I kinda wanna get fired, but not really.


Half way through my Sophomore year of college I saw a job announcement to be a RA (residence assistant) in one of my college’s dorms. My roommate that year was already an RA so I knew quite a bit about the position and how it worked. Although the position was unpaid, RA’s receive free room and board (a $7,000 value). I desperately wanted the job.

I didn’t get it.

I was shocked. It was the first time in my life I had really wanted something, worked hard for it, and didn’t get it. At first I was pissed. Why didn’t I get it? I was definitely qualified for the position and I knew all the right people. I was a shoe in. So I thought.

In the blink of an eye my world came crashing down. I panicked. What the heck am I going to do next year? Am I going to be forced to work in my college’s cafeteria? What is wrong with me? If I didn’t get this job, will anyone hire me?

Once the panic wore off, I was able to take a deep breath, calm down, and establish a plan. A few weeks later I ended up getting a different on campus job as a building manager. If you don’t know what a building manager does, neither do I, ’cause I’m pretty sure I got paid to surf Facebook and watch movies. It ended up being the sweetest job ever and actually paid better than the $7,000 stipend I would have gotten as a RA. Being rejected from the RA position was one of the best things that happened to me in college.

I miss that feeling. The “Holy $#!%, what am I going to do” feeling. Part of me wishes I got fired tomorrow. I feel like I’ve become complacent (read: stagnant) in my personal and professional development. If I got fired, however, I’d be faced with a huge challenge; finding employment in a crappy economy. The thought of not knowing what the heck I am I going to do is both scary and exciting. Maybe I’d focus more on growing this blog (self employment), maybe I’d land a better/higher paying gig elsewhere, maybe I’d end up at McDonald’s asking “You want fries with that?“.

Nietzsche said “That which does not kill us makes us stronger”, and ya know what? I think he’s right. Although I don’t REALLY want to be fired tomorrow, I’d be lying if I said the thought of it wasn’t slightly intriguing. What is/was the most difficult thing you’ve faced recently? Do feel like you grew because of it? Do you ever feel unchallenged/stagnant/boring/predictable like me?

25 thoughts on “I kinda wanna get fired, but not really.

  1. I know the feeling, however it’s easier to get a new job when youโ€™re in a job that when your not, desperation is not an great quality However some of the best things in my live have come from sticking it to the man.

  2. I’ve been saying for a year now that the best thing that could happen to me would be getting fired. Necessity is the mother of invention, and I know I’m beyond capable of making a living for myself. But, with my job, I have neither the time nor the incentive.

  3. I got turned down for 2 jobs yesterday, and it was still a great day. Why? I still have my job. Yes, having a job you don’t hate makes you complacent. The key is to get out there and network. Meet others. Learn what’s available and what’s not. That’s what I try to do. I also work harder on other things I enjoy like hobbies and my blog. An easy job gives you more free brain space and time to focus on other interests.

    • Well said, Slug! I do the same with my current setup–investing more in my hobbies, blogs, relationships and side gigs compensates for having a job that isn’t necessarily all that challenging.

      I also agree with Larry’s 2nd comment that my job isn’t my entire life. I enjoy the stability it provides, but I love the opportunity for balance even more!

  4. You know what they say – be careful what you wish for! But I agree with you on this! If you were to lose your job today (I really hope that you don’t!) you would be forced to push yourself into taking on new challenges that you may have not considered with your current position. I remember having a great interview streak for the longest time and then one day thought “I wonder how it feels not to be the successful candidate” (stupid thought, I know!) but a few months after thinking that I was the unsuccessful candidate and I got over it (I was working full time still) but sometimes these things just push us right out of our comfort zone.

  5. Today you write: “I feel like Iโ€™ve become complacent (read: stagnant) in my personal and professional development.”

    Two days ago you wrote: “Over the last four years, Iโ€™ve been promoted a handful of times.”

    Honestly, what do you expect? Promotions every other month? Raises with each paycheck? It doesn’t work that way. If you feel you need additional challenge, either seek it within your present job or cast your net elsewhere. But it seems to me that for someone your age, you’ve done fairly well for yourself.

    • Definitely don’t expect raises. I didn’t say I felt unappreciated at work, or even that I hate my work. I don’t. I’m compensated well, and thankful for it. No whining intended. If anything I was calling myself out for allowing myself to become stagnant. I said I wanted to get fired, cause only then would I be FORCED out of my comfort zone. Much like in the example I gave at the beginning of the post.

      I really came across as whiny or that I felt like I was underpaid?

      • I suppose not. But there are other ways to handle the situation without wanting or waiting to get fired. In wanting to be “forced” out of your comfort zone, you are saying you want to be acted upon. Whereas if you take proactive steps now, you will actually be doing something to get out of your predicament.

  6. I did get laid off this summer. I’m waffling between wanting to be self-employed and just getting a regular damn paycheck already. I’m struggling to make either happen, and in this economy you don’t want to leave that stability if you don’t have to!

  7. Quit, there are people who want your job. I’m sure of it.

    Sinks on a teachers salary would suck. The move would be regrettable, unless you had something else lined up. 75k in your area isn’t bad money, even if you are bored. It it’s like making 50 something where I live. Not bad for your age. Keep your blessed life in perspective.

    Steps off soapbox in vacant room)

  8. Hey now–I understand where he’s coming from. I have a job right now, too, and I fantasize every day about what it would feel like to just quit. If the economy wasn’t quite so bad I really might have done it by now. Of course I do feel grateful come every payday and I know others are suffering, but it doesn’t mean one doesn’t still get bored/depressed/angry in one’s job.

