Part of Donald Trump’s fame arose from his role as the CEO on the hit television show, “The Apprentice.” He is known for pronouncing with no small amount of relish, “You’re fired!” to the unlucky apprentice du jour. Related: How To Address Being Fired In A Job Interview While people may have liked the show for its flair, if you have ever been on the receiving end of the “You’re fired” message, it isn’t entertaining at all. My dad was fired from a job that he had loved for ten years. That happened when I was in the 6th grade. I was also on the scene when it happened because my mom had driven my brother, sister, and me in our new 1965 Ford Galaxy 500 (barely a week old) to meet my father on a Friday afternoon before leaving for our annual summer vacation to the mountains. We happened to arrive just as his supervisor was delivering the bad news. To say that it was a devastating blow to my father would be no small statement. We went ahead with our vacation, and when we returned, we traveled as a family to the corporate headquarters where he made his case and offered a plea for a second chance. The answer was a firm, “No.” After another ten years went by, not coincidentally perhaps, my dad’s successor was fired just before he was eligible for being vested in the company’s pension plan. Suddenly it occurred to us all that the company had a pattern of keeping people on until they were about to be vested in the pension, and then they found a reason to terminate them. Not that it changed anything for my dad, but I think that realization helped to restore to some degree his otherwise wounded ego. Perhaps he was let go because he was about to be vested in the pension instead of because of the reasons he was given at the time. Needless to say, that experience has stayed with me in spite of the fact that it happened over 50 years ago. I still remember that warm summer afternoon when I realized that my daddy was being fired from his job. In his case, once we were back from vacation, he had a new job by the end of the day on Monday, his first day out looking. The economy was very different back then. He knew a lot about a lot of things, and he became an auto parts salesman. Later he tried his hand at insurance sales, and he did okay with that. Later he tried vacuum cleaner sales (I bought one from him) and then he worked part-time for the US postal service as a substitute mail carrier. He didn’t love any of those jobs the way he loved the one he worked in for ten years, however, and even though he never went more than a few days between jobs, it took a toll on my parents’ marriage. My mother complained that we kids needed to change his place of employment every school year, which was a slight exaggeration but was a measure of her discontent over his not being able to find something permanent that he liked and supported the family the way they would have liked. Needless to say, the economic landscape has changed a lot since those days, and if you are fired today, it is unlikely that you will be able to land something by the end of business on Monday after taking a week’s vacation between jobs. It can happen because anything is possible, I suppose, but it isn’t all that likely. Back in the “old days” you grabbed a paper and started circling the job postings. You made the rounds in person and met the decision-makers who were often in their office and willing to talk to you if you dropped by to offer an application for the open position. Electronic applications were a thing of the future, and you didn’t have to worry so much about a resume because you hadn’t worked at that many places. Jobs seemed to be steadier and more abundant back then. The entire landscape of job search has changed today. You need to get savvy very quickly about what goes into an effective and productive job search.
September 06, 2016