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A Thank You Note For Firing Me?

by J. Money on Monday, November 21, 2011

thank you letters

I got an interesting email last night, and the title of it was, “Thank you for firing me.” Haha… at first, I was like “What the? I haven’t fired anyone lately?” (Or, ever, really) but as I read on I quickly understood the reason behind it (besides to grab my attention, of course).

Here’s what it said:

J$,

How have you been doing ever since you got let go from your previous job? As for me, I am working on writing my former boss a thank you letter. Yeah, a thank you letter!

After getting fired:
I started listening to motivational CDs in the car
Made a vision board
Created 112 goals (I previously had 0!)
Started a gratitude journal
Started using a goals checklist
Improved my attitude in the morning
Started reading 1 book a month
Decreased TV time
Started lifting weights again
Went to my first World Series parade
Successfully organized me and my wife’s bedroom closet
Started a side hustle
Discovered my purpose
Doubled my hourly pay rate. Literally doubled it! :)

Wow. Now THAT is what you call getting back up and DOING SOMETHING about your situation!  I love it.  And it really inspired me to not only come up with my own “thank you” letter (which I’ll share in a bit) but also to take a few minutes to actually ALLOW it all to sink in.  I’ve been so go-go-go this entire year that I sometimes forget to stop for a second and recall any accomplishments big or small. This email was a nice reminder to do so! (Do you all have that problem too, or are you pretty good at acknowledging all your wins?)

Here’s what I mustered together:

Dear jackals,

While you were a mess to deal with the past 3 months of our relationship (my last paycheck is still in the mail, right?), I must admit I’ve never been happier without you.  You know how you told me that it wasn’t ME, but you? Well, you coulda just been straight up because it actually WAS me! Yeah I was gonna quit 2 weeks later anyways, but your push out the door quickly solidified my dreams and got me working on it a heckuva lot faster.  And for that, I thank you.  Without you lighting that fire under my a$$ I wouldn’t have been able to do the following:

  • Wake up and blog in my underwear (don’t worry, I’m not doing that now)
  • Work on as many projects as I want, knowing it all helps the business of ME.
  • Travel the country helping people, and going to some of the coolest conferences around
  • Learn to BELIEVE in myself, and what I’m truly capable of (and what I’m not)
  • Learn to believe in OTHERS, even when they like to test you
  • Understand that life changes quickly, but things will always turn out OKAY if you adapt
  • That there are more important things than money (*gasp*)
  • But that money CAN make your life much much better! Especially when you work your ass off earning it… (it’s all about that *freedom* baby!)
  • That when you’re income gets cut in half, you automagically learn how to get more frugal ;)
  • And most importantly, that every day is a NEW OPPORTUNITY to go out there and do (or not do) whatever it is you’re searching for.

If you hadn’t sucked it up and fired me, I still might be slaving away helping you earn millions and billions of dollars without even so much as a paycheck (I know, I know, I’m still stuck on that, aren’t I?).  Wherever you are, though, truly know I’m forever thankful.  I will never forget what you’ve done for me, and I can’t wait to never work for you again ;)

Yours truly,

J to the Motha F’n $

I think my email friend would be proud :)  All joking aside, though, doors really DO open when others close. But it’s what happens AFTERWARDS that’s the most important.  Once that dust settles and all your tears dry up (I always allow myself to feel bad for at least a day or two cuz ya gotta let it out!) you then gotta dust yourself off and start looking for ways to take advantage of your situation! Whether it’s with careers, money, friendships, personal goals, whatever.  There are always pros to all sides, it just takes a while sometimes to find them.

It reminds me of something a friend once told me – that “everything in life is temporary.” It’s kinda freaky if you really think about it, but it’s also very much TRUE. How many jobs or houses or even boyfriends/girlfriends have you gone through since living your lives so far? A lot, right? And at any point did you ever think “This is my life. This is how it’s gonna be.”? I know I did. Every single time. (Though I also have major problems with forecasting far into the future, haha… I tend to live in the “now” except when it comes to money for some reason ;)). The beauty of it all, though, is that it’s totally up to US on how fast we adapt to these next “phases” we’re given! Those are the times we can really excel, and it’s a perfect opportunity to prove it to ourselves each and every time – no matter how scary it is.

