2 November 2014

Why being involuntarily dismissed has worked out a-okay


Dismissed", "fired", "asked to leave", "sacked", "given the boot" etc.

Whatever you call it, it doesn't sound pretty.

Well, I'm here to tell you that being dismissed from my role in PR (and in hindsight, it was more like an admin role within a PR team) turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Three months on, I'm so much happier about the direction my career is headed. Three months on, I feel a lot more relaxed about employment than I ever have done. And here's why.

As I mentioned in my original "getting fired" post, when I was in that role, I felt trapped. I felt like this was my life, and I had to make the best of it. It was the outcome of everything I'd worked hard for over the years. But it all felt like an anti-climax.

Then I was fired, and my whole life plan was called into question. Clearly, something wasn't right. And it was time to face the hard truth that I wasn't happy. But the good news was: I was free. Free to reassess what I wanted to do, which was awesome but also scary.

I discovered that after a few aptitude tests courtesy of the lovely team at Office Angels, temping jobs were a dime a dozen. And I'll tell you something - they pay pretty darn well. As an FYI - if you're ever between jobs, don't think your only options are either retail work or sitting your room with a spoon and a tub of Nutella for company.

The great thing about temping is that you're generally working standard office hours, you're EXPECTED to take a lunch hour (practically unheard of in the majority of jobs) and you can leave your work at work. There's none of this responding to your work colleagues during the Apprentice.
You tend to leave on time, too. You can be specific regarding your contract - whether you want work for a week, or a month (or longer), and if something amazing crops up, you can give a week's notice. Not to mention, you're getting office skills which are transferable and always looked upon positively by employers, etc etc.

I'm basically saying: I wish I'd cottoned on to the joy that is temping a lot sooner. 

After leaving PR, I went to America (the awkwardness of responding to "So, how's your job going?" was grim) and returned, expecting to temp for the foreseeable future. Instead, after less than a month temping, I was offered an amazing role at blow LTD in editorial and social media which I enthusiastically accepted.

The role consisted of working with the brand, online and editorial teams to co-ordinate the launch of lots of new lines online and in-store, helping to create copy and schedule tweets. I wrote brand-focused blog posts, a few brand blurbs, sourced images for Christmas quizzes... The list goes on. 

I really, really enjoyed writing for work. Suddenly, things began to fall into place. The more I wrote, the more I wanted to write. It seemed more natural, and it made me a heck of a lot happier. I received some positive feedback from my manager (who is a rather big name in the beauty biz) which made me feel even more confident, and I've realised that I'd like to pursue a career in editorial.

With this in mind, I'm slowly, slowly building up a portfolio. You may/may not have noticed that I'm now attempting to blog once a week, rather than when I feel like it. I'm also contributing to lifestyle magazine The Full Agenda, and after an editorial workshop with About Time Magazine I’ll be writing some articles for a new project they have in the pipeline. And I've got a few by-lines from blow LTD, which is pretty cool.

My life has once again been turned upside down within a matter of days. To cut a long story short, I've decided to leave blow LTD (with my manager's and team's blessing, which I feel very fortunate to have) because I've been offered a month interning within the beauty team at Marie Claire. The opportunity came about so bizarrely (I'll dedicate a blog post to the details next month) that you could only describe it as "fate", so I couldn't turn it down!

Needless to say, I'm equal parts thrilled and terrified about starting (tomorrow - eep), but I know that I'm following my dream (cringe... #sorryimnotsorry) and I'm so excited to get stuck in.

I realise this post has turned into a life update rather than a comprehensive list of why being fired was the best thing that could've happened to me... But I guess I'm just trying to say that things really do happen for a reason. If I hadn't been fired, who's to say I wouldn't still be in that role, kind of hating it but feeling resigned to the fact I'd chosen to be there? 

Being fired forced me to face my worst fear: making the best of an unstable situation, but in the long run it's really paid off. I know that after my month at Marie Claire, I can temp until another great opportunity presents itself. I know that doing admin, stuck at a desk, with no chance of attending launches and making great contacts, is my idea of hell. I know that I want to write as part of my job. I know the basics of editorial and social platforms. I know that the beauty industry is an industry I want to remain in. I've learnt a lot about myself and the job market that I just didn't know before. 

And you know what? It's pretty great.

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4 comments

  1. This was so refreshing to read - really made me think about how to get where I'd like to be. And congratulations on the intern opportunity! Can't wait to read about how it all goes xx

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    1. Hi Rowan! Thanks so much for your comment. Hopefully you've seen my update and have enjoyed that too :)

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  2. It's so lovely to see that you're doing something so productive with your time between 'proper' jobs. I left university with no job to go to (apart from retail - ugh) and I was temping within a week and I couldn't describe how good it felt to build up experience and spend a year out just working to live. Best wishes for your role at Marie Claire, how exciting!! xx

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    1. Hi Lizi! Ha, I can't imagine doing nothing between 'proper' jobs, not to mention I'd be homeless ;) Temping really is the future, I just wish more people knew how great it is!

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