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Hope You Get Fired

Get FiredHope You Get Fired

What a terrible thing to say huh? Especially from an HR point of view because we already get a bad rap.

Firing someone can be both exhilarating and saddening. I’ve heard some HR pros say that they are never happy firing someone and putting them on the unemployment line. I think that’s a lie. I’ve definitely had to deliver some tough terminations but I’ve also had to perform a couple that I’ve really enjoyed. Getting fired can be the best thing to happen to a person and a company.

If the person getting fired can handle introspection then they will realize why they were fired and work to be better in the future. From the company POV, it can motivate others and help achieve organizational goals (it’s amazing what you can do when we get rid of undesirables). 

Just for the record, I’ve never been fired but I’ve been laid off twice though, which is pretty much the same. The only difference with being laid off is that you can take solace in the fact that it’s usually a reduction in workforce – or extrication business process. Either way you have to figure out how you can improve yourself and move on.

There are lots of people who’ve been laid off – downsized – victim of budget cuts and for many of them it was just the motivation they needed to go back to school and complete/earn their degree, get certified, learn a whole new skill and transition into new careers, or start their own businesses. I recently read a story about a man who was fired and decided to launch a construction business, now he’s doing better than ever before. 

If there was one lesson from the recent recession it should be that we never get stagnant again. When we allow ourselves to get outdated, the workforce becomes unskilled and untalented, there are no quality products and services, which lead to the scrubbing down of the entire economic structure – job loss, outsourcing and increased unemployment. First time I got laid off, I went back to school which made me better. The 2nd time, I launched my own business.

The truth of the matter is many of us only do what we HAVE to do. What I mean by that is, if we are working – making money – have food in the fridge – a roof over our heads – and a few clothes on our backs that’s good enough. Personally, “good enough” always makes me cringe – we’ve got some history. I was seduced like Anakin Skywalker by the dark side (Star Wars reference). I was living my good enough life style doing just good enough work for a just good enough employer, surrounded by not good enough co-workers and managers.  And that’s no way to live or work which is why it was good for me to get the ax. 

It shouldn’t take termination or job loss for us to do the right thing or strive to be our best but unfortunately it works. Two other powerful motivators are jealously and envy. Its better to envy because jealously denotes resentment while envy is more a feeling of longing to have the same thing. When you see the success of other individuals and companies you should be envious. If you consider yourself a great company, boss or employee you should want to experience that kind of success too. And if you are not, you need examine why? Is it your products? Your technology? Your team? Or is it you?

Do you know what I think you should do with all of the good enough processes, procedures, employees and leaders in your company?  Fired them all!  And if it’s you, I hope you get fired too, it could the best thing to ever happen.

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3 thoughts on “Hope You Get Fired

  1. Getting fired cuts two-way — like when a highly valued employee gives polite “notice” that they are resigning to pursue a better opportunity. Employers need to realize that employees and customers “fire” them all the time.

  2. Wow! I once heard a labor attorney tell me that in labor law, termination is Capital Punishment. The employer is judge, jury and executioner. So be careful what you ask for – ’cause HR has the power.

  3. Clearly you have never been fired in a way that maligned your performance for made-up issues that called your core values and talents into question.

    You’ve never had impossiblly vague “corrective” hoops set for you to jump through, with nothing concrete or measurable about them, making it impossible to succeed.

    You’ve never had to spend MONTHS in therapy, recovering from the blow to your self worth and confidence, while you inexorably drew down your long-term savings.

    You have not been one of half a dozen women of “a certain age” (6 years from retirement) in the same company who all lost their jobs in a similar way, only to be told by an employment attorney that proving age discrimination is nearly impossible.

    No. Getting fired was NOT the best thing that ever happened to me. I thought I was doing a good job. Just 3 weeks earlier, my manager had said I had no performance issues. I thought I had a boss I could trust to be straightforward with me, not one who would betray my trust, be passive-aggressive and cruel, and leave me wrung out and self-doubting.

    I hope this never happens to you. Then again, perhaps it would make your analysis more nuanced and compassionate. Companies are not always in the right., you know.

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