So if you’re currently going through one of these changes as we speak, keep on fighting through and make sure to record your journey along the way! You don’t have to write up a pretend letter like my boy and I just did or anything (unless you want to – it’s really kinda fun!), but at least do your best to reflect on all the awesomeness that’s come out out of your recent situation so far. Life will always be throwing curve balls at us, but the longer we can hold onto that mental ammunition, the faster we can better overcome them.

And as always, if there’s anything I can ever do to help, be sure to let me know! I may not have my total act together, but I sure can lend perspective ;) Have a great Monday, everyone!

————–
PS: I don’t actually recommend sending a “thank you” letter like these to any of your previous employers. It’s fun as hell the think about, but better to not burn any bridges or cause even more trouble for yourself down the road. Instead, frame it and put it on your desk as a reminder of all the blessings that have come out of the situation!

(Photo by vistamommy)


{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stephanie November 21, 2011 at 8:41 am

I love this post! Haha, and now I have the song “For Now” from Avenue Q stuck in my head… “Life may be scary, but it’s only temporary…” :-)

Anyway, my professional life has gone more or less according to plan, although instead of being a full-time librarian I’m stuck doing that part-time while I work full-time as a government auditor. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of hiring going on for full-time library jobs because funding for public libraries is very dependent upon the economy. (Don’t even get me started on how libraries seem to be the first to see budget cuts in a bad economy, even though a bad economy increases the need for library services!) So right now I’m learning a lot about the financial aspects of local government (which I’m sure will be to my advantage in attaining my ultimate goal of being a library director) while keeping my foot in the door at a fantastic library, which just happens to be the same library where I attended summer reading programs when I was growing up! :-)

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2 Trinnie November 21, 2011 at 9:17 am

HAHAHAHA I literally laughed out loud, at work, in a quiet room, with like 2 co-workers sitting here…seriously, I think you being fired was the best thing that could have ever happened to you!

5 days, my friend! I’m so excited!!!

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3 KJJ November 21, 2011 at 9:27 am

“Discovered my purpose” – pretty profound!

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4 Well Heeled Blog November 21, 2011 at 9:52 am

GO J! :) It’s really worked out well for you – they should be sorry they let you go.

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5 Kathryn C November 21, 2011 at 10:26 am

Love this!! And it’s good to know that you blog in your chonies, me too

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6 SmartAssetTeam November 21, 2011 at 10:30 am

Man, this is so so true! It’s just like a breakup. You get out of something old an stale and wake up to see the wide world. Habit can make you get too used to something that is not even near your potential. Take the bummers in life and make them a springboard to better things. I’m working on that now, so so glad to be out of my old job and old relationship!

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7 J. Money November 21, 2011 at 11:02 am

@Stephanie – Awww that’s so cool! You don’t hear many people wanting to break into the librarian field all too often, I dig that ;) Esp. that it’s the same library you grew up in! I hope you’re able to sneak in there all the way one day!
@Trinnie – Haha, mission completed then ;) I can’t even tell you how excited I am to meet you finally!! Gonna be awesome, I’m really looking forward to it.
@KJJ – I know, right? If only all of us could figure that out after these tests we’re thrown, haha…
@Well Heeled Blog – Thanks friend :) How you feeling over there? All good?
@Kathryn C – Haha… I’m embarassed, but I had to look up what “chonies” were. You get 1 more point for being cooler than I! ;)
@SmartAssetTeam – Yay! Totally true too — keep soaking in what the world is offering!! (Man, I’m in such a thinky mood today, haha…)

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8 Serenity November 21, 2011 at 11:05 am

Amazing. I laughed and cried reading this. Definitely the best perspective you could have about the situation, as well as very cathartic, I’m sure. My teaching career was a dead-end of a community college that told me from day 1 that I couldn’t get on full-time and then kept cutting my classes until I had to take on tons of part-time gigs to get by. I’m so much happier now that I’m not teaching and in a whole new field. It’s almost cliche to say it, but I’m energized and ready to face my day every day, where before it was all “doom and gloom” and my coworkers complaining about not being able to pay their bills either. What a relief … and to think I’m now working at a bank! I might have write a letter like this myself … and try really hard not to actually send it!

By the way, I hope you guys sue the hell out of those people. And good riddance!

