Lay-Off to Pay-Off: So I Got Fired, Whats Next?

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“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

What would you do if tomorrow you lost your job?

Let’s play this scenario out a little bit. Now that you’re unemployed, imagine that you can’t possibly get another job. On top of that, your mortgage payment is coming up. Your car payment and electric bill are right around the corner. Luckily, you have enough saved up to last a couple months. You have roughly 8-12 weeks to figure everything out before your whole life comes crashing down around you.

What’s your move? Where do you start? How can you hustle money in the mean time?

Ok, so it’s not the most exciting topic to daydream about. In fact, most of us have probably never even thought about it at all. If you’re good at your job there is not much to worry about. Plus, there are always other places to find work. How many of us would really be prepared? I know for certain I wouldn’t be. My guess is only a small handful of people could say otherwise.

While our adventure to the land of imagination was fun and all, it’s time to come back to reality. Imagination will only get us so far and I’ve always found that the best type of learning comes as a result of experience. Which is why sitting here reading a blog post, and thinking through make-believe scenarios might not be the best approach. Although, I do have another idea that could provide us a little more insight.

We can find someone already going through our scenario and ask them about their experience. Better yet, I could just volunteer and do it myself. I don’t mind taking this one for the team. For research purposes, right? I know that sounds a little crazy, but hear me out.

If I could leave my job, then I can blog about the experience. I would be forced to actually live out the thought experiment from earlier. I don’t have much in my savings or any sort of contingency plan. I don’t have a family to provide for. No college degree to fall back on. Just me, myself, and I. Sounds like the perfect guinea pig for the experiment.

Ironically, those are also some of the same exact reasons I wouldn’t have the guts to quit. That’s a tough phone call home. “Mom, I quit my job for the sake of a cool story and a blog post. I know that I don’t have any writing experience, but doesn’t it sound like a good time?” A conversation I’m glad I won’t be having anytime soon.

Only because I got fired last week

Surprise! Yes, you read that correctly. I promise this isn’t some weird elaborate joke either. Life decided to roundhouse kick me clean out of my little comfort zone.

To those that know me, this probably comes as a bit of a shock. Even the handful of people that I have told thought that I was joking around. That’s how these things seem to happen though. They always have a knack for popping up when we least expect and when are the least prepared.

How did I go from restaurant all-star to an unemployed amateur blogger?

“Getting fired is nature’s way of telling you that you had the wrong job in the first place”

Hal Lancaster

After a careful self-analysis, what I think it boils down to is: I hated my job. I lost my drive and was putting forth just enough effort to get by. I had become so wrapped up in this blanket of complacency surrounding my job, that I failed to notice the changes in my behavior. A complacency that was bred by the fear and uncertainty of going off on my own. I slowly started changing into someone I resented. Someone who hated getting up in the morning, and lived for the weekends. Someone who lacked discipline, ambition, and purpose. After about a year of this, my newfound attitude finally started to spill over into my performance at work. Which ultimately led to my termination.

All I could do at that point is accept my fate. It’s hard to describe how I felt immediately afterward.

I suppose that every story has to start somewhere

I could start with how I took it all like a champ. How I walked out of there like the biggest badass you could imagine. Dancing all the way out of the building, and giving my bosses the bird as closed the door behind me. Except it didn’t quite happen like that. Actually, I walked out in complete silence and locked myself up in my little condo for the next two days. I cut off all communication to the outside world. Then proceeded to wallow in my own self-pity. All while attempting to come to terms with my brand new, unemployed reality. Fortunately, there is only so much wallowing that one person can take.

Finally, it occurred to me. This is the perfect opportunity to create the life that I have always envisioned for myself. I have a unique chance to take charge of my life and wake up my own wolf. That was why I started this blog in the first place, as a tool for myself and others to better themselves. I’ve been blessed with an opportunity that I was too afraid to take on my own. Now what am I going to do with it?

“And when you can’t go back, you have to worry only about the best way of moving forward”

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I’m going to do something a little different, and tell my story as I write it. This will be the introduction to a series of posts titled Lay-Off to Pay-Off. The goal of this series is to provide insight into a world of fear and uncertainty. I’ll be figuring everything out as I go, providing updates along the way. I’m positive that I’m not the only person who hates their job. Or the only person who had dreams of creating a better life for themselves. Its my hope, that through these posts, I’ll be able to provide value to my readers in some way

Keep checking in for updates, tips, insights, and any useful information that I pick up along my journey.

Even if you come back to see if I fail miserably and everything goes up in flames. I’m happy with that too. I guess we will have to see how this all plays out.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wake Up The Wolf


  1. There is absolutely nothing amateur about this post . You my friend are headed for Greatness ! And as weird as it may sound to be praised during a moment that could bring a boatload of anxiety this is your chance to reach Greatness . Your writing is excellent in my opinion . Go for all you are looking for and do not give up . Definitely going to be looking forward to more future posts .

  2. “Finally, it occurred to me. This is the perfect opportunity to create the life that I have always envisioned for myself. I have a unique chance to take charge of my life and wake up my own wolf. That was why I started this blog in the first place, as a tool for myself and others to better themselves. I’ve been blessed with an opportunity that I was too afraid to take on my own. Now, what am I going to do with it?”

    -We have some things in common buddy. About 10 months ago today I herniated a disc in my neck which caused me to go on short term disability from working with steel. I hated that fucking job. I used my injury as the catalyst for a big change in my life though, woke up the inner wolf as you say, and then applied to University where I’m at now. In the end, it’s a good thing because my workplace fired me illegally when my short term ran out. Still looking for new work now.

    On to bigger and better things! I hope it all works out for you!

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