Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bitter much?

I think it is natural to be bitter when you lose a job. You lose more than an income (although that income is extraordinarily important). You can lose a sense of purpose, a reason to get out of bed in the morning, your co-worker support system and, if you are like me, your sense of accomplishment.

I loved the feeling of completing something every day, whether it was an article written or edited, a proof signed off on or a new connection made. I accomplished something every day and it felt great.

I felt validated.

Losing my job the way I did just seems like a waste to me. In a perfect world, it wouldn't have happened. The bosses at my company regularly told the staff that they didn't need a reason to fire us. Missouri is an "at-will" state. While not a good way to motivate or inspire employees, they were right. They didn't need a reason.

I suspect my boss was tired of me saying I was uncomfortable with violating professional ethics, and finally decided, "hey, we can fire her." So, she did. And, she had every right to do so. Was it reasonable? No. Will they be a better company because of it? No. Am I better off? Oh, yes.

I think I'm most bitter because I didn't see it coming. I felt very secure that my "mad skills," my work ethic and my knowledge would protect me. I was wrong...and it is easy to be bitter about that. I hate being wrong.

But, along with the bitterness, I feel great relief to be free from a toxic environment that I did not have the courage to leave on my own. I liked my job too much. I liked most of my co-workers. And, I was good at my job...something I derived great satisfaction from.

I won't be so naive again. And, I know the types of questions I need to ask to make sure that my next boss is a great leader and manager. I made the mistake of ignoring some warning signs in my interview that should have tipped me off to the reality I was soon to face.

So, sure, I'll admit to the bitterness. Because the bitterness will go away...but my mad skills are here to stay.

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