Crisis #5 – Fired

Being fired isn’t as bad these days as it was a generation ago. In fact, being fired is something that many people in virtually any career nowadays might expect to experience.

There are different ways of being fired. One is a simple, “You’re fired!” for cause or for some other reason that might be real or trumped up. Another is being “let go” due to a merger or sale of the business or automation of your function. Still another is “self firing” which is what I did when I finally realized that I was in Q3 and headed for Q4 in the executive search business. Now the executive search profession is a fine one, but the substance of the work is more process oriented, and I’m more of a creative type. So it was pretty easy for me to become a bit frustrated and bored in that type of work – even though it was very lucrative.

When you are fired or let go, there is a lot of pressure on you and your family to find another job and find it quickly. You are caught between the threat of income loss – even though you may have received a substantial severance package – and the stigma of being out of work.

The danger here is taking the wrong job. You have to keep in mind where you might be on the Doom Loop in a new job. Recruiters, of course, want to find the “best candidate” for a position, and very often the “best candidate” is the one who is good at everything in the position specification. This is wrong, I think, for an executive recruiter to screen candidates in this fashion, and it is wrong for a company to think that the best candidate is the one who is good at everything.

You do not want to take a job on top of a Doom Loop. If you do, you will most likely go through the four month period of getting to know new people, working in a new office setting, and the like. Then you will find yourself back in Q3. This is not good.

When I “self-fired” myself from the executive search world, I proceeded into the education world where I had few if any qualifications and had little idea about what was needed in that business except for the need to inject the teaching of critical skills to our students. I was definitely in Q1 and was, to say the least, quite anxious, uptight, and highly motivated. It worked for me, though – both from a career satisfaction standpoint and economically. I would do it again.