Be Inspired: Top Successful Women Who Got the Axe and Thrived

From Kerry Washington to Oprah Winfrey, these ladies shined after defeat

Actress Kerry Washington (Image: File)

Even the best leaders and bosses take a loss or two (or ten) in their lifetimes. The most successful people can attest to how failures, flops and firings are an unavoidable part of the journey to the top.

The mere thought of being fired from a job can be both stressful and disheartening, however, take a page from a few successful women’s books who’ve been through it.

According to this Huffington Post list, both media powerhouse Oprah Winfrey and Scandal superstar Kerry Washington have experienced getting the axe in their careers.

Washington’s stream of disappointments lead to a big win for her, opening the door for bigger and better boss moves. “Before ‘Scandal,’ the only other two pilots I’d ever done were shows that got picked up, but I got fired,” Washington said at the Hollywood Reporter’s Emmy Roundtable. “They recast my character on both shows.”

A few more who could be added to the list of power women who overcame bad career breaks:

  • TV personality phenom and NAPW spokeswoman Star Jones, whose contract with talk show, The View, was not renewed in 2009. “What you don’t know is that my contract was not renewed for the 10th season,” she said in an issue of People. “I feel like I was fired.” Jones would go on to best-selling book and more television success.
  • Fab TV host Wendy Williams was fired from her top-rated Hot 97 show in 1998. She rebounded big, finding syndication success at New York radio station WBLS, hosting her own top-rated TV talk show today, and debuting on Broadway in Chicago.
  • Author and inspirational maven Iyanla Vanzant wasn’t exactly fired, but she took a major career loss when her relationship with media heavy-hitter Oprah Winfrey soured in 2000. “[The attorney said,] ‘Well, it’s clear that you’re going in a direction that Harpo isn’t, and we wish you well,’” Iyanla has recalled. She’d still pen best-selling books and return to the Winfrey dynasty with her show and guest teacher appearences on the OWN Network in 2011.

 

 

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