Many years ago, eager to start working, I was appointed to the position of assistant in the legal department of an Executor company.

Although excited at the prospect of my first job, I was nervous thinking that I was going to work for executioners, but I wondered how many people they had killed.

On the train ride into the city on my first day, a friendly older gentleman sitting opposite me asked if this was my first working day. Gleefully I replied, “Yes, but I’m very nervous’. The friendly gentleman replied that is was normal to be nervous when going to work for the first time. “My nervousness stems from the fear of working for executioners and wondered how many people had been executed”, I replied.

Puzzled, the gentleman asked me the name of the company, and then with a smile on his face he gently explained the difference between Executors and executioners. With a very red face, I heaved a sigh of relief!

Having a sense of self-importance, I approached my job with enthusiasm. My main job was to cut out all the legal death notices that appeared in the newspapers and attach them to the legal documentation required in dealing with Executorship.

After 6 months I became very bored with the tedious and repetitive nature of the work and in my ‘wisdom’, I decided that I would take a short cut and keep the death notice cuttings in my desk drawer until they were required.

Very big mistake!

After being told that I cost the company lost revenue, and worse yet, I had also brought the company into disrepute for not following legal process, consequently I was fired.

Being fired from my first job was a blow to my ego and self-confidence, but I learnt some valuable life and work lessons

LESSON 1         Follow your job description.

LESSON 2         Don’t think you know more than your employers, you don’t!

LESSON 3         Don’t let failure dictate your future.

  • I went on to successfully manage the advertising department of a large daily newspaper, a department that broke all previous revenue records
  • I became a 50% owner of an advertising agency
  • I launched