I Quit, I Was Fired, And Now …

Over the course of 30 years, a career can teach you a lot about yourself and the kind of person you are. You will likely develop some opinions about the type of businessperson you are as well. I have had the chance to try many different things with many levels of success and failure. I have no regrets.

I Quit

I walked out of a small software company. Why? The guy who ran sales was one of those jump-on-the-desk-and-tell-you-you’re-stupid kinds of leaders. He would threaten to fire you daily. I refused to go through the abuse.

  • The Pros – It was over, and I could focus on something new. I felt good being away from all the negative energy and I clearly wasn’t going to learn anything I wanted to emulate. I learned many things “not” to do at this company.
  • The Cons – Loss of income, especially as my wife was pregnant. I selfishly created stress for those around me. Some feared I might be labeled a “quitter” though that never really bothered me. Labels suck.

I Was Fired

A large brokerage firm fired me. Why? I refused to sell proprietary products to my clients, so my production fell, and they showed me the door.

  • The Pros – Few people who get fired are surprised, so there is some element of relief that comes with the experience being over. I could sleep again. I had checked off one more thing I wanted to try; it didn’t work, so I was one step closer to my career ambition.
  • The Cons – Loss of income, as my wife was pregnant again. Being on the 72nd floor of the former World Trade Center was –  bar none –  the most dynamic environment in which I have ever worked. A couple of hundred brokers and traders who were smart, witty and equally adept, whether male or female, at telling the best jokes on the planet. I still miss them, 25 years later.

Then I Retired … Well, Almost

After we (the executive team I was part of) had negotiated the sale of the software company we managed, I walked away from a large retention bonus and took a shot at retirement. Why? I worked every day for eight years and missed every significant milestone important to my kids and our family.

  • The Pros – Time, free time to do whatever I wanted. I got to spend time with my beautiful and wonderful sister before she died. I learned how to go to the supermarket, and I enjoyed it. I cooked a lot.
  • The Cons – I had too much free time. I had no plan, no bucket list. I had all this time and nothing to do. I don’t play golf and am not a boater. I stayed up late, slept even later and developed every vice a middle-aged man with a few bucks in his pocket can have.

In my quest to experience everything in my career I think I have just about closed the book, but there is a lesson learned here.  With all I have experienced, I still have a thirst to learn and try new things.  That’s why I went back to the business world after retiring. I think  I am improving my business skills and still have career-related goals that I would like to achieve.

So I have quit, been fired and retired and just don’t recommend any of them… at least not for me. There are still many mountains to climb.


Christian J. Farber
Christian J. Farber
CHRISTIAN J. Farber and wife Susan live in Tinton Falls, NJ. Their home is near the shore where they spend a lot of time at the beach with their three boys. Chris is a featured and contributing author on many social media platforms. These include The Huffington Post, Good Men Project and LinkedIn. Chris has had a long career in Marketing and Sales. He is a visionary thinker on business development. Chris has a reputation for building high-performing marketing and sales teams. His unique management style focuses on allowing people to perform without pressure or interference. Chris led many successful teams and performed transformation work at State Street Bank. Further, he has had success at start-up companies like Albridge Solutions. At Albridge, Chris was an early employee and helped lead the company’s dramatic growth. Albridge, acquired by PNC Bank in 2008 for more than $300 million, is now a unit of The Bank of New York.

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  1. Every change in our lives brings on the opportunity to start something new. Life learners are never satisfied with staying in one place for too long. Retirement to me is being able to follow my dreams without worry of financial burdens. Peace.

  2. We are the sum of the choices in our lives. When we get older, we reflect and discover that one bad choice we keep being reminded of was the pivotal point that made us who we are; and we wouldn’t change that for the world.

  3. I’m with you all the way Christian and can relate in every regard. Funny thing is, I have no regrets because “there are still many mountains to climb.” All the best and great article, many thanks for putting things into perspective!