On Getting Fired

If you’ve been there, you know it stinks… and sometimes the worst of it isn’t the financial difficulty, it’s the confidence shattering, ego body blow that does you in.

While I own my business so I can’t technically “get fired,” it feels very much the same when a client decides to go another route and either cuts ties with Crossroads Communications or reduces our role in a project. I’m thankful that it hasn’t happened often, but it did happen this month.

And the worst part is that I know, on some levels, at least, it was the right thing both for the client and for us. It wasn’t the best fit, from the beginning, but it was a referred project and I take the trust someone places in me and in Crossroads Communications when they recommend us very personally.

Some lessons learned….

If the fit isn’t right, it isn’t right. Period. Better to disappoint a little by not taking the project than disappoint a lot through a difficult relationship or less-than-wonderful execution.

If there is criticism, maybe you earned it. Listen carefully, think, take the time to understand what went wrong and why. Fix what you can, apologize sincerely if you need to do so and take those lessons with you to the next relationship.

Unless your mistakes were really core business failures (you didn’t perform work you contracted to do, for instance, or you stole content) don’t dwell on the problem beyond the lesson-learning portion. You’ll just kill your confidence and your drive. No good comes from that for either you or the client.

If the relationship is salvageable, save it. Even if that means the best thing you can do is recommend someone else for the job. Just because this client’s project and needs aren’t a good fit for us right now doesn’t mean they don’t know other businesses who ARE a good fit for our brand of integrated marketing strategy and know-how.

That’s my story… if you’ve been fired from a job or a project and you want to share your experience or your lessons, the comments are yours 🙂


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5 Responses to “On Getting Fired”

  1. Maranda GIbson April 19, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    You’re so right!

    I’ve been there and one thing I would add is that sometimes, it’s a blessing in disguise. You never know what is around the next corner from you and sometimes, you may just need a little push out the door. It’s heartbreaking, especially when you can’t always understand why it happened, to lose a job, but you never know when something will fall in your lap. Maybe you just needed a little help getting to the next phase.

    • Mandy Vavrinak April 21, 2010 at 11:12 am #

      Thanks, Maranda… I’m definitely trying to look at the situation as a “push” onward and upward. Appreciate you reading and commenting 🙂

  2. Ben Callicoat May 16, 2010 at 10:07 pm #

    So true. I’m a bankruptcy lawyer and every once in awhile I get a client who just does not “click” with me. Either they won’t listen, or I can’t explain something in the way I need to, but whatever the root cause they’re just not a good fit for my practice.

    After many years of practicing law I can still count on my fingers the number of these clients that I took against my better judgment. But the sad thing is that for every single one of them, I knew at the time that they weren’t a good fit and I took them in anyway (I tend to want to rescue people.0

    In every case that I had an intuition but went against it, I’ve regretted it. Every single time. Gotta figure out a better way to listen.

    • Mandy Vavrinak May 23, 2010 at 5:54 am #

      Ben, me too… every single time. I am working on the “listening to my gut” when it comes to accepting work, too. If you figure it out, do share!


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