Fired Or Let Go? Either Way, It Sucks

By Jon L. Ten Haagen, CFP ®

Whether it was your first job or one you had held for many, many years, it is still no fun losing it. Your first reaction is one of disbelief, then comes despair and eventually resolve. OK, now I have to start from the bottom. No, you do not. Think about the people you are related to, your friends, job acquaintances and the people you hang with after work. Actually you have a lot of avenues to pursue.

What do I do first? Assess what you did for a job and if you liked it and if you were good or not so good. Is this a field you would like to get back into, or not so much? What areas interest you that you have qualifications for? Think also about the industry you are considering. Is it going to be around for the long term?

Many years ago I had a client who owned a camera store which was well established and had been for a few generations. We had discussions about the camera field and the new digital cameras which used discs rather than film. We talked about the lack of innovation at Kodak and also the new phones that took darn good photos you could download straight to your computer at no cost. The writing was on the wall. The family owned camera stores were going the way of the Model “A.” Consider that many of the leading companies today were not even invented 10 years ago. “The times they are a changin’ constantly.”

OK, take a couple days to chill and feel sorry for yourself, then get to work finding a new job/career. Reach out to all you can think of and say you are looking for a job in the field you desire. Do you have any contacts that I can use? I have seen many people who try to climb the ladder straight up and they usually hit a snag, like someone in a position above them who is really good and will be there for a long time, or it might be a relative of the owner and you are blocked.

I have suggested to countless people trying to get ahead up the corporate ladder, to think sideways sometimes. Find something you can do in the same field which might be a little different but will get you the same results of getting up the ladder in a different way. Bottom line is you want to climb the corporate ladder and if you can get to the Promised Land faster by doing a couple little sidesteps so be it.

Years ago I sold yachts for a living and did nicely, then in the ’70s along came a recession and an oil embargo. People could only get fuel on odd and even days and the lines were very long. There I sat for months behind on my mortgage, and not being able to find a buyer of fiberglass boats whose prices had gone up by 100 percent and more, and going through a divorce. What was I to do? I read an article that said what the higher paying professions were. All except one required four-to-eight years of education and a ton of money; it was wire house stock broker, which required about six months of training that the company paid the cost. Well, 39 years ago I started my training and not only do I make a nice living, but I love that I can help so many families get on the good path to comfortable retirement.

There are so many possibilities out there. You now have time to look around, do some research and find a field that is right for you. Next article I will get into some specifics you can consider and apply. Good luck and if we can be of assistance give us a call.