Let's face it; no one likes getting fired from their job. Getting laid off can be both professionally embarrassing and financially devastating. Thankfully, it's possible to not only rebound, but also thrive after being terminated. In fact, that's exactly what has happened to some very successful people.
In this article, we're going to tackle the topic of getting fired. As part of that discussion, we'll first cite some pretty eye-opening unemployment / jobless statistics. Next, we'll talk about several famous people that were laid off at one point in their lives, only to bounce back into a very successful career. Finally, we'll outline steps that can help anyone that's been downsized get back on their feet.
We often hear or read about the unemployment rate in the United States. That value is usually quoted as a percentage of the entire workforce, so it's difficult to understand exactly how many people are jobless. It's also a "net" value, meaning it's a combination of people that were laid off and those that were hired.
A more insightful measure captured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is layoff events and separations. Layoff events are a count of the number of layoffs involving 50 or more individuals. Separations are the total number of people that were fired for one reason or another.
The table below demonstrates that in 2009, there were nearly 11,500 layoff events, which is more than double the number of events back in 2005. The number of separations was incredibly high in 2008 and 2009 too. Over 3,500,000 people lost their jobs in those two years alone.
Fortunately, we're able to drill down one level and gain insights into why people were fired from their jobs. Here we pulled a table of data from the fourth quarter of 2008. While the information is not surprising, it does validate the pressure the Great Recession placed on the job market.
|Disaster / Safety||12||1,346|
|Other / Miscellaneous||609||133,347|
The definitions for each of the above categories are as follows:
It's understandable that people fired from their jobs can become mentally depressed. It's natural to go through the mourning period following the loss of a job. But it's important to realize that a life is not a failure just because a job is lost. Ironically, failing was the opportunity of a lifetime for some very famous people.
Co-founder of Apple Inc., Steve Jobs helped to design, develop, and market some very successful lines of personal computers, including the Apple II series and the Macintosh. Jobs was fired from Apple in 1985 after a power struggle with the company's board of directors. By 1998, he was once again CEO of Apple and returning the company to profitability.
An author and motivational speaker, Lou Holtz is the only coach in NCAA history to lead six different programs to bowl games, and the only coach to guide four different programs to the final top 20 rankings. In 1976 he resigned from the N.Y. Jets after a 3 Win - 10 Loss season. In 1977, he was National Coach of the Year at Arkansas. Ironically, he was fired from Arkansas in 1983.
Three-time mayor and one of the richest persons in the world, Michael Bloomberg was fired from Salomon Brothers in 1981. Mr. Bloomberg used his severance package to start Innovative Market Systems. The company was later renamed Bloomberg L.P.
There are many more examples of people that were terminated for one reason or another only to bounce back and find a way to be even more successful. The one common theme found in all these examples is these individuals never gave up.
So what are some of the secrets to landing on your feet after getting laid off? It starts with getting organized and ends with a new job:
Finally, once a new job is found don't forget to celebrate that achievement. The road may have started out rocky and there might have been bumps along the way, but soon it'll be clear that losing a job or getting fired was not the end of the world. In fact, for some it was just the beginning.
About the Author - Getting Fired