  9. When I was working at a restaurant three years ago I applied to become a manager. All my managers thought I would be perfect for the job. I applied and met with the regional director for the restaurant chain. I drove an hour and half to meet with him. Two weeks later I was told I didn’t get the job. I was devastated. I needed a “real job” because I was getting married in a few months and I wanted to be able to provide for my wife. This job would have required that we move out of the current area that we live in, and away from our friends and family.

    Turns out that being rejected was the best thing for me. A month later I got a job with the university that I currently work for, and I have had so much more opportunities there. My wife and I have been able to live in the same area with our friends, and looking back I can tell that the other job would have been disastrous for our marriage.

    Things really do happen for a reason, even when we do not realize it in that moment.

  10. Second comment for the day.

    I was being (deliberately) a bit rough with you earlier, ’cause you were coming across as whiny, and I didn’t think your status merited that kind of complaining.

    Yeah, my job is static too. Most jobs are. You get put in a role at your company, and if you do your job well, they want you to keep playing the same role. The company’s interest is not in your personal development, but in what you bring to the company.

    My solution to the problem of stagnation is to simply think of my job as a job. It is not my entire life. If it were a truly exciting job that consumed my interest 24/7, that would be one thing. But it’s what I produce after the job is over each day that keeps me alive. I contribute to various Internet forums, I cook, I travel, I compose music (or at least I used to), I play the piano, I go to concerts and plays and ballet and museums in the city (NY), for the past three years I have been writing a play. Your life is what you make of it.

    • I completely agree with this Larry but the problem is when you are at your job. You spend so much time there that it’s hard not to feel stagnant/bored/tired of it while you are there unless you are lucky and doing something you completely love.

      I love the stuff I do after work and being at work just makes me feel even worst about being there and feeling like I am going no where and achieving nothing, I try really hard to look at it as an exchange for for money to fund the stuff I like doing but it’s hard. I really hope I can find a job I enjoy much more soon.

  11. I was laid off from my previous job during the middle of September. At first it was kind of shocking and really upsetting because I really enjoyed the work that I was doing there. I was kind of freaked out at first, but I realized that I had it a lot easier than a large majority of the others who also got laid off.

    I was scheduled to receive a small severance package from the company. So I took a vacation. I spent the next two weeks interviewing, and posting for jobs. Networking with friends who had openings at their companies. Before I left for vacation, I had two companies that were interested in making an offer, and a third that was still undecided. Upon returning from vacation, I had a job secured and am starting next Monday.

    I know it isn’t easy for everyone, but if you have the right skills, experience, and network, then finding a job in this economy becomes a lot easier. Getting laid off is probably the best thing that could have happened to me because now I will be making an extra three grand a year, plus an annual salary bonus, and it’s a lot closer to home. Not too shabby considering what I settled for at my previous job.

  12. Any on campus job is great. I was an RA, but I had friends that were building managers. Definitely a good deal. Hardest thing I’ve had to deal with lately is my mom packing up and moving out of the country. A weird feeling being a “US-Orphan” as my brother and I have been calling ourselves.

  13. Exciting is not always a good thing. When you feel like you’re in Lemony Snickett’s Series of Unfortunate Events, you will rethink your desire for exitement & change.
    But if you really want some exitement, might I suggest selling your house, looking for new job, having your spouse move to another state, switching from two incomes to one, driving back & forth to spouse’s state every weekend, buying a new car (supposed to be reliable for all the driving & having it break down), dealing with contractors & banks & real estate agents for said house sale, all at the same time. It’s exciting!

  14. My job used to excite me but my new boss is killing my mojo because he is scared to take on the projects I initiate.
    I wanted to quit my job badly, but it pays me very well, and I need it to pay off my debts. I took some time to figure out what I really want, and I realised that I want a caeer, and not to rush into any new job that comes along.
    With that in mind, I enter the office everyday to prepare my resume, see what’s out on the market, and I even found time to create a new blog and take on new writing assignments. What’s not to love?! ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. I could care less about my job right now. I wouldn’t say I hate it as much as it is going no where. Part of me says I should just quit, but the loss of income worries me (my old lady and I have enough saved this really isn’t that big a deal). I also have watched my father in law get laid off, then hired, then laid off and then hired again in the last year. I know I have a good skill set and great work experience, but I fear long term unemployment. So I causally look for a new job and secretly hope I get let go so I can get UI and look for a job full time.

  16. You have plenty of “oh shit, what am I going to do?” moments coming up in your life. I think they come along a lot when you find out you’re going to have a kid and once you have them.

  17. Yes I feel unchallenged/bored at my current job. I contemplate quitting every day. To make it worse, I have to put on a good game face and pretend to be all happy because I work with children and I know they don’t deserve to suffer just because I’ve failed to create the life I truly want.

    Unfortunately, I don’t have the kind of job where I can just work on my resume all day and look for jobs so every moment I’m there I feel is a waste of my life’s energy and my true potential.

    I’m taking steps right now to get my life moving in a direction that is rewarding and exciting. I totally understand what you mean Ninja because although I’m grateful for what I have, I know that I could be doing something more fulfilling and personally rewarding.

    My advice is to start drafting your exit plan and you will know when to execute it. I usually don’t even talk to people about these things because most people seem to be of the mindset that you should just be happy with what you have. When you are an ambitious person however it’s hard to suppress that inner voice that drives you to do more, to want more, to be more.

    Anyway, I wanted to say…I understand.

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