Twenty-five years ago, my boss refused to promote me from inside sales support to outside sales despite requests from clients because I was a woman. (He even told me that was the reason!) I could have tried suing and probably lost because discrimination laws didn’t apply to small, family run firms in Texas. Instead, I quit, went to grad school and embarked on a new career.
Fifteen years later, I had another boss who just couldn’t visualize a woman VP. Two trips to HR and numerous letters and support calls from clients made no difference, so once again I made a change. Accepting a job as VP at Conseco, gave me a chance to learn the skills and make vital connections I would use to run a profitable marketing company here in Indianapolis
In retrospect, I owe Fred and Tony many thanks. If it hadn’t been for their narrow perspectives, I might never have gone to grad school or taken a job at Conseco. I might never have started Roundpeg And that would have been a real shame!
I have met a number of displaced execs lately, who are angry or frustrated by their current situation. My advice: Stop looking back. Embrace the opportunity presented to you! Take a class, pursue a degree, start that business you have always thought about. It may take awhile to find it, but there is another door!
For a little inspiration here is a fun look at 8 people who went on to be extremely successful AFTER they were fired!