Getting Fired Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me

I never realized that the life I dreamed of was just on the other side of the most embarrassing moment of my career.

Eunice Brownlee


A plain corrugated box sits on top of a desk. A stack of books and plant can be spotted in the darkened background.
Photo by Brandable Box on Unsplash

Five years ago, I was starting to tire of my role at the marketing agency I had been working at for the previous four years. It was the longest I had ever stayed at any job, and I was surprised that I hadn’t already bored of the role and moved on.

Just as I started to submit my resume to other companies and considered picking up freelance projects on the side, my boss placed my name directly in front of our new COO and said I would be perfect for the role that was being developed with our parent company. I was in complete disbelief.

At the point I believed I had topped out, I was being championed to have an entirely new role — that just happened to be my dream job—designed for me.

I had survived an accident and the ensuing reconstructive surgery, as well as my parents’ explosive divorce the previous year. I needed a win in life. I needed this job.

Ultimately, the COO decided I wasn’t quite ready for the role he had envisioned, but he placed me on the team and we got to work. I was thrilled. I didn’t mind the travel schedule because I had a seat at the tables where all the magic was happening.

I was helping to design the products that our company was bringing forward and I was being given opportunities to both learn and be a thought leader in our industry.

At the beginning of 2017, after just arriving home from a trip to our office in D.C., I learned of the abuse my daughter had suffered at the hands of her father. I did not know at that point that the year was destined to being one of the roughest of my life.

Amidst constant court hearings, I was still leading the team on designing and testing new products and standing up a new marketing automation software platform. The thoughts I had of leaving the company were but a distant memory. I was no longer traveling as much because I had become a solo parent again literally overnight and it was a challenge to arrange for overnight childcare as it was, much less a kid with excruciating night terrors due to her…