Thirty years ago, I was fired. I was married and had two young daughters who were two and five years old at the time. Fortunately, a year earlier we had sold our house and started renting in the expectation we would eventually move to Los Angeles. But when you have a full time job, it’s tough to pull the trigger on resigning to take a leap without a safety net, so I just kept putting it off. 

Finally, I took some vacation time and bought a ticket to LA, so I could spend a week meeting people and interviewing for a position on the West Coast. But a few days before my flight I was called into the boss’s office and handed my walking papers. 

By 5 o’clock they wanted me out.

In spite of my expectation to leave on my own, getting fired is always a shock to the system. I left the office that afternoon, went home and told Kathleen, we sat on the bed and shed a few tears, but after a few minutes, we got up and re-focused everything toward moving to Los Angeles.

It was hard, but looking back after 30 years, it was one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. We finally stepped into our real calling, focused on what we knew we were supposed to be doing, and trusted God to help us chart a new path.

Over the years since, I’ve noticed a lot of other people who need to be fired. 

Like I was, they’ve gotten stuck in a rut. Some have been bought off with a raise. Others know they’re not doing what God has called them to, but they’re afraid to step out into uncharted territory.

If that’s you, this may be the sign you’ve been waiting for. I don’t know your particular situation, so I can’t make the decision for you. But I can assure you that if you feel your talent is being wasted, you hate going to work, or you’re not fulfilling your destiny, this may be your moment.

Because I waited so long, I probably lost 5 or more years doing what I should have been doing, so don’t let that happen to you. Every day you live outside your purpose is another day wasted.

Maybe it’s time to fire yourself.  


Phil Cooke, Ph.D. is a producer and media consultant to churches and ministries across the country. His latest book is “The Way Back: How Christians Blew Their Credibility and How We Get It Back.” Find out more at

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