b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: Fired? You’ll Live

9/29/2006

 

Fired? You’ll Live

In his book The Art of Firing, Guy Kawasaki has this to say about firing:

"Look in the mirror. Ideally, the situation should have never come to this. You should have hired the right person. You should have set and communicated the right goals. You should have provided course corrections. Some of the “fault” probably belongs to you. It’s too late for the case at hand, but it’s not too late to prevent this from happening again, so take a good, long look in the mirror."

While I have never been fired from a job, I can say from what I’ve seen that getting fired isn’t the end of the earth. It’s a blow to the ego and stings when it happens, but I learned that sometimes bad things happen to good people. Or in many cases, bad people happen to otherwise good careers.

What I learned is that some people fall into the wrong roles. I agree wholeheartedly with Guy’s point about some of the fault falling on the person that hired the employee in the first place. It is up to them to be a fully competent leader. If you can’t lead your people, some of them simply won’t make it. That is not a reflection on them; it’s a reflection on you.

It does not always happen however, that the firing manager was also the hiring manager. Sometimes the firing manager walks into a bad situation where it’s simply too late for redemption. This is a scenario that I’m unfortunately familiar with. I knew it was too late for the employee and far too many things worked against them. In that situation it was not completely their fault. Hopefully, they see that now.

Getting fired from a job does not mean that you’re a bad person or aren’t smart. It just means that the person that fired you thinks so. Although your boss can have a big impact on your career and reputation, they are just ONE person and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone else. As stated in Harvey Mackay’s We Got Fired, no one is immune to bad judgment or back stabbing. It’s just something to keep in mind.

For some, getting fired is the best thing that can happen. The following people have all been fired:

Larry King
Lee Iacocca
Joe Torre
Jesse Ventura
Michael Bloomberg
Billie Jean King

Getting fired can open other doors of opportunity for you. It may not sound great at first… but when the dust settles, you may agree that it was probably all for the best.

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