A Big Thank-You to My Ex-employer

There is a company where I want to work (I’ll call it Company E). Maybe I should say “wanted,” since Company E has lost all its cache lately. But in the recent past, I coveted a job there.

I have an unemployed, job-hunting friend (I’ll call her B) who has the same job title as me. She has more experience, but I have plenty. We’re both qualified; however, I have, or used to have, what she did not: a relationship with a recruiter who gets jobs at E.

Just before I was fired, but not long before, I was actively job hunting because of the horrible commute, mentioned excessively in previous posts. I contacted my recruiter pal just in case; and lo and behold, a shiny new position had opened at E.

Perhaps foolishly, I mentioned this to B, and she asked me to send her resume to the recruiter. I agreed to do this, even though a little voice was saying “Are you nuts? Why introduce competition? How stupid will you feel if she gets the job and you don’t?” Another voice, however, said “Don’t be greedy. Maybe you won’t get the job and would never have gotten it–why deprive her? We each only need one job.”

We each got to the phone screen phase, and mine went well. B’s phone screen, apparently, went better: she was called for an in-person interview at E and I wasn’t. I felt a little sad, but not devastated. I wished her luck.

Part of the reason I was being so magnanimous is that, since being fired, I’ve had to trust the universe a lot more than I usually do. Things suddenly spiraled out of control so thoroughly when I was given the axe, that I had to acknowledge that control is an illusion. And I also have realized that while it makes sense to work at finding a job, it doesn’t make sense to worry about it. To my amazement, the past week and a half have been relatively worry free. I can’t exactly say that I have faith that I’ll get a job, but more that I haven’t been spending as much time thinking about it as I would have expected. Sure, I’ve had a few moments of panic. But in general I’ve been feeling more relaxed and happy than I can remember feeling in many years. So strange!

When B asked for that favor, I realized how much she wanted that job. It’s not like she’s been lacking for interviews and leads. It’s a little humbling, I think, to ask for a big favor. Essentially, she was asking me potentially to sacrifice something that I wanted so that she could have it. Refusing would have felt wrong.

Not long after my unsuccessful phone screen, a different job I had been working on suddenly heated up like crazy. The HR person started emailing and calling. I had an in-person interview that went well, and that job suddenly started to seem like what I’ve been seeking for years. There is a very high chance that I will be offered that job tomorrow morning.

I feel optimistic but also surprisingly calm. I’d be delighted to get the job; but if I don’t, well, I’ll keep trying and life will continue.

What I’m trying to say is that somehow, being fired has turned out to be one of the best things that has happened to me. It has helped me enjoy life and accept what happens. Of course I haven’t suddenly become a different person, but the thoughts and attitudes that have inhabited my mind since I walked out that door are generally much different, and much better, than what’s usually in there. Go figure.


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