This is not a “Top 10 reasons…” list. I hate lists. This is simply an explanation of why you should be begging to be fired this year. Moreover, I’m going to highlight a rather large cultural divide in the business perception of being given your marching orders across the World.
In the throes of a global recession it’s seems suicidal to even consider this: The thought of losing a secure income and job when everyone else is struggling is a frightening prospect. But the reality is that employers and employees become complacent about the perceived security of ‘playing it safe’. Most workers sink into a comfortable role and the urge to innovate is gradually beaten down as a bad idea.
Who wants to take the risk and stick their head above the parapet, just to risk a bullet from HR when it’s safer to hunker down in the cubicle and plod on?
In an entrepreneurial and constantly shifting business world it’s become clear that lean startups thrive in dire times because they dare to do things differently, dare to build their business with leaner methods and leaner cash flow. The scarcity that seems dangerous is actually just the right formula. Saying that you can’t start a new job or create a new business in a recession is like saying you can’t fix a boat because it’s leaking. People are driven to innovate because they must and the comfort zone we build when telling ourselves to stay safe is a destructive fantasy.
Face it, there is no such thing as job security anymore. The legacy of your grandfather, working 40 years for the same employer because it’s safe and there’s a decent pension is well and truly over so why can’t you embrace redundancy and hit the market at full throttle?
Sell your idea?
There’s an interesting article on BusinessInsider explaining how to sell your killer idea to your Boss. Seriously, my biggest issue with this article is ‘Why ?!’ If your business idea is that good, if you’ve done the math and business case, consulted with third parties to make it fly, created the perfect pitch….why are you bothering to sell it to your boss!! It’s madness.
Become more. Become an innovator yourself.
But this is where there’s a real divide in just how being fired is perceived and acted upon. Here in the UK it’s a social and professional stigma: You’ve been fired. “Oh God, what do I do now?” People imagine joining the nameless ranks of the unemployment line and agency lists.
This is backward thought. You should be wondering this instead:
- If I weren’t getting ahead at my job, why should I stay?
- If they aren’t fostering and rewarding new ideas, why am I still there?
- If I wasn’t excellent in my role, why not try something else?
- How can I take what I know and make the most of it?
That is…unless you’ve just been hunkering down and playing it safe all of this time. In that case, you’re right and things are bleak.
Across the pond
Taking a look at the United States, being fired can be liberating. Being ‘let go’ usually gives people a chance to leave something where they weren’t appreciated or weren’t particularly adept to go somewhere things can be better. “I am letting you be successful somewhere else” may sound like euphemistic but is a real concept in the largest economy in the world (and maybe there’s no coincidence to that). The legendary Steve Jobs was fired from Apple…and look what it did for him.
Exactly because it is easy to get fired, getting fired isn’t the worst thing. It works both ways.
While Europe embraces its job protections, in the end, that makes it harder to hire and very hard to change the status quo. It stifles innovation and holds management hostage to rules that hurt everyone, not just protect some. Protection or no protection, think of the benefits of getting fired this year. As James Altucher brilliantly summed it up in Tech Crunch last year:
The game is over. That game where they get to hire you for 40 years, pay you far less than you create, and then give you a gold watch, and then you get bored, you get depressed, and you die alone.
It wasn’t that fun of a game anyway.