I know it was in 1982 when it happened because we were in the grocery store and E.T. was on the cover of Time Magazine. I was seven years old, and grocery shopping with my Father. It was a weekday afternoon, and I was looking at the iconic Extra Terrestrial on the cover of the magazine when we ran into my friend's Mother.
She seemed surprised that my Father was home during the week. When she asked him what he was doing home during the week, he said he was taking a short vacation.
When we got into the car, I asked Dad why he'd told the woman that he was on a vacation when I knew that he wasn't? He told me it would be OK. He had three offers lined up. He viewed this time as a short vacation, and everything would be fine. That was the first time my Father taught me that I should always be looking for my next job.
This lesson served me well throughout my career, and into my entrepreneurial endeavors. For those of you that have a job, and think that you're secure. You're not.
Here are five things you should do so you're prepared to get fired.
1. Build your personal brand.
About ten years ago I wrote my first blog post. It helped me land a job paying more than I had ever imagined. I hacked my job search by bypassing the way things progressed. I decided that that only person who knew how good I was at my job was my boss and my clients. Since they weren't about to help me get a new job, I started to blog so the world knew how good I was.
I recommend you do the same. Start with a blog.
When I say network, I don't mean attending conferences. I mean, do the things you would do if you were out of work. Ask people to lunch. Take early morning breakfast meetings. Learn about different companies. Have no agenda. Ask questions and listen. When I was still in graduate school, my Father taught me that I should start to do this. I met with the President of an agency. He only took the meeting because I had played Rugby in college like he had. I spent 20 minutes grilling him.
I honored his time, had reverence for his experience, and made an impression. Two years later he hired me.
3. Engage with your colleagues.
Later in my career, as my jobs got bigger I blew it. I had made it in sales as a lone wolf. When I was fired from my last job in 2010, I realized I had no real friends in the office. Make sure you have a network of friends at work. Even if you're fired, they will be your support system. Before it hits the fan, support each other. Write LinkedIn recommendations. Make introductions, and help each other.
You're better off with a crew than on your own.
4. Determine three industries where your skill set can transfer.
While networking, don't forget to explore different industries. You may have a skill set that is held in high regard in another industry. Always look to learn from people who do things you would have never considered.
You never know who they may be looking for.
5. Start interviewing, or start that side hustle.
No matter how comfortable you are in your job, you should be looking. At all times. No matter how good things are, how big your salary, or how good the company is doing. I learned this lesson the hard way. When I was fired from Buddy Media in 2010, I hadn't even looked at my resume since I started there. I was drinking the company Kool-Aid. They had other ideas. You never know. So protect yourself and get out there.
This way, if things go sideways you will have a few irons in the fire.