Creative Career Level Up

‘My boss hated me from the start. Then he fired me…’

Jun 06, 2024
Photo by christnerfurt on Unsplash

Today I’m analysing the situation of a man in his 30’s, we’ll call him Will. 

Will reached out to me recently as he had been fired from this relatively new job. Just 6 months into the role, and without any real warning, Will was told his contract had been terminated - effective immediately.

What’s the challenge?

Will started his new role last year. It was a very senior hire for the company and he was bought in to create change for a brand that has been stagnating and losing cultural relevance.

Will thought things were going ok. The brand is in trouble, so he knew even the smallest changes could have a big impact.

He thought the work that needed doing to turn this brand around would be 2-4 years. So he was not expecting to be unemployed after just 6 months.

How did he get here?

Unfortunately, Will was hired by the Founder. But did not report to the Founder. 

His direct boss had been at the company for over 15 years. And in all likelihood, was part of the reason the brand had been struggling. 

His direct boss was less excited about Will coming in and making changes to the brand - despite the fact the Founder had given him the remit for change. 

This created a lot of tension between Will and his new boss. With the result being that, after just 6 months, Will was pushed out of the company.

How can he move forward?

Suddenly finding yourself unemployed is one of the toughest situations you can face in your career. It feels like your whole life does a 180 overnight. 

It can be scary. Especially if you don’t have a financial base to support yourself. 

I found myself in this exact situation in 2014 and I learnt a lot that can help Will, or any others that might be going through this. 

My thoughts


It’s important to take some time to recalibrate from the shock of job loss. Take at least a week to just sit with the shock and go through the emotions - shame, anger, fear - before you start to make a new plan. Your future self will thank you for taking some time to process things.

Stick to a routine

When you lose your job, suddenly you have a lot of extra time on your hands. It can be tempting to just let the days drift away from you. But I don't recommend it. Create a structure in your day. Schedule things in - including job hunting and free time. Having control over your day makes you feel less like you’ve lost control of your life! 

Reach out to old colleagues

Old colleagues can be your best allies in a situation like this. Make a list. Reach out to each of them and ask them for advice on what you should do next. You’ll enjoy the connection and they will have great advice, because they know the work version of you better than anyone. Plus they might even have jobs they could put you forward for.

Do some introspective work

Before you move forward into your next role, you gotta get deep with yourself and work out why this happened. Perhaps like Will, it was a mismatch of personalities. Or maybe there were red flags you could have seen in advance. Either way, you need to do some deep soul searching before you find the next role. Otherwise you could make the same mistake again.

Get some help

Whilst spending money on a coach or a therapist might seem like a bad idea, trust me when I say, getting some 3rd party help is one of the best things you can do. Your partner, friends and family can only play this role for so long before it becomes a drain on your relationship. The $2k I spent on coaching and therapy back in 2014 was the best money I ever spent.

Be kind to yourself

Losing your job is tough. Anyone going through this right now  - like Will - has my love and empathy. It’s not easy and it’s definitely not easy in a tough job market like this one.

Keep the faith that great things are on the way. And always believe that you are deserving of those great things.

If you would like some help with securing your next perfect role, the Creative Career Level Up might be the right solution for you. 

I help people in the Marketing and Creative and Tech Industries to find their next perfect role. 

If you are looking to level-up your career, use the link below to schedule some time to chat about whether the programme might be right for you.