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9 Eugene Breacan November 21, 2011 at 11:46 am

Love the post, I have to say the first bullet point on your letter: “Wake up and blog in my underwear (don’t worry, I’m not doing that now)” made me chuckle.

I’ve been lucky enough to only have been let go from one job (or perhaps unlucky), but it was one of the best things that could have happened. It allowed me to focus on other opportunities that were always available to me.

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10 Matt, Tao of Unfear November 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm

This is totally what I needed right now (since, as you may recall from previous posts, I just lots my job). I’m getting to focus on my writing, and my fitness, and my health (ugh… just finally got my wisdom teeth out). I got about 1,000 hits on my brand new blog in roughly a week since the official launch. It’s not a lot (hopefully it will be that many hits a day, sooner rather than later), but for a baby blog, I couldn’t be more pleased.

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11 Crystal November 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm

LOVE both of the letters. You two sound way less bitter than me, lol.

I quit my day job, but I’d write them this letter:

Thank you for sucking enough to push me to start blogging. If it wasn’t for my general dissatisfaction, I may have maintained the norm for 30 years only to be full of regrets because I am generally lazy. Also, thank you for the take home pay of about $2000 a month because it made it way easier for me to justify quitting when my side hustle easily surpassed that. Lastly, thanks for raising the rates on my health benefits that last year by more than twice the actualn raise you gave me. That sneaky pay cut made it obvious that I was never going to be treated fairly with your company and was the kick in the butt I needed to really dig in online.

Thanks for lowering the bar so much that leaving made sense,
Crystal

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12 Drew November 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm

J$,

I totally agree with “doors really DO open when others close. But it’s what happens AFTERWARDS that’s the most important.”

E + R = O Event + Response = Outcome. It’s not what someone says or does to you, its how you respond (and your level of self-talk) after the event!

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13 thefrugallery November 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm

You are so right, losing your job forces you to become frugal immediately. I’m so happy that you were able to take a positive look at your situation and make the changes you needed to in order to move forward. It is amazing at what having a positive attitude can do for the outcome!

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14 Maria Nedeva November 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Good evening, J. Some really fun letter there – I amy just have a go at wiritng one myself. I am not going to send it (tempting as this may seem) but it will make me feel so much better. On a more serious note, I agree with the ‘things work out when you can adapt’ bit. Major competence to develop, this one.

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15 Dannielle @ Odd Cents November 21, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Ha ha. I love this. More inspiration! Making the best and better out of a crappy situation! I’m going to dedicate a post to you J.Money. It might take me a while, but it will be great and I know that you will love it!

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16 retirebyforty November 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Hahaha, I like Crystal’s letter! :)

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17 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager November 21, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Thanks for sharing you’re reader’s letter with us. I’d add: Learning that there is something else out there that can make you even happier than your previous job.

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18 Lisa @ Thriftability November 21, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Amen to that, J to the Motha F’n $!

After the economy took a dive, I got caught up in a dead-end job making half as much as I had at my former corporate job. I lost a lot of self-esteem, and was barely getting by until someone realized that I had so much to offer, and backed me up when I quit my job. (In fact, I just did a post about this on Thriftability… it’s my one year anniversary of saying AMF and walking out!) I got my self-esteem back, now make more than I made at the corporate job, and am loving life. It’s people like you (and me) and others who aren’t afraid to put it all out there, who help others realize that they don’t have to settle for the BS – and with some hard work and dedication they truly can get ahead. Thanks very much for your extremely funny and truthful post… I will be sharing it across several of my social networks.

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19 Molly November 21, 2011 at 8:06 pm

I like your turkey (in the header)-very cute!
I had to laugh and immediately screamed out to my husband (our house isn’t that big so it was a bit obnoxious) to come and read it with me. We were both laid off this year and couldn’t be more thankful.

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20 Chris C November 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm

WOW!!! Today I almost got the chance to write this very letter, skirted by another close call. Details not important but I work a very mundane, micro-managed job for very good coin. I am not ready to give up the coin end of the bargain just yet even though it will result in a 1000x happier me. :-(

I will have to revisit this post in the coming months (SPOILER ALERT!)

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21 Paula @ AffordAnything.org November 21, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Awesome letter, J. Money! I especially love the way you sign your name. :-)

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22 David November 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm

I’ve been following you since well before you got laid off, and I have to say it’s encouraging to see how much you have been able to accomplish through hard work and motivation. Almost at your 1 year anniversary!

