Fired? That might not be so bad

"You're fired!" That is the infamous phrase reality TV star and real estate tycoon Donald Trump made popular and tried to tra
May 24, 2010


"You're fired!"

That is the infamous phrase reality TV star and real estate tycoon Donald Trump made popular and tried to trademark a few years ago after his TV show "The Apprentice" became a hit.

Those who vied for the ultimate position on Trump's staff received the ax one-by-one before an audience of millions until a winner was declared.

While regular workers who do get fired from their jobs get a free pass away from public scrutiny, it doesn't make getting fired any easier.

"Recognize that if you've been called in for the firing, a decision has already been made. It's not something you can change," said Jack Reece, professor of management and labor relations at Cleveland State University.

"Keep in mind that getting fired is something that happens to millions of other people in the world," Reece said. "And they were able to overcome it."

Getting fired is never easy, but it could be an opportunity to do something different -- maybe even something better.

Reece remembers the first person he had to fire years ago in Mississippi. The employee, he said, was a good person but just wasn't adapting too well in the position.

"It was one of the hardest things I'd ever done," Reece said. "In a week, the person had a better job making more money."

Look at Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, an Ohio native and a former contestant on "The Apprentice." She was one of the most successful people to be "fired" from the reality show.

Manigault-Stallworth was a former political appointee in the Clinton and Gore White House when she competed on the NBC reality show. Since her firing, she has taken a new direction and appeared in several television shows.

In some cases, getting fired can even get you out of a job you hated, or that hated you.

Sometimes people stay in a job they don't really enjoy just to pay the bills, said John Clark, BGSU Firelands' career services coordinator. They find their jobs to be stable and hard to leave.

"(Getting fired) may be an open door to explore yourself ... and new possibilities," he said. "It very well may be an open door to something much better."

Clark suggests to people who have recently been terminated to figure out what they would enjoy doing and get training to prepare for it.

He suggests people look at it like this: "Is it good I lost my job? No, but maybe this is the trap door opening back up."

Changing careers doesn't have to be scary. Many people have been through it.

Clark spent 12 years in retail and retail management before he realized it wasn't the right job for him.

It took some contemplation, but he eventually found the right path for himself as a career counselor.

For people in Erie County looking to change careers, there are several avenues available in the area.

Clark offers consultations free of charge at BGSU Firelands. Your Job Store at 5500 Milan Road assists people looking for new or different employment. Your Job Store also helps with creating resumes, interview tips and labor market information among other things.

Reece recommends that people read the book "What Color is Your Parachute: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers," by Richard Nelson Bolles. Reece has suggested and given the book to more than a dozen students, friends and family members.

The book describes every aspect of changing jobs and goes through the mechanics of making the change.

And, of course, if you are faced with the unfortunate meeting with your boss -- keep your composure.

"Be professional ... don't let your emotions take control," Reece said.

"What I find myself advising people to do at first is to simply stop and take stock. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed and depressed," Clark said. "It's not a crisis. It's another opportunity."