A few months ago, I was interviewed by Rubina Ahmed-Haq, a columnist with CBC Radio, about an article that was written with the same above title.
As a career coach, I work with a lot of people who have found themselves in career transition mode, (aka, was let go), and she wanted to know my opinion about this article (check out the full segment below).
Having been “fired” (we try not to use the ‘F’ word in our industry), terminated, let go, downsized, restructured out of a role before, a couple of times in my career, I can honestly say, once you get past the possible humiliation one feels when your ego has taken a blow, the experience can be invaluable to one’s career. How might you ask? Well, in addition to the points raised in the attached article, I would also add these points:
- You get to see that there is life after working in Company XYZ. This is particularly true for those of us who may have worked for the same organization for a number of years. While we ourselves may not have been willing to take the risk of leaving, once that decision has been made for us and we are forced to go elsewhere, it’s a good experience seeing how other companies operate.
- It gives you the opportunity to work in a different industry. As the article references, this can be extremely valuable, especially if it happens earlier on in your career. It opens up more doors for you if your skills and expertise can apply to multiple industries.
- We all make mistakes. It’s what we do with them that is most important. By owning up to our mistakes and learning from them, we can show an interviewer we have the capacity to be mature in our actions and humble enough to recognize we don’t always get things right the first time.
- Once we are hired, we may not take things for granted as easily as we might have before. We realize that a full-time, ‘permanent’ role doesn’t mean you have the role permanently. It means you have the role until you no longer do! So therefore, one must always be prepared and this lesson is usually best learned the hard way. By having to experience it first-hand.
- Learning how to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back into the career game, you develop skills in resiliency, problem-solving and adaptability. All extremely important, necessary and attractive skills to have for any business in today’s world.
- Maybe the most important thing one can learn from being placed in career transition mode is learning what it takes to get re-hired. Learning the importance of networking on a regular basis, and having a strong, up-to-date LinkedIn profile and resume at all times. Things we typically ignore while we are working but realize when something like this happens, how important it is to keep those things top of mind and work on them regularly, not just when you are out of work. In today’s world of constant change, it is more important than ever to realize one has to stay on top of their game at all times to succeed.
So while no one enjoys the idea of being ‘fired’, and I certainly wouldn’t suggest you go out of your way to make it happen, just remember that if and when it does, there are benefits to be had by the experience and there is life after most terminations.
Catherine Thorburn is a senior consultant and executive coach with Feldman Daxon Partners.
- On May 31, 2019