Nov 5, 2013

3654days ago

Today 10 years ago, I was fired from my (first) job. Although I have been ‘commemorating’ this day in my blog for years (here and here), I didn’t explicitly specify what it was. Now you know.

To say that the sacking came as a bombshell was a gross understatement. It shocked me to my core, and it was one that I will never forget. The betrayal and hypocrisy that I’ve experienced first-hand had since shaped my views and feelings on many things. At that time I was guileless and far too trusting, and those were bad combination with my ambitiousness and aggressiveness. I stepped on toes and antagonized many, including my ex-boss, without knowing and paid the price.

Ups & downs.. lows & highs.. that's LIFE..
At just 29, I was coming up the ranks too fast for my own good. I didn’t have nor learn the necessary skills and aptitude required to move up the ladder. I was tactless, insensitive, and (too) sure of myself (and my capabilities). I was sacked on the day that I was supposed to discuss my increment/bonus with my ex-boss. Talk about being stabbed in the back. But I should have seen it coming if only I was more conscious of the situation. I refused to ‘bend’, and in the end I was forced to break. My huge ego was shot to pieces. And my trust of people never recovered. Even to this day.

There’s no point pondering about the “what ifs”, but I can’t help myself sometimes. Would I take back the things I’ve done that led to the termination? Maybe. I have temperament issues that I wasn’t aware of. I was committing career suicide unknowingly. No one dared to tell me or point it out to me. And I didn’t know how to reflect on myself. I would have become more ‘obnoxious’ and overbearing if that firing didn’t happen. It forced me to look inside and faced my flaws. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t pretty. But in the end, I did change for the better. And as a bonus, I have also learned the rules of the interpersonal ‘game’, albeit the hard way.

Also, I know now that I took a tumble at a time that I can afford to. If it were to happen later, I don’t think I would have the willpower and ability to get back on my feet. The higher you are the harder you fall, and consequently the harder to get back up. I stumbled before turning 29. I had sufficient time to learn from my mistakes, refocus my life and start afresh. For one, I seriously doubt that I would have gone to Japan for my Masters if I remained a ‘manager’ in the company, much less come over to TW to pursue my PhD.

One thing is for sure, I would not have come through the ordeal without the help and support of my family and (a few) friends. Over the years, I found out who my true friends are and who are just ‘passersby’ in my life. I am still learning to not care as much when we drift apart. We all heard about fair-weathered friends, but many times, friends drift apart when there are no longer any crisis or (common) grievances to bind them together. I am tired of making new friends. The ‘ROI' of searching for new (good) friends just isn’t there. I’m not against having acquaintances or (general) friends, but it’s hard to find people who 'get' me. And people always want something in return for their ‘friendship’. So I rather be anti-social (although I see myself more as being introvert) than waste my time on people who don't matter.

Looking back, 10 years later, I can see very clearly now how that incident has changed my life. I was forced to take a different path. Was it for the better? I do not know. Only (more) time will tell. But one thing is for sure, I am contented with what I have now. Do I want more? Of course! Who doesn’t? Yet, I know I will not want to trade what I have now for a do-over. I am glad to have met the people I’ve met these past 10 years. I treasure every encounter and experience I had so far, good and bad. Even though some of them brought me much heartaches and disappointments, but I have no regrets. I am who I am right now thanks to the different path that I’ve taken.

1 comment:

§nóflèk said...

thanks for sharing your experiences. even though mine is not exactly the same, and not one that i'd wish for anyone, i guess i'm also learning what lessons it could have meant to go through that. always wishing the best for you, imm :)