Friday, April 09, 2010

Getting Fired..

It has happened to me a few times over the years. Call it a lay-off, cut-back, down-size, or an old fashioned Firing, the results are pretty much the same. No work.

April 21st will mark my 7 year mark with the group of radio stations I work for in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The last time I was fired, was over ten years ago, for not showing up on time. My next job I had perfect attendance for two years.

I've learned that there are plenty of jobs out there if you are willing to apply yourself and convince the person in charge that you can do the job.

I've hired and fired people over the past few years. It's not fun to do either.

Harvey Mackay wrote about this last year....
Harvey Mackay's Column This Week

Getting fired is really about being hired

As a young actor and comedian, Jerry Seinfeld had a small recurring role as a mail carrier on the TV sitcom Benson. One day Jerry showed up for a script read-through only to find that he hadn't been issued a script. When he asked why, he was told that he'd been fired. No one had remembered to inform him.

Embarrassed, Jerry left the studio determined to stay out of sitcoms until he had more control over the process. A few years later he succeeded, in more ways than one, when he co-created the hit series Seinfeld, which ran for nine seasons on NBC and topped the Nielson ratings for two years.

Getting fired, downsized, laid off, let go or whatever term you want to use, used to leave a stigma. Now it is standard procedure. More and more people find themselves looking for work. And things are not going to change soon.

Back in 2004, I wrote a book called "We Got Fired! ... And It's The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Us." A year later it was reissued in paperback with the title, "Fired Up!... How the Best of the Best Survived and Thrived After Getting the Boot." In the book I chronicled 28 comeback kids who became even bigger successes as a result of being fired.

Many became leaders in their fields: the business community, entertainment, sports and politics. After their respective firings, they were remarkably resilient and offered great advice from a new perspective. Following are some of my favorite quotes:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was a partner at Salomon Brothers and let go after a merger. He told me, "Nobody likes being pushed out. But you can't feel sorry for yourself." Bloomberg went on to found the world's number-one financial information empire.

Pat Mitchell, former CEO of Public Broadcasting System, said, "Seize every chance you have to learn. It's amazing how many skills we seem to acquire by accident. You know what's more mind-boggling than that? How much of this know-how becomes unexpected but indispensable pluses later on."

Getting fired is fairly commonplace in professional sports. New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, who has landed on his feet several times, gave me these observations: "When you're talking career, how you manage things outside of the white lines has equal value to what you do on the playing field. Out of bounds is in bounds in the world of influence and opinion. . . The best way to get respect from others is to start off by giving it."

Dr. Bernadine Healy, former president of the American Red Cross, challenged readers to examine their fortitude. She told me: "If you are considering a career in public service, are you willing to take the tough stances that will truly make a difference? Are you prepared to lose your job rather than compromise on fundamental values? Have you developed enough different skills that you can always have a back-up career to turn to at a time of crisis? Do you worry about the things you can do something about and try your best to laugh at what you can't change?"

Tom Stemberg, founder of Staples Inc., advises, "Think about frustrations you encounter in your own life as business opportunities." Tom is a good example. He was a trained retailer and found that no one was serving his needs as a customer. His frustration became the cornerstone for an entire new business. He also counsels us to "Take the calls of people who are down. They'll remember, especially if you happen to be in the same sinking boat some day."

Inspirational "Chicken Soup for the Soul" author Mark Victor Hansen shared several gems with me: "If you want a happy ending, rewrite your success story before somebody else does it for you. . . If you don't like rejection and you're doing your job, don't give people permission to make you feel inferior."

Tennis champ Billie Jean King reminded us, "Don't be afraid to ask for help. This was one of my weaknesses. I was embarrassed to ask, but I've learned that people want to help."

Jamie Dimon, CEO and chairman of JPMorgan Chase & Co., wrapped it all up in this package: "Perseverance is central. Life is full of ups and downs, and you must learn from these experiences. . . Always do the right thing, even when it's not the easy thing."

Mackay's Moral: Fired? Be like the phoenix -- you can rise from the ashes.

No comments:

Post a Comment