A friend remarked the other day that my last employer did me a huge favor by throwing me out the door. Otherwise, she said, it might have taken me a long time to find my passion.

She’s right. That one post-graduate-school job wasn’t fun. It wasn’t pretty. Looking back on it, it was actually amazingly bad. But it also led me to where I am today.

That job experience took me out of my narrow jobs box and forced me to reevaluate my career goals really early on–and shoved me down the path of discovering what I really love.

As my business nears 20, I’m taking a little time to reflect on who and what got me here. I might well have ended up a solopreneur eventually — but watching my first plan blow up helped the process along.

What about your career? Encounter any blowtorches along the way?

Photo by vieux bandit. Flickr. Creative Commons License.