You are sitting at your desk at your office working normally when suddenly you are asked to a meeting with human resources. Uh oh. You go to the meeting and are informed that you will be made redundant. You are escorted back to your desk and asked to take personal belongings before leaving the office immediately. This is how big corporations get rid of people. It can be very upsetting. That company you’d been with for years no longer wanted you. How does that affect your self-worth?
Despite the initial shock, getting fired has a lot of positive aspects.
Why would getting fired be positive?
Well, there are a number of reasons that losing a job could be a good thing.
1. The Payout Package
When people are let go by large companies, they will usually get some sort of exit package. This is often a few months salary. The best thing about this is that you don’t need to work while still getting a salary. This time can be used for many things. Getting a new job. Traveling. Just relaxing at home. It does make the transition to something new easier and is a rare opportunity to do no work and still get paid.
2. The Company Was in Trouble
Often layoffs are not personal. They have nothing to do with your job performance. They are done because the company is struggling and needs to save money. Everyone in a division will be laid off. In this situation, its probably good you were let go before things go pear-shaped. You got to avoid continuous cost-cutting and massive attrition from unhappy employees. You didn’t have to experience that and got out early. Plus, you got the generous payout package that later exiting employees didn’t get due to the company’s bankruptcy.
3. Time off
Getting laid off means that suddenly there are lots of free time. If you’ve been working for ten years in a corporate job, chances are that you’ve not taken that trip around the world that you always dreamed of. Now, not only do you have free time but also that hefty payout package. This presents an opportunity to do that trip that was always deprioritized due to work.
4. Career Switch
An unexpected redundancy allows the ability to re-evaluate your career choices. Do you really want to get a job in the same line of work? Maybe the layoff happened due to structural changes in the industry? Is your prior career going the way of the elevator man (one type of career that has disappeared due to technology)? Perhaps it is a good time to consider going back to school or starting up your own business.
Balancing a family and a career is difficult. If you have a partner who is still employed, it is worth thinking about whether you should return to work at all. For childless couples, it could be a good time to start a family. For those with older parents, it might be worth spending more time with them.
While getting fired is never going to be the best thing in the world and presents challenges, there are silver linings. The ability to transform your life and do something different are some of the unexpected advantages of being laid off. So remember, when that pink slip comes across your desk, think of the upside.