If you’ve lost your job, you’re probably thankful it wasn’t as high-profile as the Bob Nardelli firing from Home Depot back in January. But guess what – he’s back! Two recent CEO hirings – Nardelli at Chrysler and Lynn Nicholas at the Massachusetts Hospital Association – reinforce some really key points about career management and job search:
- Fit is all-important. Nardelli’s style was a mismatch at Home Depot. He rubbed people the wrong way, alienated the investment community, and lost the company’s culture amid his processes and efficiencies. In Nicholas’ case, she lost her previous job as CEO of the American Diabetes Foundation essentially because fundraising really isn’t her thing.
- To move forward, focus on your strengths. I’m sure both Nardelli and Nicholas had to explain “what happened” during the interview process for their current jobs. If you’re in a similar situation, prepare your explanation – along with what you’ve learned from it – and remain firmly focused on what you do well and what you can do for the new organization.
- Know thyself. Know the kind of environment in which you’ll thrive – the culture, the challenges, the people, the hierarchy, the rigidity or flexibility of the work environment, the larger mission of the organization, and so many other factors. Don’t let your eagerness for “a” job lead you to take a job that you know is not the right fit.
Finally, take a leaf from Nicholas’ book and prepare, prepare, prepare for every interview. Know the key players, key challenges, and key value you bring to the organization. Shine up your appearance and approach the interview with energy and confidence. There is definitely life (and jobs) after getting fired, even if your departure makes headline news in the business press!