amount of research to combat the confusion.

Hanoi Streets
The Streets of Hanoi are lively and busy

From my research, I discovered you have two main recommended choices on how to go about getting your Vietnam Visa.

One Country. Two recommended Visa Options

Visa Options for Vietnam

  1. Get an E-Visa

    For many, the best option is to first get an E-Visa. You need to go to the official Vietnam embassy website to get an e-visa. This can take a few days. 

    It’s relatively simple and will cost you just $25 for the e-visa. (It’s worth noting that there are several companies (some reputable some not) that have websites that seem to misrepresent themselves as representing Vietnam.)

    The above site is the true Vietnam embassy site and the only one qualified to issue an e-visa directly. It seems like a great option as long as you have time. If you’re in a hurry, then you may want to consider the “visa on arrival” option below.

  2. Visa on Arrival

    The alternative option is the Visa on Arrival option. If you aren’t a planner and your trip is in a day or two, you’ll probably need to do this option.
    To get a visa on arrival, you’ll need a letter of approval from a travel company and pick up your visa at the airport. You’ll want to work with a company that can get you a letter of approval very quickly, often within one day depending on the company. There are several sites and companies that provide this service. See below for my experience using one.

    Disclaimer: It’s also possible to go to the Vietnam embassy in your home country but I’ve been advised that this method can actually be quite costly. E-Visa is my method of choice.

Getting a Letter of Approval Notes

For option two,”visa on arrival”, there are a variety of sites that can assist with option three. With this option, you’ll pay a fee that varies for your approval letter. And then you’ll also need to pay for your visa on arrival.

This is the best option if you don’t have much time. This means after disembarking from the plane you’ll go to the visa area and you’ll probably need to wait a bit for them to review your letter of approval then process and issue the visa. 

You’ll need to pay $25US or $520,000 Dong to get your actual visa. In my experience, we needed to wait about 30 minutes to get the visa processed and then we were free to head out and explore the exciting things to do in Hanoi

My experience with getting a letter of approval

We chose Vietnam Visa Pro to get our letter of approval. The approval letter really just acts as a sort of required first step to getting your visa on arrival. I’m not being compensated for this review so it’s unbiased. 

The price was good. I got expedited service to get the letter of approval in a day for around $11. It came the next day in an email by PDF.

It should be noted there are several companies that run websites that do this. These sites aren’t government organizations but rather they are companies that are qualified to create your approval letter to make you eligible to get your Visa on arrival. You can’t get a visa on arrival without an approval letter so it’s a necessary step for the third option

Getting Around in Vietnam

It’s worth noting that as of December 2018, Uber is no longer available in South East Asia, including Vietnam. A nice alternative we discovered is Grab which is an Uber-like service. Sign up for Grab here, and get discounted rides. Or you can simply type in referral code: grabqnjfwbw4

Experiencing Vietnam Culture at Home

If you’re currently not up for the challenge of the long flight to get to Vietnam but still would like to try their amazing coffee, you can purchase it on Amazon here:

Once you have this you can easily make some Vietnamese style egg coffee by following instructions on youtube. Here’s a good tutorial. 

If you speak Chinese, here’s a great page to get info on the Vietnam Visa process.

Southern Taiwan

Taking a Vacation After Getting Fired

Modern life often has us on a treadmill that can make enjoying life a challenge. Our time typically falls into two categories throughout our careers. Gross oversimplification, but I’m talking about time employed and time unemployed. But there is a third category that arises once every few years for many people.


“Time employed” is the default state of most adult lives with respect to where their time goes.  You may have the money to live and enjoy life, but you don’t have the time. Even if you secure the time with an approved vacation, the time is often limited. Many office workers these days are uncomfortable taking more than 5 consecutive days off at a time. 

Digital Colouring Exercise (Woman Computer with Microscope and Calculator)
Time to update our work culture.

This is at least partially for fear of losing their job. “If the company can get by without me for two weeks, maybe they’ll realize they don’t really need me” the thinking goes. The other rationale seems to be with keeping up the image and playing the game so to speak.

Even if you are brave and make your happiness and health a priority securing an extended two-week vacation,  there is unintended baggage coming with you on your travels.   Whether you check your luggage or do carry-on you’ll likely be bringing an unintended co-passenger; Workplace stress.

