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Never Been Fired? Well, Great - Or Is It?
Where's Your Sense Of Risk And Creativity?

November 6, 2013

By Jerry Reed
Voice Actor

Never been fired ... but is that a good thing?

I have been laid off twice in the 50+ years I have been in the workforce, but have never been fired from a job, ever. The two times I have been laid off were due to a company-wide downsizing or a departmental restructuring.

Each of those times the departure was amicable, without prejudice. They were never personal in nature.

I have never done anything to make an employer angry enough to cut me loose.


Looking back I wonder if it's good or bad.

In the world of voice over, we rarely know we have been fired. More often than not, we just aren't rehired.

Until a couple of years ago, voice work was always a sideline. I always had a core job that paid the bills, fed a family and created financial stability. So I was never concerned with the fact that playing it safe and never taking risks would come back to haunt me someday.

Arguments that it was good for my career:

1. I have always been a good employee.
2. I did my job to the best of my ability.
3. I shrived to please, always staying within boundaries.
4. If I didn't feel I fit or wasn't right for the position, I resigned and moved on.
5. I had an impeccably clean resume.

Arguments that never having been fired is a bad career move, especially as it relates to my voice work:

1. I never took chances, always played it safe and colored within the lines.
2. I didn't experiment with new concepts or tactics.
3. My creativity was throttled. I didn't give it a chance to fully develop.
4. I didn't have to learn about rejection.
5. I avoided learning how to be corrected and redirected because I didn't take a risk in the first place.


I don't think anyone should get fired. But, but don't let the threat of it hold you back or stifle your creativity.

Take the risk. Be bold. "Grab the bull by the horns.” Someday, you'll be glad you did.
Jerry Reed has been a professional voice artist all of his adult life. His early days were spent in broadcasting and he now works from his home voice over studio located in upstate New York. In addition to voice overs, his diversions include amateur photography and baking artisan breads.


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Comments (2)
BP Smyth, Narrator
11/6/2013 at 6:16 AM
Hello Jerry....Excellent article. In this crazy, opinion only, fickle, subjective business of voice-over, getting fired is simply a normal part of it. The old saying...Be true to yourself first and always the way to go. We in voice-over must develop thick skins. If we do not accept being rejected, fired, never called back, as a normal part of this business, it will destroy us. I'm always looking for my next project. If I'm called back, that's wonderful. If I am not called back, oh well, it's their loss. :-)

BP Smyth

Reuven Miller
11/6/2013 at 3:20 AM
Take the risk. Be bold. But have a backup, just in case it turns out you're grabbing the bull, not by the horns, but by the tail - and having to face the "situation"!!
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