Peace Out..

Posted on August 23, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Photograph by: Jason Todd/Getty Images

This is a perfect example of turning a negative into a positive. Very few stay at one employer for 40 plus years and if the chopping block comes your way take it in stride. Right? Well with these tips you just might.

The Right Way to Be Fired

by Laurence J. Stybel and Maryanne Peabody

Congratulations! You’re fired! Here’s how to turn an apparent disaster into a stepping-stone to success.

Even if you’re a top-notch executive in the best of times, you can still lose your job. But can you lose it the right way?

For some executives, getting fired is cause for lashing out, sinking into depression, or silently retreating. But these responses make it difficult to generate new opportunities—and can destroy careers.

How can you avoid these termination traps and make the best of being fired? First, get rid of the “tenure mind-set”—that falsely comforting sense that your organization will take care of you until you formally retire. Instead, adopt the “assignment mind-set”—seeing each job as a stepping-stone, a temporary project in your long-term career.

Then, take steps to control how you’re fired—and how you respond. The payoff? You position yourself for excellent new opportunities and you make a great catch for your next employer. You’re in control.

The Idea in Practice


Who’s Most Susceptible

What Happens

Lost Identity

Founders, senior execs, longtime company leaders who’ve accumulated power and have “become” their jobs.

They fight back—lashing out against former employers and branding themselves as people no one wants to work with.

Lost Family

Leaders in companies with high emotional intensity where people consider colleagues family.

They mourn—sinking into bitterness and depression, becoming unattractive candidates for future positions.

Lost Ego

Introverts with top positions in areas requiring little outside interaction (e.g., accounting, engineering).

They fade away—neglecting to negotiate decent severance and refusing to network to generate new opportunities.

Assume You’ll Be Fired—and Lay the Right Groundwork How to manage the possibility of being fired? Accept the impermanence of your job, and take these systematic approaches to your next move:

Insert a termination clause in your employment contract—Counterintuitive, yes, but it’s your best hedge against a bitter exit. You’re never as attractive as the day you sign your contract.

• Schedule network phone calls—Make networking a disciplined, regular part of doing business. Keep your web of professional contacts intact.

Raise your visibility—Conduct your own public-relations campaign, keeping a strong industry profile. Serve on for-profit boards in and outside your industry. Volunteer for trade associations’ externally oriented committees.

Watch for exit signs—Getting fired should not come as a surprise. If your firm hustles people out the door, raise your own guard. If the company itself has an exit plan, find out how it affects your position. Consult with trusted, seasoned advisers who can alert you to potential changes.

Volunteer to be terminated—if the firm’s exit strategy includes you. This makes you the actor, rather than the one acted upon.


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