So, you’ve been fired, canned, or otherwise “let go.” You went into work one day and found yourself leaving with a box in hand of your personal items from your work space. You did the walk of shame out the door and now officially find yourself unemployed.

Whether your former position was eliminated, you were let go due to the company’s budget reconfiguration, or you were fired based on performance, the truth of the matter remains: being fired hurts, but it’s not the end of the world.

After you’ve had a good cry to release your pent up emotions, and once you finally accept that you’re unemployed for the moment, try to recognize that there are many reasons why getting fired is not the end. You don’t have to let a poor experience at one job define your next move.

Being fired is not an omen. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad employee, inept at your work, or a failure. Truthfully, employees are let go for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it’s quite simply not a good fit. Other times the career you were in is not the career you are meant to be in. For some, getting fired is simply a matter of business; it’s nothing personal, it just has to happen.

Whichever reason you’ve been let go, here are six reasons why getting fired can actually be exactly what you need:

1. It’s a reality check.

If you’ve been fired based on your poor performance, being let go can actually be something of a reality check. Perhaps you’ve had a negative attitude in the workplace.

Maybe you called out “sick” too often, had poor work ethic, or maintained overall inappropriate habits for a young professional. If you’re guilty of any of these poor practices, getting fired may actually be the reality check you need to make changes and up your professional game.The silver lining here is that you can always improve your habits at your next job. Don’t call out “sick” unless you really need that mental health or physical health day. Don’t be too casual at your new job; remember to dress to impress and maintain professional communication with your colleagues. In short, the poor habits you had at your former job can be learning experiences. Use the negative to turn your work habits into a positive.

2. You will be open to new opportunities.

Unfortunately, sometimes getting fired is the push you need to actually tempt you to look for a new job. If you had poor workplace habits as aforementioned, maybe you were too comfortable to push yourself to find a new challenge. If you’re a creature of habit, perhaps you have been too nervous to seek out new opportunities. Take your career search to new heights. Look for jobs in new cities, maybe even new states. Job search with an open mind to see what else is out there!

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3. You may reevaluate your career path.

A huge positive that may come out of getting fired could be reevaluating your career path. If you were let go due to poor performance, take that as a sign that you may need to find a new industry. A shy, introvert may not succeed working in a call center or sales. An extrovert may struggle working in an autonomous setting such as a cubicle. Getting fired may inspire you to test out a new industry.

Maybe you’ve worked forever in customer service but now you long for administration. Perhaps you’ve spent years in accounting but secretly want to write for your local paper. Whichever situation fits you, take this experience and turn it into a path of self-discovery. Sometimes we fall into jobs and stay there because they feel comfortable. There is nothing comfortable about being jobless, but it can lead to new beginnings. Maybe you will end up in a new industry altogether.

4. It can push you to go back to school.

Maybe you’ve been putting off finishing your undergraduate degree. Maybe you never even started. Maybe you wanted to go to grad school, but never got the chance. Take the negative news of getting fired, and shape it into a new beginning for yourself. This could be the start of a new college or graduate school career where you can redefine your field of study. It’s hard to go to school and work full-time. Maybe now you can focus on school for a bit and earn that degree you’ve had your eye on.

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5. It may motivate you to travel.

If you’ve always wanted to go backpacking through Europe or a study abroad experience that others took advantage of while in college, maybe getting fired will push you to finally travel for yourself. Go on a trip. Dip into your savings account and treat yourself to a cultural, worldly experience. Traveling is so, so good for your soul. It invites you to learn new languages, think globally, and discover new perspectives. If you’ve been in a rut up until now, being jobless for the moment might be the perfect time for you to travel. If you can afford to, take a few weeks, a month, or even a year off. Buy a ticket overseas and see where life takes you. You might return with a completely new outlook on life.

6. At least you have your savings account to fall back on.

If there’s any lesson to be learned during a tough transition like getting fired, it’s the value of having an emergency savings account. Hopefully you’ve taken GenTwenty’s advice by having an emergency fund available (and if you haven’t yet, it’s never too late!). Having at least three month’s worth of expenses saved up will definitely help you get by until you find your next career endeavor. Don’t fret too much about finances. For now, focus on finding work, and the rest will come.

Even though getting fired is every professional’s worst career nightmare, it doesn’t define who you are, what you’re capable of, or your path to success. Being fired does not make you a failure. You can rebound from even the worst of situations. Try to see the silver lining. Whether you now have an opportunity to go back to school, travel, job search, or switch career paths entirely, take this time to self-reflect. Turn this poor experience into a period of self-growth and self-discovery. A workplace is where you spend 40 hours or more of your week, every week. Make sure your job, company, and career path agree with your professional goals. You need to be happy with where you end up.

Have you been fired from a job before? Tell us about your experience in the comments!

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