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23 PKamp3 November 21, 2011 at 11:49 pm

You know what would be hilarious? A guest post from your former boss.

Well, maybe if he gave you your paycheck first…

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24 KC @ PsychoMoney November 22, 2011 at 6:06 am

This really does make me think. I hated the jobs I had out of college, they really sucked. But I do think I have to thank them and there suckyness. If it wasn’t for them I don’t think I would have had as much drive to start something else on the side. These horrible jobs are what pushed me to become what I am now.

Great post

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25 Nicole November 22, 2011 at 9:04 am

You could combine this post to the one about spending being like a one-night stand (or exboyfriend, in my case).

Thank you for cheating on me.
I lost weight.
I enrolled in grad school and got my MBA.
I saved money (since you were unemployed and I was always paying for you)
I got back in touch with my real friends whom I neglected while we were dating.
I got a few nice promotions because my head was more at work when there.
I bought a house while you were still living with your mother.
I laugh when you text me that you miss me and you made a mistake!

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26 J. Money November 22, 2011 at 1:06 pm

@Serenity – Haha, thanks! And yes you should TOTALLY write out that letter! And totally NOT send it ;) I’m also super jealous you work at a bank, that’s on my list of jobs to try one day! Woohoo!
@Eugene Breacan – Do you wanna know a secret too? I WAS blogging in my underwear! (shhh….)
@Matt, Tao of Unfear – Wow, dude – that’s amazing! After just 1 week???? I think it took me like 1 whole month, if not two, to get to 1,000 hits! Congrats! :) Keep up the passion, my friend!
@Crystal – Hahahahhaa… that last line was the best: “Thanks for lowering the bar so much that leaving made sense” — nice one, homegirl ;)
@Drew – Yup! Great calculations – hadn’t seen that one before :)
@thefrugallery – For real! I mean, it still sucks and def. scary of course for that initial week or two losing a job (that’s just human nature, right?) but as long as you can remain positive and focused there after, it’s all down hill from there! :) Thanks for stopping by – gonna go check out your site once I post this (love the name btw).
@Maria Nedeva – Yes, whatever you do DO NOT send it! :)
@Dannielle @ Odd Cents – Awwww, very cool! Will you send me the link once it’s up? I wanna see what’s brewing in that head of yours :)
@retirebyforty – I know, right? The “lazy” part was awesome.
@Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – You got it!
@Lisa @ Thriftability – Awww thanks so much! That means a lot :) And I’m SO HAPPY (and PROUD) of you for dusting your shoulders off and getting back out there to kill it! You’re totally right – we all need to realize how much awesomeness we have within to offer people or jobs or whatever, and sometimes it takes a little motivation or pick me up from a friend to get us going. I’m so glad things are on the right track for you now, and looking forward to checking out your site! :)
@Molly – WOWWW, I’m glad it resonated then! And also that you mentioned my turkey — I did it like 2 weeks ago but no one has mentioned anything yet, haha… I thought it was fun ;)
@Chris C – Oh jeez! That’s crazy! But I hear ya on not giving up that good money — a lot of people would stay till the bitter end too, and pocket as much as they can before they move onto Phase 2. $hit, I did that as well for as long as I could, but the smart way to do it is to make sure you have that next plan in the works so you’re not thrown for a loop the second they give you that pink slip. Until then, though, just keep banking that money!
@Paula @ AffordAnything.org – That was my favorite part too, haha…
@David – YAY! Thanks man! You’re right — it will be 1 year in about a month! Thanks for always supporting me brotha, means a lot :) Both here, and on Twitter.
@PKamp3 – Hahahaha…. YES! That would be hilarious ;) Though let’s just pray they never come across it, haha…
@KC @ PsychoMoney – Damn straight! That’s an excellent way to think about it my friend, and I’m glad you’re no longer doing ‘em anymore too :)
@Nicole – HAH! That works too :) “I bought a house while you were still living with your mother.” haha, you’re crazy, I love it. Keep on killin’ it yo!

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27 Javania November 22, 2011 at 1:35 pm

LMAO I love your sense of humor J.. You totally ROCK. Nice letter, I am going to write my own. ;-)

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28 J. Money November 23, 2011 at 10:18 am

Thanks! I love your name :)

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