Even on a vacation, it takes some time to let go, unwind and truly relax. Even if you can relax and let it go, in the back of your mind is the knowledge that when you return, you’ll have 500 emails to catch up with and the dreaded return to the daily grind awaits.

Time off is great but it often creates a backlog of work that needs to be done when you return. A vacation is great but is there a better way? I think so. But first, let’s discuss the other time period.


You’re unemployed. At last, you finally have some free time to come and go as you please. You can truly let go of all your work stresses and enjoy life. Travel and exploration is a possibility. Right?

Well, that would be the case except for one thing. You’ve likely occupied with finding your next job. You spend your days sending resumes, scheduling interviews, re-writing the resume. Good times for sure.

And while the free time being unemployed provides is great, it’s just not the time most of us feel comfortable spending any money since our next pay date is likey unknown.


Except for when we do know. This is what we might refer to as a golden time in life.  The time when you’ve secured a new job but have not yet started.  You’re not tied down to employment but you almost certainly have a paycheck in your near future.   This time period can vary significantly but it’s usually between one week and a month by my estimates.

If there was ever a time to celebrate it’s in these two to four week period of employment limbo.

Here’s what I’m saying: Savor this time. It’s doesn’t typically happen so frequently in life for most of us. The time where you’re unencumbered by the constraints of current employment, yet secure in your career and financial future with a signed offer letter. Do all you can to stretch this time out as much as possible.  If there was ever a time to celebrate it’s in this two to four weeks employment limbo.

Good fortune has shined on me as I have a free weeks before my next work project so travel will follow. I’ll post my findings with pics.


A night in Vancouver.

Some time in Taiwan

Some time in Hanoi, Vietnam

photo credit: pni Digital Colouring Exercise (Woman Computer with Microscope and Calculator) via photopin(license)

Breaking Job Interview Rules and Still Getting Hired.

Well, one of the ideas of this blog has been validated.    Getting canned can often result in putting you in a better situation in the long run.   It took less than three weeks from my termination date, but I’ve now got a contract with a new employer that on first appearances seems to be better.  But what’s interesting is that I’ve broken a few of the supposed rules of interviewing and still go the job.

Rule #1 You Need A High- Quality Well fitting tailored suit.

Our consumer culture would have us believe that we ought to spend probably somewhere between $500 to $1,500 for a quality suit and have it tailored to present an excellent fit in order to showcase our best selves.   My theory was that the value of expensive suiting up is WAY overstated.   In reality, I believe you need only to present as well groomed, clean, and basically not stick out with any egregious fashion mistakes.   Don’t show up to an interview with khakis and short sleeve dress shirt for example.

So what did I wear?   Well…unfortunately, my previous years of sitting in the office caused some weight gain and I no longer fit in the fancy tailored suit I bought just about 5 years ago.    I didn’t really have the time nor the inclination to drop $700 on a new suit and wait for the fitting.   So I went to my local JC Penny’s.   I found a plain black suit jacket and pants for around $160.   The fit was…ummm…not horrible.  But definitely not ideal.   The material was ok.    It was just good enough to not stick out and be embarrassing but I’m sure a super in the know fashionista could rip me to shreds.  But that’s the point.  I’m not trying to impress someone from GQ.  I’m trying to have a conversation about my skillset.

waking up
Getting up early for an interview after not working was difficult.  Disclaimer:  I’m not this pretty.

The Shoes

If you’re going to invest somewhere, shoes might be the place.   A good quality pair of dress shoes are worth spending on and maintaining.  It occurred to me when putting on my shoes, that I’ve used these shoes for previous interviews and just a few formal events going back all the way to 2004.   Yeah.   I guess that makes these shoes 14 years old.  And they’ve held up well (not wearing too often will help with that).   If you’re curious these shoes are a pair of Cole Haan’s.

The Tie

The Tie is your chance to shine and another place where you might want to invest a little.   I think it makes more sense to have a nice pair of shoes that last and a quality tie for maybe $65 than to spend a grand on a suit.   Make sure it matches your shirt well.

Rule #2 Have a Well Prepared Story about How it Ended with Past Job.

