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Fired Up!

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Fired Up!

How the Best of the Best Survived and Thrived After Getting the Boot


15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Fire can burn you or it can provide light. If you get fired, use the experience to see the light.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable


What do Jesse Ventura, Mike Bloomberg, Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King and Larry King all have in common? They lost their jobs and lived to tell about it. Being fired is demoralizing, but Harvey Mackay's compilation of stories will comfort anyone who has been escorted out of the building, laid-off or outsourced. He bases his enjoyable book on interviews with 28 people who lost their jobs in a variety of industries. The interviews are interesting and maintain their focus on the topic. Mackay's style is breezy and his aphorisms corny, but he's passionate about his main point, which is that losing your job is a shock, but it can become a learning experience if you don't take it too personally. Some of the people he interviews say they dreamed of revenge, but eventually they overcame that emotion and got back on their feet. If you've been fired and want to substitute inspiration for retribution, this book is for you. getAbstract also recommends it to managers, human resource professionals and coaches looking for case studies of people who turned adversity into opportunity.


Mean Streets

Being fired is a shock, no matter how much work experience you have or how old you are. The world is an uncertain place. A study of about 3,000 managers by the executive recruiters Korn-Ferry found that 95% said they did not expect to remain with their current employers for their entire careers. Another 68% said they were concerned about losing their jobs "unexpectedly," and only 38% said they were content with the amount of control they had over their career direction. Perhaps most startling, the Korn-Ferry study discovered that if you are younger than 30 years old, you have a 90% chance of losing your job during the next 20 years.

Since the early twentieth century, entire categories of workers, starting with domestic servants and including some types of secretaries and computer programmers, have become obsolete. The mass elimination of jobs can take place in good or bad times, at any level and in any industry.

Keeping Your Job

Take the following precautions to increase your odds of remaining employed:

  • If you got your job through a personal connection, stay humble and always give your contact the credit for your success.

About the Author

Harvey Mackay is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt. He is chairman of the Mackay Envelope Company.

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