I've written about this before but it's been a while and I feel it's time to write about it again.
Getting fired, axed, shit-canned, booted out, downsized, right-sized, aligned, adjusted, schmised is a part of our business.
The saddest part of this is, of course, that the people most in need of being fired, seldom are. In the words of Rudy Vallee who played John D. Hackensacker in Preston Sturges' great movie "The Palm Beach Story," "the men who are most in need of a beating are always enormous."
In any event, no one ever said the world, or our business is even remotely fair. If it were, we wouldn't all be working for holding company honchos who have never written an ad and wouldn't know good from shit if you bludgeoned them with it. That's ok, I guess, someone has to make $20 million and I'm convinced it will never be me and that's ok, I guess.
So, here's today's lesson.
What to do when that inevitable day comes when you're fired.
1. Send notes/phone all your real friends in the business. Changing your Facebook/Linked In status to say you're available doesn't count. This is a time to reflect upon karma. Or tit for tat. Or quid pro quo. If you've helped people along the way, people will help you. If you're a schmuck, you'll be treated like one.
2. You should always keep your book/portfolio/site up-to-date. Anyone can be fired at any time. So don't wait till the last minute to make yourself presentable.
3. Figure out a plan of attack. Where do you want to work? Is your book up to snuff to work there? Who do you know there? What is your "touch strategy" to communicate with them.
4. Understand that some days you'll have done all the job-hunting you can do by 10:30 in the morning. Don't spend the rest of your waking hours flagellating yourself. Go to the movies, go for a run, enjoy yourself. You'll be working soon enough.
5. Accept any freelance at any reasonable rate that comes from a good agency. You'll make connections, promote yourself, and move on from there.
6. Start a blog. (Unemployment is why I began Ad Aged.) Blogging is the best way I can think of to put your name, thoughts and work in front of prospective employees. I've met in my five years of blogging half a dozen "big deals." That ain't a bad track record.
7. Finally, when you live your life, don't live high on the hog. Don't buy $129 canvas sneakers and $79 wool hats and apartments realtors tell you you can afford. Save your money. There's a time when you might need it.