Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

“We’ll Have to Let You Go”: Dealing With The Blame & Shame Of Getting Fired

In life, every one of us will go through our own unique blend of trials and tribulations, embarrassments, failures and setbacks. There’s a potent kind of humiliation though when suddenly at work, you’re beckoned into your manager’s office and told to take a seat before being informed through averted eyes that you’re being let go. Losing a job is a harrowing experience, to say the least. It’s a decision that is made for you and you alone must face the consequences of what comes next.

I remember when something like this happened to me late last year. I was working as a temporary hire at a prestigious university for a few months and the team I was working in had been disassembled, so many of the permanent staff were moved to different departments. I was one of the few members of staff left. Whenever I came into the office, there was no one there except for my general manager and I had no colleagues to work with since they were transferred. 

All my grievances, concerns and questions had to be directed towards my manager since she was the only person in the team I knew. My role involved answering emails from other universities looking to give their students an opportunity to study abroad - I felt like I was out of my depth. I wasn’t adequately trained to deal with queries involving international travel, so what did I do? I asked my manager questions over and over.