In a July interview with Cosmopolitan, ousted New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson said she “wasn’t ashamed” she’d been fired.
She’s not alone: According to others who’ve survived the pink slip, there can be an upside to getting the boot. Here, four New Yorkers share why they’re glad they got axed.
You learn how to bounce backRoy Cohen has more than 30 years of professional experience as a Wall Street banker-turned-executive coach, but he’ll never forget the day he was booted from a nonprofit HR job.
“It was the very beginning of my career, and I felt like a failure,” recalls the Sutton Place resident, 59, of being fired for a series of unfounded accusations by “a boss who simply didn’t like me.”
Instead of wallowing, Cohen threw himself into an application to Columbia Business School, landed a coveted internship at CitiBank and learned a “life-altering” lesson about resilience along the way.
“Here I was going from a nonprofit environment to working for a major bank,” says Cohen. “The experience taught me that I had the power to transform — that it’s very possible to make change and move forward in spite of roadblocks and barriers.”
Years later, the insight continues to inform “every aspect” of his work counseling struggling finance execs.
“It’s inevitable that jobs will end, but if you don’t learn how to respond to a situation like this, it can be immobilizing,” he says. “Looking back, I see [my experience] as invaluable.”
You’ve got the time — and space — to reassess your career pathModal TriggerZack Rosenberg didn’t wallow after getting fired, instead he started his own company, DoGoodBuyUs.com.Photo: Tamara Beckwith
According to Stacy Kim, an Upper West Side career coach, the post-pink-slip period is a “time to reflect” — especially for those who’ve been working in the same industry since college.
“You now have a better sense of what you like and don’t like,” says Kim. “You’re a more educated consumer of your career options.”
Such was the case for Zack Rosenberg. The 30-year-old Murray Hill resident landed his first advertising job right out of college and went on to be hired as director of sales at a major Manhattan media company in 2011.
But Rosenberg found himself “hating” the culture and long hours at his new job. And when he was fired seven months later due to a “personality clash” with colleagues, he relished the chance to reconsider his chosen field.
“It was the first time in my career I could step back and [ask], ‘Am I happy with this? Is this where I want to be? Is this what I want to be doing?’ ” says Rosenberg. “I realized it wasn’t.”
Instead of finding another ad gig, he acted on an idea he’d had earlier that year — an online marketplace for socially conscious goods. Two months later, he launched DoGoodBuyUs.
“I couldn’t be happier,” he says.
You get the chance to be your own bossExecutive coach Ellis Chase says about half of his fired clients “go on to do something very different from what they were doing before.”
For some, like Gabe DaSilva, that means switching from employee to employer.
Over the course of his seven years working various jobs in finance, DaSilva, 32, says he always had “the entrepreneurial itch. I realized that as long as I had to work for someone else, I was never really going to be happy.”
By 2010, the Bay Ridge resident had drawn up a business plan for a cafe in the neighborhood where he was working as a financial analyst. But he didn’t want to leave a steady paycheck to pursue the dream full-time.
Then, that September, he was axed from his desk job after he failed to comply with an internal investigation.
“I felt relieved, because it granted me the freedom to open my own restaurant,” says DaSilva, who opened his Newark health-food spot, Better Bites, in 2011.
Though he recently sold the business and subsequently launchedMyFirstRestaurant.com, an educational site for first-time restaurateurs, DaSilva still credits his pink slip with green-lighting his entrepreneurial streak.
“Getting fired,” he says, “was the greatest thing that could have happened.”
You end up in a great job you never would have consideredFresh out of Wellesley College and working for a cultural journal in Moscow, Carlotta Zimmerman was flying high in 1996 — until her publisher dismissed her over a story he disliked.
“I went home and wept about the world’s cruelty and injustice, as you only do when you’re 21,” says Zimmerman, now 41 and living in Woodside, Queens.
Desperate, she sent her resume out to several hundred companies and soon got a call from NBC News’ Moscow bureau.
“I knew nothing about TV, but I was fluent in Russian and competent,” explains Zimmerman. “I was immediately put to work as an assignment editor.”
The gig ended up leading to a decade-long run in network news, including stints as a package producer for the likes of CNN and ABC.
“I had amazing adventures in an industry that otherwise I would never have even considered,” says Zimmerman, now a career coach. “If I ever ran into that publisher [who fired me], I’d shake his hand and thank him.”
Read the article at New York Post.
FILED UNDER CAREER COMEBACK, JOBS