Yes, yes I did.
In my temping years, I once had this stupid, boring, brainless job at a pension company. (At the time I had a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies.) It was one of those jobs that was required because some legislation was changed, and all the pension companies had to do an enormous amount of paperwork (looking through old files, making small changes, etc) to meet it.
One Tuesday afternoon, my (awesome) boss had been promoted, and this woman had been named to take his place. I had encountered this woman before and for some reason she hated me (even though I did my drone work as well, if not better, than any of my colleagues). I knew that my job was about to get harder.
Then I was called into the office by my awesome old boss, who told me he was very sorry but they’d have to let me go.
I walked into a temp office (not the one which had been employing me) and threw a hissy fit, basically “what the hell does it take to get a decent job in this city, I can type and I have a degree and I have tons of office experience, and the only jobs I can get are brain-dead drone jobs and I even get sacked from those, what the hell kind of employees do decent employers want?” I was even crying because I was so pissed off.
Note that this is not a strategy I have ever pursued, before or since, but maybe I should have.
She asked me how fast I could type, I sniffled “70 wpm,” and then she offered me a job paying several quid an hour more than I had been making, as an admin assistant at the Environment Agency.
My former co-workers were beside themselves with envy. Apparently things only got worse under the new boss, just as I had predicted, and my job turned out to be particularly sweet.
It happened to my husband too: he had a job that paid the bills but that he didn’t particularly like. He sort of half-quit and half-was laid off. The following week, in his suddenly plentiful spare time, he started volunteering at a local non-profit whose work he was really into.
Within a week they offered him a position.
So yes, losing jobs often opens doors that you don’t even think about when you are steadily employed.