Question: Is there life beyond a firing in a persecution sort of way?

My husband was fired from his CFO job after the CEO took off with $10 million. My husband had nothing at all to do with it. There have been shareholder lawsuits, and the company has started a lawsuit against my husband and others. We are also fighting against government agencies. Nasty articles have been written in the paper. His reputation has been all but ruined. I think people in hiring positions and investors all know he is under this “bubble.” Nothing he has tried seems to pan out. Should he get a career coach or a head hunter? I don’t think this thing will get over soon.

Rachel
Edmond, Oklahoma

Answer: Your family’s predicament is surely a difficult one. It seems like there is an awful lot pressing down on you. My thoughts are that the “career coach” idea may be your best path out of it.

Your husband didn’t get to be a CFO without having considerable and valuable skills, knowledge, and good judgment. I think it may be hard for him to get employed right now, and I think it might be even harder for him to find investors willing to invest in any new venture with him right now. That does not negate the considerable and valuable skills, knowledge, and good judgment he still has – and may be able to “sell” in the business-marketplace.

I would suggest you and your husband give thought to his establishing his “own thing,” meaning a business or consulting practice of his own, where he can offer and sell “what he has.”

If your husband opens a franchise business that sells, for example, cleaning supplies, no one who he offers quality cleaning supplies to at an attractive price is going to care about his lawsuits or reputation. They will care, first and foremost, about quality cleaning supplies at an attractive price. His abilities, skills and judgment can be put to use in his own business in this way, regardless of the other tensions from the past. Of course, he knows his industry best, and knows how his industry works. He can probably figure out a “niche” in that industry he could fill, better than anyone else.

Likewise, your husband might also offer something that no one else has: his own business skills as a consultant to other CFO’s on “How to Avoid Calamities Like Mine.” Boy, how valuable that could be! He could probably write and talk like no one else on “What Can Happen If You Don’t Adequately Protect Yourself as a CFO.”

So many people “change course” when life presents them with unbelievable challenges, there is no reason he can’t. Like my friend, the attorney, who lost his sight, who became a lecturer to law students, and a popular speaker on “Life after Law.” And someone I recently read about, an executive, who went to prison for fraud, who then became a successful consultant on “How to Survive the Prison Experience,” and seems to be doing very well.

There really are so many ways to “change course,” I hope you will consider the challenge in the most positive, creative way possible.

Hope that helps. I really do. I wish you and your husband “Strength, Stamina and Serenity,” the three things I pray for when confronting my most difficult challenges.

Best, Al Sklover

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