FiredForNow's Blog

Getting fired, laid off...and hired again


Four months after becoming an ad industry recession stat last year, I found myself in a job that was in many ways far better and more fulfilling than my last. I'm making less money now, and I'm in a less senior position. But instead of my work being used to sell cars, computers or potato chips, it's being used to help nonprofit clients become better agents of social change. This recession has helped me reexamine what's important to me, and rediscover some things I'd lost. Now I just keep finding more.

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Immediately following Roman Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland last week, a pro-Polanski petition instantly surfaced with dozens of signatures from the A-list of Hollywood. Ridiculous public declarations followed – Whoopi, you know who we’re talking about. Chris Rock seemed… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
APRIL 25, 2009 11:32AM

Losing my job was a gift to my kids

When I was laid off, my children knew right away. I’m not good at hiding things and I sometimes wear my heart on my sleeve too much for my own good. Plus, my kids are big. Like young-adult big.

So when I lost my job, I felt a deep sense of… Read full post »


If you’ve read some previous posts of mine, you may know I’m Canadian. Don’t hold it against me. As it turns out, we may finally have something to be envied by others: our banks.

For as long as I can remember, Canadians have had a rep for being conservative and… Read full post »


Mike Darnell: the sleazy chief of alternative programming at Fox
When I got wind of the stomach-churning news that Fox is mounting a new reality show called "Someone's Gotta Go", I hoped they'd start the first episode in the C-level offices of Fox -- and decide which Fox exec should be the first to be… Read full post »

One way to deal with the recession is to ignore it altogether. In one sense, that’s what Philly Markowitz and Myke Dyer are doing.

Philly and Myke are married to one another, have 2 kids aged 10 and 13, and when Philly lost her job two months ago, it was… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 31, 2009 12:00PM

Why I dislike Lululemon more than ever


Lululemon is pop culture’s answer to wearable spirituality. You don’t have to be spiritual. You don’t even have to do yoga. Pull on a $200+ Lululemon yoga outfit and voila – you’re surrounded by an aura of faux enlightenment that Lululemon parades on its shopping… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 29, 2009 12:11PM

How I stopped comparing myself to others to be happy

The idea of keeping up with the Joneses goes back long before the comic strip of the same name that popularized the phrase back in 1913.  Comparing ourselves to others is a core part of forming our self-image.

And I can tell you one thing. I’m finished with it. Or, I… Read full post »

Applying for jobs can be a numbers game. But what do you do to stay on top of the numbers?

When you start sending out dozens -- or hundreds -- of applications, it can be an organizational challenge to keep track of them all.

A couple of days ago, a reader… Read full post »

There’s a lot of AIG outrage in the air right now. But while the pundits, politicians and legal scholars debate what kind of recourse there is to rescind the bonus payouts to those disgraced execs, there’s something I’m not seeing a lot of discussion about.

It’s that the overa… Read full post »


Last night I did something I haven’t since losing my job last November. I saw a movie in a theatre. From all the second-guessing I did beforehand, you’d think I was about to head to a GM dealership and buy a car.

I cut out almost all indulgences when I was… Read full post »


I’m sure you heard of the smart little Canadian company called Research In Motion.


Okay, I know you’ve heard of the Blackberry. Yeah, that little smart phone President Obama won permission to keep in his pocket.

The Blackberry is made by the Canadian company RIM (pronounced rim,… Read full post »


Let’s go back in time. Let’s say a year ago. And let’s say, just hypothetically speaking, your manager has just asked to meet with you.

You head to the meeting room and already sitting there is the HR manager. After about 2 seconds, you know this is not good news.

You’r… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 7, 2009 2:27PM

Negotiating salary in this economy?


I’ve never been a good negotiator when it comes to salary and compensation. Or a car purchase. Or even a 20-year-old lamp sitting on the lawn of a garage sale.

I hate talking about money. It makes me uncomfortable.

And more than talking about money, I hate asking for it.

Of… Read full post »

There’s a living document of the recession playing out in real time. It’s not the numbers plastered across all media outlets today showing a 25-year high in the unemployment rate and more than 650,000 jobs lost in the U.S. last month.

It’s Twitter. A quick visit will give you an alar… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 4, 2009 8:28AM

Google goes up on my wall of shame

Am I just small-minded and petty? Or do I have a legitimate grievance?

I just learned that Google yesterday reported paying out $6.3 million in bonuses to their senior management team. For last year’s performance. For the year that ended in the first-ever major layoffs Google had to make. For t… Read full post »

MARCH 3, 2009 11:04AM

Have a good day at (LaidOff) Camp!

Picture 10

Today launches the first-ever LaidOff Camp taking place in San Francisco. And yes, it's free.

The one-day event promises to be a morale booster and network builder not simply for the unemployed, but for the alternatively employed looking to start non-traditional ways of earning a living. Tha… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 28, 2009 11:10AM

Hello, I'm a boomer. And I will be hired.

01winerip_600I read a sobering article this morning that appeared in yesterday’s New York Times. If you’re a boomer, be forewarned. It may not be pretty reading.

It’s about a job fair that was held in New York this week that saw more than 5,000 people show up at a venue able… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 26, 2009 4:39PM

The interview. Again.


Job interviews are not pleasant. Anyone out of steady work is instantly buoyed by the possibility of a job offer, but I don’t know anyone who looks forward to the actual interview.

The entire task is to convince someone that you’re competent, talented, motivated, intelligent, a go… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 25, 2009 12:46PM

Useless advice for the laid-off

887509-001There’s an article floating around the web. Actually, it’s not just one article but one theme with about 10,000 variations. These articles are usually called something like “What to do when you’re laid off”.

And here’s the thing: I think they're written by so… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 22, 2009 10:23AM

9 signs the recession has hit the Oscars


1.    The pre-Oscar spike in non-surgical procedures at Hollywood plastic surgeons is down. Watch for a few more lines and thinner lips tonight. Except on Angelina Jolie.

2.    The usual line-up of stars will be missing from the pre-show red-carpet gawking. To boost r… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 21, 2009 10:29AM

I passed my next job hurdle. I hope.

I’m now half-way through my 3-month job contract. Aka my 3-month let’s-see-if-we-like-you-and-your-work-cuts-it-and-we-might-keep-you-longer contract.

Today was another hurdle passed. It’s called the Client Presentation. In advertising terms, the Client Presentation is a big deal.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 18, 2009 12:16PM

Foreclosing on myself

For Sale Sign 04 It is such an enormous decision that I've been coming to it slowly. But I realize now I can’t avoid making it. I’m going to sell my house. Of course, I’m lucky to own a house. Well, me and the bank. And that’s the problem.

I moved into this… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 16, 2009 9:21AM

New Yorker Layoff Retrospective

A collection of cartoons from The New Yorker dating back to 1992.  Yes, we've been here before.


Published in The New Yorker 2001


Published in The New Yorker 1996


Published in The New Yorker 1994


Published in The New Yorker 1996


Published in The New Yorker (no date provided)


Published in The New Yorker 1992


Published in The New Yorker 2002


p.s. If you have a story to share about the impact of… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 12, 2009 10:16AM

Essential Viewing for the Laid-Off



1. I get access to obscure documentaries I won’t find on the video store shelf

2. I’ve been saved from reading bad books all the way through (and watch bad movies instead)

3.… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 11, 2009 1:14PM

Lose your job, get a free burrito


It’s a nice gesture for a fast-food chain, but my “is-this-really-altruistic” antennae is way up. California Tortilla (with locations in Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, West Virgina and Pennsylvania) is offering a Burrito Elito card to anyone who’s been… Read full post »