You have been let go, now what? Accept, learn and move forward

Oct 13, 2015 by Rob Gannon

It seems like there is plenty written about obtaining positions and performing your best onboard but what about when it just doesn’t work out? What happens if you’re let go, released or fired? How do you deal with that? Well, stick with me here and I hope I can offer a few helpful insights in case you find yourself in this uncomfortable spot.

It can happen. You may hear the dreaded, “we just don’t think it’s working out.” Now, the reasons can be many and varied, but regardless, let’s focus on the mindset moving forward. This is what becomes real important after the fact, after the termination.

Like many situations in life, it’s our reaction to events that determines our health and welfare moving forward. So there are three areas I’d like to focus on: taking responsibility, finding the lesson learned, and letting go.

First, realize that you had some part in what went down. It’s not time for the blame game. Yes, at first we have our story to defend “our side” in the events. That initial reaction is understandable but you want to move out of that energy as quickly as you can. For one, it’s wasted, draining energy regarding the past, energy that you really are going to want to free up to put to work for your future.

Also, quite honestly, others are going to get tired pretty quickly with your defensive sob story. Try taking a little ownership of your part of the situation here. It didn’t happen without you. You were there, you played a role. There is great strength in this honest assessment of things. I don’t mean to sound cold hearted about it but this is just about moving along in your process. Could you have been treated unfairly or poorly? Sure but at least acknowledging your role frees you up from a victim mentality, which is weakening, to an ownership mentality, which is always stronger.

The second area is about understanding the lessons learned. What were the valuable takeaways from this experience? Here, the ego and the victim may get sarcastic or defensive about any lessons but they are there, and they are usually quite clear. Take this learning experience forward with you.

Anger, grudges and character assassinations aren’t going to serve you well here. This lesson, though it could be a tough one, is one to file away. Think about how it can benefit you in the future. I know there is a lot of emotion surrounding the whole experience but try to wipe away the dust and debris from emotional thoughts so you can get to the shining clarity underneath. This will serve you well, I promise you. Let difficult people and situations serve as teachers for you in life. They can bring things out, place them before us and because of them we can grow wiser.

The third step is letting it go. If you have honestly come to terms with the situation and you have learned and grown, now let it go. Letting go means not attaching any negative story, feelings or victimhood to this now-past event. Try shifting to putting no good or bad on it. It’s happened and it’s done. The only things brought forward are those lessons because they will help you recognize and not repeat behaviors or patterns that may have contributed to your past situation. You are better and wiser because of your experience and that’s something to be thankful for. You are fine and everything is going to be fine, especially if you worked your way through this in a healthy, forward-looking manner. You settled the emotions down, reined the ego in, put both oars in the water and started moving.

If you find yourself let go, released or fired, do yourself a huge favor and look honestly at your situation. Move to an ownership mentality as soon as you can. Go ahead and rant, rave and rail to release, if you must, but let that go. Know that you have to let that go. Get through the emotions, get the ego in check and put any negativity about this turn of events behind you as you sail on.

This may be a good time to ask yourself; what do I want to do now? What do I really, really want to do now? Enjoy the voyage.

Capt. Rob Gannon is a 30-year licensed captain and certified life and wellness coach. Contact him through