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Why getting fired can be a good thing

September 15, 2015, 5:00 PM UTC
Courtesy of Purewow

The Leadership Insider network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute answers to timely questions about careers and leadership. Today’s answer to the question “How do you bounce back after getting fired?” is by Ryan Harwood, CEO of PureWow.

There are very few things in life that are worse than getting fired. You feel as though you’ve been singled out for not performing. You’re being rejected, right? Wrong.

Of course, it’s on a case-by-case basis, but businesses are complex and sometimes you aren’t privy to the whole picture. Many times, it’s the business’ fault for not succeeding and costs are simply being cut. Other times, you may be doing a great job, but the business simply has other needs at that point in time. And of course, there are times, when perhaps you’re simply not performing up to standards.

Regardless, it’s unrealistic for anyone to tell you to immediately cheer up after being fired. It’s jarring and has a ripple effect on other parts of your life, so you’re entitled to be in a state of shock. But you’re only allowed to do so for 24 hours, because that’s all the time you can spare to waste. Eat your Domino’s pizza or pint of ice cream, cry yourself to sleep and shake it off.

As the common saying goes, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. You must convince yourself that this awful situation just opened up countless opportunities for you to explore. I’m going out on a limb here, but most likely you weren’t totally head over heels in love with your job to begin with. If you were fired it was most likely for one of two reasons: the business was in trouble (which can be tough on office politics) or you were underperforming (which means you most likely lacked passion). People lack passion when they aren’t meant to be doing the job they’re in. So it’s time for you to find your passion, and being fired just gave you that opportunity to seek it out.

Here’s my four point plan for bouncing back quickly:

Assess the pros and cons
Take a moment and think about what you liked and disliked about your previous job. Make a list. Seeing it on paper may help you determine what your next move should be.

Think about culture
What culture do you thrive in? Do you like the structure of big companies or do you like the autonomy of small companies? Are you willing to take a risk and join a start-up or are you more risk-averse?

Do your research
Grab coffee or meet up with some friends, and ask questions about their jobs. This is a great way to figure out what you enjoy, or more importantly, what you don’t. This process of elimination will set you on the right track to landing your dream job.

Network like a madman/woman
Hustle, hustle, hustle. Go out and find the next opportunity. If you’re not finding one, create your own opportunity by getting people to see how you’re a diamond in the rough. Convince them that you’re the superstar they need to take their company to the next level.

At the end of the day, you never know what life has in store. In order to keep sane, you must approach life with the “everything happens for a reason” mentality. Everyone has experienced disappointment and failure in their lives – it’s how one bounces back that determines the good from the great.