"The greatness comes not when things go always good for you. But the Greatness comes when you're really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes. Because only if you've been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain." Richard M. Nixon
On October 7th my medical device sales career was tragically ripped away from me. That statement sounds dramatic and over the top but personally, the loss of my job with Stryker and the circumstances surrounding my termination where professionally and personally earth shattering.
Losing a job has the emotional burden on oneself similar to a death of someone close to you, its called grief. Grief is perhaps one of the most misunderstood aspects in life and after getting terminated I understand why.
Getting fired is hitting rock bottom and it knocks the wind out of you. You're never getting your job back, and there's no going back to reconcile. Personally you did something wrong and you can't undo it. I had to admit what I did wrong, learn from it, grow from it, ultimately overcome it and consider it a set back that taught me valuable life lessons. In a later blog post I will share the circumstances, not as an opportunity to defend myself but rather as an opportunity to share with others so they can understand the nuances of selling medical devices into hospitals.
There's sadness, anger, denial, depression, bargaining and anxiety that come with losing a job. The various stages/emotions can last for only a few minutes to weeks. If you’ve ever gone through this you know that time heals the pain and the grief slowly subsides.
I lost everything that I worked really hard for and I lost good friends that I truly enjoyed getting to know, I'm still sad about that. Certainly you can maintain friendships from a former employer but its not the same as it was. In my circumstances its weird. I've felt isolated and embarrassed to talk about the elephant in the room, the loss of my job. There are a gauntlet of new emotions that I dealt with and I tried to be graceful but most of the time I fumbled.
I made this personal video resume (below) as a way to cope with my termination and thankfully I did. I had many friends reach out to me, you know who you are and I am grateful for your intentions because you helped me pick myself back up and build my confidence. It allowed me to be where I am today and thats a place of acceptance and appreciation for my life.
Right now I'm en route to Northwood, Ohio for training with NAMSA, a medical research organization. My friend messaged me on Facebook and asked if I'd like to consider the opening and the rest is history. She put in a few good words for me and literally changed my life. I'm excited about my new career, I'm optimistic and grateful for the opportunity.
I'm not over what happened to me and how it happened but I've come to terms with it. The Lord must have had it planned because I certainly did not. This wasn't the first time that I was given a blessing in disguise, sometimes the best things in life are unplanned.
I've leaned on my brother Joel and Dad a lot. They call me or send me a text when I need it most, it has strengthened our relationships, this is the silver lining. You don't ever really know or can relate to what someone has gone through until you've gone through it yourself. When they checked in with me a quote or a scripture from the bible would be referenced. One day I will do the same for someone, although I wouldn't wish this on anyone.
My in-laws were over the top supportive too, they didn't judge me or blame me, they just loved me and gave us a lot of help when we needed it most. My Mom and Andy saw the worst side of me. There were times when I was short with them and kind of nasty, and accepted it. They probably wanted to back hand me a time or two. I have taken my family for granted and this experience reminded me to always live in the present and love my family with intention.
A lot happened in my 3 months of unemployment, yet I didn't take a trip or accomplish a goaI. I licked my wounds, cried on and off for weeks and focused on being present and living with intention particularly when it comes to my relationships with others. I became secluded but yoga helped me calm down and I allowed myself to feel the pain. I grew stronger and wiser yet I'm softer and refined from this experience. I have an open battle scar that still hurts every now and again, but thats ok, I feel it but I don't try to make sense of it.
If you've been fired, terminated or laid off please comment and share what you've learned from your experience, because that's what it was, an experience.