Thursday, August 02, 2007

Pink Slips and Silver Linings

In the first two years after graduating from college, I was fired twice. I had the good fortune, however, of being in a profession where getting sacked did not carry the stigma it might in others, provided it didn't happen very often. I also had the misfortune of working for six months for a jerk.

Then again, it was the kind of experience I badly needed, and though it was obvious the only reason I got canned was because his younger son was also graduating and needed the work, he had to make up some cock-and-bull excuse about my not being productive -- six weeks after saying otherwise. Knowing the value of not burning bridges, I told him on the last day that I would do my damnedest to prove he was wrong about me.

It took less than three months. I had gotten the boot in early September. Before the end of November, I landed a contract with Procter and Gamble, one that most of the bottom-feeders in town would have killed to get, and that tided me over for about three or four weeks until I got the offer to move to Washington in December. I got a chance to work for my dad's old company, and I knew the product line, and what they expected from me. With that experience fresh on my resume, I hit the ground running when I hit DC.

It also helped that I was living at home.

That last point is not included in Jeffrey Tucker's advice on how to make the most of getting fired, but some other good advice is. My advice to free-lancers is to start looking for your next job on the day you start your current one. Jeff has more, in a piece entitled, naturally, "How To Handle Getting Fired."

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