From the mere cog-in-the-wheel in a faceless organisation to reputed industry leaders.
On the cog side are people like us. (On a personal note, I must admit I've been fired a few times in my 30 years in the business. And each time I went on to do better work with better people in better agencies and at higher remuneration. Every single time. It was liberating. I saw it as Life's way of kicking me out of my comfort zone.)
On the other end of the spectrum are luminaries such as Steve Jobs, who, you'll remember, was fired from the company he started. And went on to write iHistory when he came back.
While not all of us who get the axe are likely to follow in his footsteps, the least we can do is find out how to face it and move on.
You'll probably go through the 7 stages of grief (shock and disbelief, denial, guilt, anger and bargaining, depression, loneliness and reflection, reconstruction and acceptance) after coming out of that awkward Friday evening chat with the boss.
It's not his fault. Usually.
The higher up you go, the more you resemble a dot on a bell curve. And despite what they might tell you, no company is 'like a family'. 'People are an asset' is just a line thrown in for effect. Like 'exclusively for you' products they flog to millions of people just like you. Nothing personal is what I mean.
No matter which stage of grief and shock you are at you need to understand this: it's not the end of the world. Unless of course you really messed up big time and cost the company serious damage, in which case this post may not be of much help.
Being let go is no big deal. It doesn't carry the stigma it used to decades ago. In a way it gives you space to regroup, rethink your strengths and weaknesses and reorder your priorities.
Usually, you get a month's pay in advance, so you won't starve while looking for another job.
Meanwhile try not to be bitter. It doesn't help and can be toxic. I remember reading this somewhere: "Anger, bitterness and resentment are like poison. You can't ingest them and expect someone else to die."
If you can, find out what led the company to give the marching orders. There might be some truth in their decision-making process. Ask if there was any area you were lacking in where you could have improved. Was it a wrong fit? Was there a gap in managing expectations? Find out.
If it was mere downsizing so the big guys could buy another private jet, that's fine (at least you won't be contributing to it).
That said, now will be a perfect time for re-skilling yourself. There are a great many learning platforms these days that teach you everything from programming to accountancy to public speaking to entrepreneurship and everything in between.
Take your pick.
If time is not on your side, spread the word through your friends and start applying. Use what you've learned from previous falls and work on them.
On an off chance, maybe it will throw you in a totally different direction and make you a star, as it did in the case of Simu
There's a lovely saying in Illusions by Richard Bach:
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”
Remember that, and rock on!