Career Advice for the Smart Job Seeker
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Should you film your job termination?
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to turn the tables on your employer, capturing the very moment they decide your professional fate?
In an era when sharing every aspect of our lives is no longer just the domain of the Kardashians, a new trend is emerging—filming yourself getting fired or made redundant.
But is this practice a bold act of empowerment? Or a risky move with potential consequences? In the following article, we’ll explore the whys and hows of filming such a life-altering event.
A Growing Trend
In a world where social media platforms serve as personal diaries and virtual soapboxes, it’s no surprise that some workers are choosing to document their job terminations and post it online. The rise of this trend, particularly among Gen Z and millennials, prompts us to explore why people choose to do this.
Here are the top three reasons they usually give:
1. Evidence in the Digital Age
For some, the decision to film a job termination is rooted in a desire for evidence. With virtual workspaces becoming the norm, disputes over terminations can arise, and having a recording may serve as proof of any wrongdoing or inappropriate behavior on the part of the employer.
2. Potential for Viral Social Media Content
In an age dominated by the pursuit of online visibility, filming a job termination can be seen as an opportunity for a moment of online fame. The allure of viral content and the sympathy it may generate from a global audience are powerful motivators, there’s no doubt about it. Especially when it’s done in a way that seems highly insensitive or personal (you’ve probably heard the stories of companies firing dozens or even hundreds of employees via Zoom, for example).
3. Seeking Support and Solidarity
Feeling isolated and alone after losing a job is a common experience. Filming the termination can be a way for individuals to share their vulnerability, connect with others facing similar situations, and find a sense of solidarity and support within a virtual community.
Three Perspectives on Filming a Job Termination
The Activist - Sarah
“It was a chilly Monday morning when I found myself sitting in a virtual meeting room with two HR people I had never met, facing a termination that blindsided me. I remember feeling anger and frustration boiling within me as I contemplated the injustice of it all. I’d been a top performer. My most recent performance review was positive. It didn’t make sense. The only thing I could think of was that if they were getting rid of people, they were probably going for the youngest. Two colleagues around my age had been fired the previous week, so that’s what made me think it’s an age thing. That’s when I decided to hit the record button. Filming my layoff became a tool for exposing what I believed were unfair employment practices. My family and friends, although initially shocked, rallied behind me, supporting my decision to shed light on age bias. My ex-colleagues reached out, expressing gratitude for bringing attention to issue they had silently endured. The video became a catalyst for conversations about much-needed change within the corporate realm when it comes to age, whether you’re younger or older.”
The Social Media Maven - Jakub
“As someone who has always found creative expression in every life experience, the idea of turning my job termination into shareable content intrigued me. I won’t lie; I was already working hard at becoming an influencer in my free time, so this struck me as a golden opportunity. The decision to film it wasn’t about revenge; it was about transforming a tough moment into relatable, viral material. My family and friends, who knew that I liked to turn challenges into engaging narratives, initially expressed concern. My boomer dad was shocked. But eventually, even he supported my decision. Ex-colleagues, surprisingly, found the humor in the situation. The video got mixed reactions online, from rude comments to messages of encouragement. In the end, it became a viral video that got me past the 500k subscriber mark. That was really cool.”
“The day I lost my job was horrible. I was filled with confusion, disappointment, and an overwhelming sense of isolation. Unable to bear it alone, I decided to film the termination, not as an act of rebellion, but as a plea for understanding and support. My family and friends, when they saw my vulnerability, became my pillars of strength. My former colleagues, some of whom had also been unexpectedly fired, reached out to share their stories. The video, despite its rawness, became a source of connection and support within a virtual community. It was a decision driven by a need for solidarity during a challenging period. Do I regret it? Absolutely not.”
Some Pros and Cons of Filming Your Termination
If you’re sitting there wondering if you’d film your own termination if it happened to you, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of turning this moment into a recorded spectacle.
From establishing concrete evidence for disputes to finding comfort in online support, the act of capturing your firing or redundancy in video form has become a global talking point.
However, with legal pitfalls looming and potential repercussions for your professional standing, the decision to immortalize a job termination in pixels requires careful thought.
Evidence in disputes: Filming provides an impartial record that can serve as evidence in the event of disputes or legal challenges
Online solidarity: Sharing the experience online can foster a sense of community support, connecting people who have faced similar challenges and creating a platform for shared understanding and encouragement
Transparency and accountability: Filming can empower workers by promoting transparency and holding employers accountable for their actions
Therapeutic reasons: For some, recording their termination is a therapeutic act, allowing them to express and process their emotions, and transforming a negative experience into a form of personal catharsis
Privacy law violations and legal ramifications: Filming without explicit consent may breach privacy laws, exposing you to potential legal consequences and raising ethical concerns about the invasion of personal privacy
Professional image: Sharing a job termination video publicly can negatively impact your professional image, with viewers possibly viewing the act as unprofessional or indicative of your penchant for getting involved in workplace conflicts.
Social media backlash: The viral nature of social media can lead to unintended consequences, with the video potentially being misinterpreted, taken out of context, or generating negative attention
Strained relationships: Filming and sharing the termination may impact relationships with colleagues, as they may feel uncomfortable being associated with the incident or worry about potential repercussions within the organization
Employability concerns: Future employers may be hesitant to hire someone who publicly shares such experiences, fearing a repeat of the same scenario.
In a digital era where personal and professional boundaries blur, the decision to film a job termination shouldn’t be decided on the spur of the moment.
While the act may provide a sense of empowerment, it comes with potential legal and professional risks. Striking a balance between transparency and professionalism is key.
Before reaching for the record button (and especially before hitting ‘Post’), it’s vital to consider the long-term implications and weigh the potential benefits against the costs. Because it’s not just about now: this will also affect your future career path, for better or for worse. So decide carefully.
In the end, the choice to film a job termination is a personal one. You should approach it with a clear understanding of your motives, legal ramifications, and the impact it may have on your professional journey.
Then, whichever decision you make, it will be a carefully considered and informed one.
- People film job terminations for reasons ranging from seeking evidence in disputes to finding solace in online support and creating relatable content for personal brand enhancement
- Filming one’s termination fosters a sense of community, connecting individuals globally who share similar experiences and creating a platform for shared understanding and encouragement
- The act of filming empowers workers by promoting transparency and holding employers accountable, sparking conversations about fair employment practices
- Privacy law violations and potential legal consequences loom, with the act of filming without explicit consent raising ethical concerns about the invasion of personal privacy
- Sharing termination videos publicly can negatively impact professional images, potentially deterring future employers and signaling a willingness to engage in workplace conflicts
- The viral nature of social media introduces unpredictability, with videos being misinterpreted, taken out of context, or generating unintended negative attention
- Filming and sharing terminations may impact relationships with colleagues, making them uncomfortable or concerned about potential repercussions within the organization
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