The injured star quarterback Peyton Manning was released from his contract on March 7 by the Indianapolis Colts, the NFL football team he led to victory in 150 regular season and two AFC championship games during a 14-year run.
Andy Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open tennis champion, observed, “The Colts cutting Peyton feels like the North Pole kicking out Santa.” So what was the North Pole thinking?
Probably the same thing your employer was thinking, if you happen to have been “released” for reasons other than poor performance (or attitude). With the addition of a new head coach, the team's salary cap problems, and a long, painful couple of years of rebuilding ahead, the Colts made what they thought was a good business decision.
Let what Manning did in the face of that business decision, one that has turned his life upside down, be an inspiration to you if you're faced with a breakup-style ending with an employer.
Manning praised the team's equipment managers
In a press conference where raw emotions surfaced, Manning got choked up when he talked about his time with everyone associated with the Colts franchise: “We’ve got the greatest equipment guys in the world. I think about those type of relationships--not necessarily always on the field, and the touchdown throw to win the game. It's the behind the scenes. The laughs. The stories. The times spent together. Those are the memories...those will be with me for the rest of my life."
Show appreciation for those who made it a good experience for you. Take what you learned, the skills you developed and the good memories with you as you face the job search and the next chapter in your life.
Manning showed respect for the decision-makers
"We all know that nothing lasts forever. Times change, circumstances change, and that's the reality of playing in the NFL," Manning said in the press conference. It's been reported that when the press conference ended, Manning reached over to shake hands with the guy who fired him — the team’s owner — who instead tried to offer a hug, and they wound up settling for pats on the shoulder before leaving the room together.
It's been written since that rarely do star athletes who are not retiring show up at a press conference to let the world know they’ve been dumped.
Remember, your “release” wasn't personal if it wasn't related to your performance or attitude. You were the right employee at the wrong time. Let that be a consolation. Sometimes businesses need to rebuild if they are to remain viable. It hurts, and it stinks for you, but you can walk away with great references if you show respect for the decision and the people who had to make it.
Manning didn't act as if he had been wronged; he continued to be generous to people
It's been reported that shortly after he was released from the Colts, Manning had dinner with large group at a steakhouse in Raleigh, N.C. An 18 percent gratuity was added to the bill's total. But Manning still left a $200 tip on top of the 18 percent - making it about 50 percent. Turns out the waiter who got the big tip from Manning took a picture of the bill and posted it online (and he's been fired for doing it, by the way). Media pundits who’ve followed Manning's career and this story have written about his 50-percent tip being a display of Manning's character and values, and not any sort of big-spending theatrics. Off the field, as well, Manning is considered to be a great guy.
Even though you're out of work unexpectedly through no fault of your own, there are other people you're going to come into contact with who have it even rougher. Rise above your situation. Be generous with your time and resources. You're apt to land on your feet, even if it takes some time to heal your bruised ego and land another job. For others who struggle with performance issues or attitude problems, things might not turn out so well for them.
Be easy on yourself and respectful and generous to other people, and you'll be back in the game in no time.
"After hearing 'we know you've tried but we're going to have to let you go...' I was devastated, but I did the best I could. I'd been in the hotel industry for 6 years." Snagajob member Christine shared her success story on our Facebook about how she scored a new job, and she encourages others to “just think positive!”