How to bounce back after being fired

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I worked for what I thought was a pretty good guy. He actually hired me. I had the job I always wanted in the industry that I loved. I managed a staff of 5 very talented individuals. Then one day, the tables turned. He was removed from one VP role he was serving in and was now spending 100 percent of his time as VP of my department and function. He began to play me and my employees off of each other. He drove a wedge between them and me. He treated me like a rented mule, put me on a performance improvement plan for what he called a “lack of leadership”, and eventually eliminated my position. This took about a year in all. I can’t say I didn’t see this all coming. He was a VP with only 2 direct reports, and I had 5 as a director. He did everything “by the book” in terms of documenting why he canned me.

My problem is that I was a good manager. I led a team that reinvented the branding and marketing output of the company and elevated the company in the industry. We were extremely successful and had a great thing going. I am 57 years old and I am afraid that I am now unemployable, and have a difficult time trying to “spin” my situation to a prospective employer, when I know I was hosed. I guess I just want your insight. I’m sure this stuff happens all the time.

To read the answer click here: How to bounce back after being fired

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6 thoughts on “How to bounce back after being fired

  1. I completely agree that some of us need to cut out some of our experience. I don’t really care to see what someone did in 1970s. I more interested to see the last 10-15 years.

    1. Lots of people have trouble cutting off the old stuff on their resume. I can’t even get my husband to cut out his first job out of grad school (it was a good job, but not in his current field and was a long time ago). It’s hard to think that what you did then won’t make a difference.

  2. First, kudos to the writer for not moaning and groaning about his or her bad fortune. Instead, he or she very constructively asks for help dealing with the present situation. No requests for bailouts or a white knight. I’ve been in situations similar
    to the writer’s and always admire tapping into one’s self reliance to recover.

    Second, Ms. Lucas, please feel free to send my email address to the writer. I would like to recommend my excellent resume writer who I have used on three or four occasions. Full disclosure, I get no referral fees or any other benefit for the referrals I make to the resume writer.

    1. You are super nice. I sent her your email and I hope she contacts you.

      And I agree that attitude is very important!

  3. If your position was eliminated, why are you concerned about how to frame this to a potential employer? In reality, although this VP was too cowardly to actually fire, and instead “eliminated” your position, he actually did you somewhat of a favor. That’s why you tell prospective employers, your position was eliminated. Since positions are done away with regularly, a prospective employer will likely not think twice about it.

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