At 21, I was hired as a temp to work in the HR department for a company owned by Paul Allen to assist with annual reviews. I don’t remember the specifics of what I was required to do… only that it involved filing, following up with emails and data entry.  I had been working for three weeks when the head of HR and my direct supervisor called me into an office to fire me.  They explained that the two of them had spent several hours correcting my errors. Both women were professional and polite, and told me how much they enjoyed me as a person, but this just wasn’t the right job for me.

Attention to detail is not one of your strengths.

It was the most important thing my supervisor told me when I was fired, because it was true, and nearly two decades later, it’s still true.

It could be that I’m an ENFP according to the Myers Brigg personality test.  It may be the ADD I was diagnosed with as an adult.  Maybe, it’s neurological mapping.  The why doesn’t really matter. Being fired from a prestigious job that I thought I wanted taught me more about what I needed in a career, and the type of environment where I would thrive.

Knowing that attention to detail isn’t one of my strengths gave me the insight to turn down future data entry positions.  It inspired me hire a detail oriented team when I managed retail locations for Starbucks. (My store had the cleanest floor drains in town.) It gave me the courage to turn the bookkeeping for our small business over to an accountant, so I could focus on spending more time with my children.  It also gave me the desire to search for the things that are my strengths and help them shine.

How has being fired from a job helped you?  Comment and let me know.

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