What Young People Should Do The First Time They Get Fired.


I got a call tonight from somebody who was let go yesterday by her company.

She was very articulate, well-educated and in the ad game.  It is an industry where the adrenaline runs high but job security runs on empty.

Her voice still had the crackle of youth.  Anyone with a daughter knows the wonder and the vulnerability of a young voice.

Yes getting fired is the future.  We are all contractors increasingly completing with robots and automation, out sourcing and other ways to eliminate labor costs.  As Leonard Cohen said I have seen the Future and it is murder.  He is still working today.

So here is how you move on.

It is not about you.  Everyone in the world gets fired.  Remember in the New Normal it is more about circumstance and less about competence.  It is all about money.

Second. Only focus on your future and not what happened in the exit interview.  That is an oxymoron.

Make the entire focus of your outbound outreach not on what happened but where you want to go.

Don’t chase illusions..  Make sure where you want to go is going to be the reality that you think it will be and not a misconception.  Many advertising people who lose their jobs want to go client side.  First that is hard to do unless your client will hire you.  Secondly clients get fired.  I meet with them all the time.

Don’t listen to people who got hired or live in the Old Normal.

You see these are all illusions of the past that you often get from your well intentioned parents and friends. Go client side. Reach out to recruiters.  Give them a kiss and tell them you love them.  It will make everyone feel better and hugs are medicinal.

Age is on your side.

Most staffing models on the agency and client side are building on a pyramid of youth at the bottom because they cost less, work longer, are more tech savvy etc.  The odds are on your side. What are the chances of your parents getting a job if they got fired today?

Go to Linkedin.  Spend lots of time on updating your photo. Make sure a photographer takes your photo.  Get recommendations.  Update you Linkedin feed four times a day.

Get business cards within 3 days.  Get your creative friend to design them.  Invest all your money on yourself.  Your personal branding.  Not lattes. No dilly dallying.

Tell everybody you know you are looking.   Spend little time on what happened and lots of time on do you have any ideas for me?

Hit the gym and get trim.  Work out for an hour a day.  60 minutes.  A lunch hour. It will work miracles for you.

Wake up early and spend ten minutes of quiet time out of your bed where you hear birds or feel the temperature drop.  You will see you are only one little piece of the world.

Get spiritual.  Run your car on all cylinders. If that doesn’t work for you turn everything off and be silent every morning for longer than you want to be.

Keep learning technology.  Free videos and webinars are everywhere.

Help someone.  There are lots of people who have bigger problems than you.  Find them.  It will give you new eyes.

Network like a bunny. Network some more. Did I mention networking?

Stay true to your core.  You.  Your Inner Voice.  Your clarity and who you are and who you want to be. Turn off your inner voice if when it goes to the past.  Only listen to inner voices that move you forward.

Remember jobs are commodities. You are not defined by the company your work for. You are defined by your social currency and the footprint you are going to leave in life.  The world won’t remember you for how many creative briefs you have done but by the paths that you created that other people want to walk down.

You can connect with Hank on LinkedIn:


Follow his updates on twitter: @hankblank

Like Blank and Associates on Facebook

You might enjoy these articles.

I’m just trying to figure it out.

The Slash Generation.

Watch this Video on Why Young People Shouldn’t try to Get a Job.


6 thoughts on “What Young People Should Do The First Time They Get Fired.

  1. Olga Kiena

    Great advice Hank. Thank you for posting. In today’s world of many jobs before retirement, this will help many along the way.

  2. Ewan

    10. In his book IT’S NOT HOW GOOD YOU ARE, IT’S HOW GOOD YOU WANT TO BE Paul Arden states getting fired can be a positive career move. In 1991 Paul fired me. I list this as an accomplishment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s