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All Jobs Are Temporary

There was a time when people could reasonably expect their jobs to be permanent. Do a good job and you stay as long as you want to.

But these days, nobody holds on to the same role forever. All of our positions are somewhat temporary.

At some point, by choice or circumstance, it’s time to move on. Sometimes that happens sooner than we would like or we’re stunned by the suddenness of the change, but in the grand scheme of things you should expect it.

It helps if you keep in mind that life isn’t fair and neither are companies.

Sometimes you can do everything right and still lose your job. New bosses want to bring in their own teams or old bosses think that by letting some people go they’ll shake up the office.

The sooner you accept that simple workplace truth, the sooner you’ll get over the shock of being fired. Another truth even more important to remember: You may have lost your job, but you’ll always have your talent. With it, you can get back on your feet.

Sometimes making the best of it is the only thing you can do. But keep in mind that working for someone who dismisses your talents can have an adverse effect on your life and career.

Just as you should end a toxic personal relationship, you should get out of an unhealthy working relationship. If you are undervalued and unappreciated for what you bring to your workplace, it’s time to move on.

Vice President Joe Biden tells a story about his father, who worked a variety of jobs to support his wife and four children.

At one point, Joe Sr. was employed by an auto dealer who liked to reward his employees with silver dollars. At a company Christmas party, the boss dumped a bucket of silver dollars on the dance floor and watched as his workers scurried to pick up the coins.

Joe Sr. left the party, his family in tow. He never returned to his job at the dealership. His rationale: A job is not supposed to be degrading. It’s supposed to be rewarding.

“That’s how you come to believe, to the very core of your being, that work is more than a paycheck,” Senator Biden said in his speech accepting the Democratic vice-presidential nomination last year. “It’s dignity. It’s respect.”

Tory Johnson is the CEO of Women For Hire and the author of Fired to Hired. She’s also the workplace contributor on ABC’s Good Morning America.

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