Getting fired 2 times in 60 days changed my life
I got fired. 2 times in 60 days.
Yep, no shit. It was one hell of an emotional rollercoaster.
The following is a story about human character and the choices one might make as an employee and a hiring manager.
It happened while I was trying to switch from running my agency to a commercial leadership role in a tech company.
The diamond got shaped under lots of pressure, so to say. I just didn’t realize it at the time.
Anyfin did me a great favor at the time. I moved to, got fired and moved out of Stockholm in literally 30 days.
The other company is called pCloud, based in Sofia. I moved to and out of that city in less than 30 days, again.
Next, I was about to push outside of my perceived limits without realizing it. Moved to Amsterdam without a certain opportunity or money to survive longer than 40 days.
Then all of a sudden, Piktochart happened!
A technology scale-up. Fully remote gig, nurturing atmosphere, lots of room to grow, and a very international team. Oh, and being paid to travel to and across South East Asia!
Literally, a dream came true.
To say the least, I ended up in a really good space. I continued being a nomadic, entrepreneurial troublemaker. Yet, that company changed me deeply.
The privilege I had was to be surrounded by nurturing individuals who care on a personal level. It is a forgiving environment that enabled me to pursue my professional aspirations and provided lots of space to process all that happened before Piktochart.
Getting fired 2 times taught me a lot and put me on a necessary growth path that helped me calibrate my values and aspirations in life.
Currently, am focusing on growing a community of people with a giving mindset. Growth mind-set is their true north star. They are comfortable with being uncomfortable. They value compassion, appreciation, constructive feedback, efficiency, flexibility, transparency, speed, and generosity. Those people embrace the freedom and flexibility of remote work as they’ve found the benefits such as inspiration, fostered creativity, motivation, and discipline.
Next, I’d start or join a company with a socially impactful mission and value grid system aligned with the one from the previous paragraph.
The takeaways of this story:
- Survival situations put you in a fight or flight mode where figuring things quickly develops your gut instincts, pressure from dealing with adversity, humility, and empathy. I am not saying go get fired, but maybe try and go in the woods by yourself for 3 days with no food or phone and see what happens. Or maybe read about Sir Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to see things in perspective?
- Know what you sign up for and be damn sure you feel like it! If you get offered a job ask questions. Even, if the description seems very detailed. Ask questions! A lot of them! Without a clearly defined scope, KPIs you risk ending up in an environment with poor communication capabilities and no clear mission. Those are signs of bad leadership! If clarity on the mission is not given then better recommend them The Dichotomy of Leadership: Balancing the Challenges of Extreme Ownership to Lead and Win and wish them good luck. It’s better for both of you.
- When being new somewhere, talk little, ask a lot of questions and observe a lot. Again, I would get a foot through the door only after the mission is clear, your plan for contribution and KPIs. Without a clear agreement on those, I would not enter any agreements. This way you make sure all people involved are on the same page and don’t risk uncomfortable situations, hidden expectations popping out on new and so on.
- Life is just too short to work with assholes. Period. If you act like one I am gonna call you out on it! I expect the same, even if it may feel uncomfortable to hear. Such audacious communication requires respect, honesty, and courtesy! All of which, in my opinion, are key attributes in strong, lasting relationships. That in case, you’re up for forming such.
- If you constantly project your stress at work, that would translate into a shitty work atmosphere and ethic. Going to work should be a pleasure, at least in my opinion. Sure, we are human, we make mistakes. That’s ok. Just own them, learn from them, and constantly improve! So, maybe read the book mentioned in point 2, grow a pair, own your shit, but not at the expense of your team!
- EQ and culture are key! A company empowering expression of vulnerability and emotion would likely be one to help you grow as a person, not only as a professional. Sure work is not the psychologists’ office, but suppressing emotion is the suppression of humanness – an act of violence. Such environments and companies don’t strive to build better human character. Don’t trust me? Do you think that’s some hippie millennial bullshit? Daniel Goleman a renowned author and professor from Harvard supports the thesis.