At first, you accept it. You wish your now ex-boss all the best. You say that you’ve enjoyed your time there. You attempt to finish the day like nothing happened.
Then it starts to sink in. You can no longer sit with a knot in your stomach and fighting back tears. What even happened? The meeting is a blur. You leave and get drunk even though you’re alone and it’s the middle of the day. You’re too embarrassed to tell anyone. First you call your best friend, who offers to come and drink with you. Next you call your parents. Your mom says the company didn’t deserve someone as special and gifted as you, which only makes you sadder.
You return to collect your belongings. On the way out you take things you’ll never use like legal pads and industrial-size toilet paper. That makes you feel better.
Your friends take sides. In the weeks that follow, seeing former work friends is awkward. Different versions of what happened are going around the office. To some people, you say it was your decision to leave. To others, you admit it was “mutual.”
You do you. You finally have time for yourself. Every day is like the weekend and you go out with your other jobless friends. The world is your oyster.
You run into your ex-boss. A former co-worker invites you to an office party, which you attend to show that you’re over what happened even though you’re not. You see your ex-boss, who pretends to be really happy for you that you’ve moved on. Then you spot the person who replaced you. You get wasted at the open bar, which only reinforces your ex-boss’ feelings about letting you go.
You find a rebound. Your money runs out and the “funemployment” mentality wears off. You take the first job that’s offered to you, but it isn’t what you want. You quit after two weeks.
You move on. It takes searching, during which time you learn things about yourself. You develop a better idea of what kind of job you want and what type of place deserves you. You go to lots of interviews and even turn down some offers that don’t seem right. Then you find The One. You fall in love with the company. Its benefits and perks are great. You enjoy going to work more than you knew you could. It becomes clear that all of your old jobs were just practice for this one.