Chances are that you have been, or will be, fired from a job at some point in your life, or maybe just leave one in a less than ideal circumstance. It can be very stressful, but take heart: Some of the best (and most infamous!) people in history have been there. Machiavelli was one of them, and according to the BBC, it was one of the best things that ever happened to him.
His first job came in ’98 after a major change of government. He was still in his twenties and obviously knew some of the right people, but it was also a meritocratic appointment – right from the start he showed an acuity and passion for politics.
Part-diplomat, part-adviser, over the next 10 years he travelled ceaselessly to political hot spots, meeting the players, assessing risk and threat and sending back detailed observations and advice.
The early years of the century were dangerous ones in international politics and his views, though rooted in first-hand experience, were not always listened to by those making the decisions. Looking back, history would prove him right.
But his greatest test by far, was yet to come. In November ’12 (1512 that is), Niccolo Machiavelli, having served the Florentine state faithfully for 14 years, fell victim to regime change when the republican government disintegrated in the face of an external coup to reinstate the Medici family.
I know I’ve had a few “lemons into lemonades” moments myself in similar circumstances. What about you?