For over 7 years I devoted myself to photographing products for people who can’t stop themselves from buying them. Apparel that is shot on skinny models and then photoshopped to look even skinnier and, in the end, it makes people unhappy because they never look like the models that wear the apparel.
But there was money in it. A lot of money. In fact, I was making more than I asked for. I knew it wasn’t good for my sense of ethics, but I couldn’t stop.
And then, when the new “leadership” moved in, I realized, here was my chance to be someone who could sleep at night, because I knew the new management didn’t like me and I let it be known I didn’t like them.
So exactly five years ago I was fired. Sacked. Let go. Terminated. Made redundant. Booted out. Canned.
Getting fired was an incredible gift.
I like to think that my ideas about managing creative, intelligent people was a little too radical for my bosses. Perhaps.
Or as is the case in many acquisitions, maybe the bosses had a pre-determined list of people who were redundant. Likely.
Or maybe I just pissed somebody off. I might have been too aggressive. Possible.
Anyway, after seven years at GSI Commerce I was out on the street.
This was in 2010, one of the worst job markets in history.
It was awful.
But it was also incredibly powerful and amazingly liberating.
I used the bruises on my butt from having been kicked out the door to motivate me to do something new.
It was very difficult.
Had I not been kicked out in a crappy job market, I'd likely still be working there today.
But I was given the gift of a new direction and the result has been the best five years of my life.
Reinvention is difficult.
But hard work can pay off and I welcomed the opportunity to pursue a career that wasn’t tied to shooting things that perpetuate a myth. I found that career and I’m certain that my best work is still ahead of me.