This December was the first time I had to fire someone. I’d previously informed volunteers that their services were no longer needed, and that was hard enough in itself because the individuals were so passionate about the organization’s mission. With respect to both jobs and volunteer roles, though, if the position simply isn’t the right fit, it’s better for colleagues and the organization as a whole for a parting of the ways to commence.
It was more difficult to fire someone from a job. It was a very part-time hourly position, so I was and still am unaware of how much my employee depended on the paycheck. Personally, we both got along and she was an incredibly kind and caring individual. Unfortunately, she simply did not have the skillset necessary to fulfill the role, and it was becoming increasingly clear that the situation was not going to change. Her presence was beginning to create more work for other employees when we had to help with her job, and the small nonprofit organization overall did not have enough funding to spend it on someone not doing the necessary work.
I can now imagine how heartbreaking it must be to let someone go when they (and potentially their family) are relying on the paycheck. I can only hope I’ll never have to do that, but given many of my career goals it’s a realistic probability. It’s something I need to remember – that while trying new things are generally not easy, and often not fun, they are always opportunities for growth.