Truthfully it didn’t really even come up.  I glossed over it at one point.   After four years at my previous employer, it was time to move on.    The reality is, an intelligent manager knows that sometimes employees get fired for reasons that aren’t entirely their own fault.    They were a whistleblower and called out bad behavior at a previous employer, they stood up to inept management, they rocked the boat politically and their behavior highlighted revealed another employee’s inefficient process.   It needn’t be a death sentence for the career.  It could just be the universes pushing you along to where you should be next.

Rule #3 Bring in a Fancy Notepad Portfolio

I actually forgot a notepad and borrowed a simple notepad from the contracting consultant that presented me to the client.   Wasn’t an issue.

 Knowing your field well is going to help you out a lot more than your choice of pinstripe or solid suit color.

The bottom line here is that for most positions that aren’t image sensitive (sales, modeling, politics) content trumps treating the interview like a fashion show.   Knowing your field well is going to help you out a lot more than your choice of pinstripe or solid suit color.  Whether to tie a traditional or Windsor knot.   But yeah these things don’t hurt.


The Benefits of Being Fired

The first time I was fired, I deserved it. In fact, I don’t know if I have ever deserved anything more. In a sense, it was a blessing. Being fired was clearly preferable to the other option—being in jail. The second time couldn’t have been more different. It had come as a shock. And to this day I can’t decide what had astonished me more, the fact that I had been fired, seemingly without cause, or the fact that I had been notified of it via an email form letter

Now, at this point, I know that you are thinking. But before you click out of this article let me assure you that you that I am not crazy. And if you are honest with yourself, you have probably been in similar situations. As you well know, there are few events in life that are more humiliating than being fired. It is the ultimate form of rejection mixed with a sense of panic over one’s future career path and livelihood. It combines the heartbreak of a love gone wrong with the anxiety of now considering where your next meal comes from.

Walk Into the Storm

Furthermore, in my case(s) it seemed as though I was fired right when I needed the money the most. I’m terrible at saving. And both times, the firings occurred right before I was about to embark on a major life change. And in both cases, I thought I needed that job to fund it. On the surface, it seemed as though these events couldn’t have occurred at a worse time. But funnily enough, both gave me a push that I never knew I needed.

Oprah says, “failure is a sign that you should be doing something different.” Now, while that isn’t always true, it is almost always the case if you are getting fired. Why? Because if you have been terminated from your job, it means that either you weren’t performing your duties correctly, or you were working for individuals who didn’t value what you had to offer. Either way, being fired liberated you from a situation that clearly wasn’t healthy—or at the very least, it wasn’t helpful to you in the long run.

The reality is getting fired is never easy–but staying stagnant is worse.

Sometimes, either by circumstance or by necessity, we take positions that don’t really suit our unique set of skills. Perhaps money is running low and we are desperate for an income, or the job market is slow and we need to take what we can get. That was certainly the case for me in both situations. However, there comes a point when you have to let go of the safety rail. Where you have to put actual time and energy into building yourself up—not just maintaining the status quo. Staying stagnant will lead you into a prison of your own making; where you will cease to grow and evolve. Instead, you spend your days wasting away in drudgery watching life pass you by.

I know that this can be hard to hear. No one wants to hear platitudes when they are standing in line for unemployment. But the reality is that you probably ended up here because you tried to stay too long in the wrong place. It was time to move on and because you didn’t make the decision to leave, the universe did it for you.

Take Time To Make the Change

If you are still unsure consider this. A month after the first time I was fired, I boarded a plane for Madrid, free now to start life over again. The second time I was fired was a week before I was meant to take a solo trip to Italy. In Madrid, I became a teacher and in Italy, I sought out freelance work. While neither was easy, it was better for me in the long run. Why? Because In both cases I had no choice but to rely fully on myself and make use of skills that would have otherwise remained dormant.

The reality is getting fired is never easy–but staying stagnant is worse. So, take this time to learn about yourself. Brush up on some old skills or acquire some new ones. Take temporary or need-based work if you have to. Don’t let your pride get in the way. Everybody has to eat. But while you are in the midst of doing what you have to do, don’t forget about doing what you are supposed to do—setting long and short-term goals for yourself. Make this time the last time that you find yourself in this situation. And just remember, while you are working towards your goals, don’t get too comfortable or waste your skills on the unworthy. That’s what got you in the unemployment line the first place.