I let go of someone at work this week and it felt good. Reeeeeal good.
Now, before you pigeon hole me as the Miranda Priestly type, let me explain why firing someone felt amazing not only for me, but also for her, and the lessons I took from it.
You see Nigela-Not-Right was a gorgeous woman with a lot to give to an organisation. She was bubbly, articulate and had wow’d the pants off me in our interviews. But, after just a few days with us it became apparent her skillset and working style was completely misaligned with ours.
I ignored my gut and convinced myself that with time she’d stop fucking everything up find her groove and would fulfil what we needed of the role. Of course, I was wrong and with time, things only got worse.
The mistakes continued but become more frequent and of greater proportions, the team grew more and more frustrated with her and the energetic and vivacious woman I first met in our interview was gone. We towed a very stern line with her on numerous occasions but saw no improvements. I knew something had to change.
I took Nige out for coffee and this time tried a different tact. Rather than hurtling off examples of all the things that had gone wrong this week I asked her if she was happy – truly happy.
Her immediate response was to convince us both that she was. I listened intently; smiled in all the right places and then made the risky move of telling her I didn’t believe her.
I explained someone who is happy at work is ‘in their zone’. They feel a magic combination of challenge, ease and excitement and this makes their job totally irresistible to them. They perform at their peak consistently and become invaluable asset to the organisation they work for.
I relayed my observations of what I saw from Nigela each day:
Lack of clarity around her purpose and application of this to her work
Wasted talents that she wasn’t able to use day-to-day
Disconnection with other team members
No clear vision of where she wanted to take the role and how she was going to get there
A woman facing a bloody hard slog day-in-day-out – nothing was effortless
She cried, admitted I was totally right and in that moment, a weight was lifted off both our shoulders.
Never underestimate the power of someone you trust relaying they’re seeing, hearing and feeling from you. Ironically, it can be exactly what you need to get in tune with yourself and what you really want.
Nigela explained that she hadn’t known what she was looking for in her next career move and that on paper, this role had everything she needed – a good salary, progression opportunities and it was in a new field that would broaden her skillset.
However, if she really thought about it, she’d quickly come to realise the job wasn’t right for her within days of being in it.
Nigela pushed this feeling to the pit of her stomach out of fear; fear she would make the wrong decision, fear of giving up, fear of letting people down and fear of having to find another job at 30yrs when she should have this stuff figured out.
I explained that fear was holding her back from the career she deserved and that for every day spent in this role, she would remain stagnant when she could move closer to her dream work life by finding a role in her “zone”.
We finished the world’s longest coffee catch-up by agreeing to two weeks notice and total flexibility to hunt for new jobs and attend interviews. I left her with three things to remember with her future roles;
Know who you are, what you want and what you deserve before accepting a new position
Challenge, ease and excitement are the signs of the right role for you
Embrace failure… it’s often the key to happiness
Life’s too short to live another day in a job that isn’t right for you. If you’re unsure about whether you’re in the right role at work I’d love to have a complimentary Clarity Session to figure out what your dream career looks like and how we’re gonna get you there.
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