Nobody loves being fired, but when it happens, life must continue.
I came across a story on Facebook about a man that got himself killed because he lost his job. The fear of uncertainties pushed him. Was he stupid? No! He wasn’t at all.
Life can be tough at times, leaving you with no option. Suicidal should never be the solution to this.
That’s why I delved into this aspect of life. How can we deal with the shock of getting fired? My guest, Tim Denning from Australia will be sharing his journey with us.
It is great to have you here, Tim. Can you tell us more about yourself?
I’m from Australia and write for a living. This has been a journey that started back in 2014 and has completely changed my life. My goal is to inspire the world through entrepreneurship and personal development.
LinkedIn has been a big part of that journey and has allowed me to reach many more people than I could ever imagine. Writing on social media can change your life and I wish to see everyone take up that opportunity.
You are a man who has dealt with a lot in life. You have moved on from losing your job and dealing with mental illness many years ago, but here you are still standing, what has actually kept you going?
The kindness of complete strangers. When I lost my job, people I barely knew helped me find new opportunities and gave me the advice and feedback to keep going.
When your goal is to inspire others every day, when you hit your own rough patch, people will be there for you. It’s not the struggle you face but the decision you make about what it means that determines the outcome.
Never ever give up. Losing your job or dealing with mental illness can happen to anyone. Once you overcome immense challenges in life and in business, it gives you thick skin that you can use to tackle even bigger problems and perhaps help even more people.
Losing your job. What impact (positive or negative) has that had on you?
Whenever I face other people who are in a similar situation or become part of a hiring process, I have a completely different level of empathy. It has brought be closer to understanding other people and shown me how anyone can fall from glory.
Anyone can be laid off or work for a company that goes through financial hardship. It’s not necessarily your fault.
I learned through the process that there were many personal traits I had adopted over the years that weren’t serving me. It was an opportunity to see some of my flaws and actively work on fixing them. The process of unemployment lasted longer than I thought and it gave me plenty of time to reflect.
My friends on LinkedIn were invaluable and if it wasn’t for them, things could have been different. Always be humble. Always be kind. See a little bit of yourself in other people’s problems.
How were you able to move on from the awful experience?
It wasn’t awful looking back. I couldn’t truly be a leader unless I’d experienced both sides of the working world. Every day people are getting laid off or losing their jobs and I could never understand that predicament.
The quickest way to move on is to get out there, back yourself and start looking for your next career. Don’t get stuck in the situation or the delicious temptation to seek revenge. Also, when you’re ready, forgive that bad boss or those colleagues who may have wronged you. That’s the hardest part of the whole process and that’s the true test of humanity.
What significant things did you learn from the experience?
I learned true humility. The situation required me to explain what had happened to potential new employers. The best way was to put a positive spin on it. I compared losing my job to starting businesses. When you start a business, it often takes many failures before you have the one idea or product that goes on to be a raging success.
I explained to hiring managers that if after seven years, you decide to change careers, it’s highly likely that the first time around is not going to work out. It’s normal.
By demonstrating that I could deal with failure and use it to build a new career, I showed my resilience. Employers love seeing how strong you can be in tough times. No one wants to hire somebody who gives up easily or can’t deal with problems. Business is about dealing with problems every day and losing your job is the ultimate test.
In a way, I wish everybody could lose their job at least once to get the benefit of the experience and understand what it’s like to be humbled by life.
Losing a job is not always the best feeling, what would you advise anyone to do in those moments?
Remember that you are enough and all you can do is start again. Staying at home is the worst thing you can do. Get out there and have coffee with people. Network with strangers. Get on LinkedIn and approach people that can help you through direct messages.
In my case, I used my unique skills on social media and my hobby of writing to get the attention of leaders and even barter with companies to get job interviews in return for some free advice on social media. I did the same with recruiters. I helped recruiters with their LinkedIn strategy in return for them helping me find my next gig.
Use whatever talents you have to inspire people to help you during your toughest career moments.
When you landed a new role, was there a point where you felt haunted by the previous experience?
Not really. The only time you feel haunted is when you let your past define your future. What’s done is done and the best strategy is to start again and try even harder this time around.
Do you still feel pressured to do more in order to avoid the previous experience?
I don’t feel pressured but I’m definitely more determined. Nobody is going to stop me and if I fail this time around, it’s going to be on my terms. The only way you guarantee yourself to repeat failure is by not giving it everything you’ve got. Hard work pays off and so does the discipline that comes with it.
What advice do you have for anyone who has been beaten down by life?
Get around people who will build you up. Don’t kick the can down the road and hang out with people who refuse to try again.
Go to Meetups, attend Toastmasters or get on Eventbrite and go to some business events. Find people who want more out of life and won’t settle for second best. Become comfortable with being the dumbest person in the room and look for those opportunities.
Thank you, Tim. I really appreciate your time and valuable insights.
Love ya man and thanks for all your support. It means so much to me :)