Hey, it’s Friday – and you know what that means…somebody just got fired! It always seems to happen at the end of the week. Strategically planned for a full weekend of sobbing while binge drinking, perhaps?
A good friend of mine just got canned for job performance reasons. Lucky for him, he’s naturally entrepreneurial – and it appears that in order to start and run a successful company, you must have been gloriously fired at least once. Hey, look at folks like Harvey Mackay (bestselling author). He wrote an entire book about famous people that got the axe! So if you like the idea of being in the same boat as folks like Larry King and Mayor Bloomberg, then keep reading as I make a suggestion to help repair your tattered self-esteem.
Last time I got fired, I was working in television broadcasting in New York, and the industry tends to “eat its young” in the compassion department. In all fairness, I’m a pretty sucky employee so I probably had it coming. It occurred during the the darkest time of my life, but I am still so grateful to the guy who canned me. But really, how do you express that? I mean, without the severe awkwardness of telling them so?
I have an idea. If you ever get terminated, handle it Jimmy Fallon style and write a thank you note. Because really, getting dissed and dismissed is usually the best thing that can ever happen to you…even if it doesn’t feel that way in the moment. Jimmy’s thank you notes are my favorite thing about Late Night. Well, that and his raps with Justin Timberlake. And The Roots. And the fact I once heard on a radio interview that Jimmy’s childhood career choice was to be a Catholic priest…
I am a big thank you note writer myself (and to be clear, I practice the ancient art of handwriting when doing so) and thought it would be sweet to write a little letter to my former boss who kicked me to the curb, to give you an example. (And yes, I am playing soft, yet slightly creepy music in the background to properly emulate the process at Late Night.) I hope this technique might help my recently unemployed friend find some amusement in his situation – even if temporarily. We don’t have time in this life to mourn endings that are merely hidden beginnings!
Thank you, guy who fired me. You were kinda a huge jerk about the whole thing, and the fact I was a poster child for that dastardly “quarter life crisis” thing really didn’t make your timing awesome. In fact, I was in downright hell at the time, which is why I’m even more grateful to you! It’s because of you I had my very first Oprah “ah-ha moment”, which we all know is critical to a person’s success in life. My moment was realizing, “Wow, my life sucks so insanely bad that there must be something bigger here.” With that oddly generated faith, I started my first company at age 23 and today it’s successful and helping people. So while you were on my Billy Madison “list of people to kill” for awhile there, I just wanted to say you’ve been officially transferred to “list of d-bags that turned out to be helpful”.