Hands up who has heard of Lucinda Chambers? Until a few months ago, the former Fashion Director of British Vogue would have been famous to only those with a keen interest in high fashion and publishing. Then came her dramatic departure from the magazine after 36 years, an outspoken interview in which she left nobody in doubt of the how and the why of her leaving, “It took them [Vogue bosses] three minutes to do it. I didn’t leave. I was fired”, and a wholehearted bashing of the entire fashion industry. Discussing her honesty on the topic, she said-
“I don’t want to be the person who puts on a brave face and tells everyone, ‘Oh, I decided to leave the company,’ when everyone knows you were really fired,” she said. “There’s too much smoke and mirrors in the industry as it is.”
Ms. Chambers’ departure and how she handled it has sparked a lot of debate within the industries of fashion, business, and recruitment. Some praised her frankness when describing just how un- mutual the decision was, others felt it was unwise to burn so many bridges so quickly across the entire fashion industry. So looking at Ms. Chambers, what are the do’s and don’ts of getting the sack?-
Should she have been honest about being fired? Yes. Ms. Chambers decided to be completely frank about being let go, which was the right. She had been successful in her job for over 36 years and with a new Editor, the magazine decided on some new blood and a new direction. She has no reason to lie, and choosing to lie makes it look like she does. What is less recommended is how publicly she spoke badly of her former employer. No matter how aggrieved you are, it’s important to remember to stay cool, calm and collected and not say anything that could come back to haunt you later when looking for a new job.
Things You Should Do if You Get Fired
Don’t burn bridges- Not only do you’ll never know when you need a reference but most industries, particularly in Ireland, are small. Everybody knows everybody and if you handle your dismissal badly or aggressively, in public at least, word could very easily reach a potential employer and turn them off hiring you.
Ask for the specific reason, in writing- You need to know and clearly understand why you were fired. Being able to explain to future employers why you were fired is a must. If you are specifically asked if you were fired, you need to answer yes. Lying WILL on a job application is grounds for dismissal at any time in the future.
Be prepared- When it comes to applying and interviewing for new jobs, it’s important you’re ready and able to discuss how and why you left your last job. Honesty truly is the best policy and any interviewer will see through any attempts to bluff or avoid it.