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Five Super Successful Women Who’ve Been Fired In The Past

Argh, life is complicated, sometimes you get fired. Whether it’s based on something you’ve done, or simply down to cuts, it happens. Here are five super successful women who have more than overcome the fact that they were fired in the past!

boss lady

Photo via We Heart It

#1 J.K Rowling

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We love J.K, she constantly speaks out about overcoming adversity and fulfilling her dreams of writing a book, but according to Business Insider, Rowling was fired from her job as a secretary for just that. It must have hurt at the time, but it didn’t hinder her dreams and she went on to write the most successful children’s book series of all time.

#2 Anna Wintour

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We know her as the frosty and fashionable editor of Vogue, but long before that she worked at Harper’s Bazaar, which resulted in her being fired. She spoke about it at a Teen Vogue Conference and told the audience “I recommend that you all get fired, it’s a great learning experience.”

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#3 Kerry Washington

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It’s hard to imagine the great Olivia Pope ever being fired, but way before ‘Scandal’, she starred in shows that she was dropped from after the pilot episode. It can’t be easy to be let go and then watch someone else take over your role, but as disheartening as this must have been for her, she stuck at it and kept going back to auditions.

#4 Sallie Krawcheck

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Wall Street’s “most powerful women,” was fired from her position at Bank of America in 2011. She said she was grateful for being fired, and now she is a business leader at 85 Broads, which just goes to show that being let go isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you.

#5 Oprah Winfrey

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When Oprah was an evening news reporter, she couldn’t help getting emotional about the stories she was reading, as such the producer of her programme pulled her off the air, she was obviously too emotional for news, but he saw something else in her and offered her a role on a daytime TV show, which led to her astounding success on her own chat show. Her story shows that a weakness in one sector could be a strength in another.

All these super successful women have proven that in order to be successful you have to keep going, even when the going gets tough! Read more on Business Insider.

Filed under: Lifestyle


Beth is the managing editor of CGD and lives in London surrounded by piles of papers and highlighters. In her spare time she has conversations with dogs and writes short stories.


  1. Maria @ bread & butter says

    There’s a youtube video of an interview Oprah did at Stanford University where she talks in detail about her entire career, including her firing. It is one of the most inspirational things I have ever seen! I watch it every once in a while to keep me motivated.

  2. Laura says

    To be fired is not the end of the world; it just means that your vision doesn’t match the vision of the company. So what; find a company which shares your vision or build one. You always have a choice :) .

  3. Elizabeth Rebecca says

    This is quite motivating in some ways.

    Lizzie Dripping

  4. Emily says

    All incredible women, none of whom you would expect to have been fired. I love that “a weakness in one sector could be a strength in another.”


    a weakness in one sector could be a strength in another.


  5. Gemma Carey says

    This is so interesting! Can’t believe Anna Wintour was fired from Harpers and now works for Vogue! That’s insane!

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