It can take less than a minute to get fired. Less than a minute to hear the words that change your life as you’ve known it. You’re stunned, shocked, humiliated—because your career has defined your life and you’ve been blindsided. You’re a company Loyalist with a capital L, and you’ve been sucker punched professionally. How do you even talk about this?
Countless books focus on leadership and resilience, but none of them take you through what actually happens to women leaders who are suddenly let go, or who endure untenable circumstances and ultimately fire themselves. None of them take you, step by step, through the emotional process of acceptance and beginning again. And that’s where Involuntary Exit comes in.
With advice for every unexpected twist, turn, and emotional trigger, this book is based on author Robin Merle’s experience at the top of billion-dollar organizations, as well as her interviews with accomplished women who were suddenly severed from their organizations and navigated their way back to success. The real-life examples she offers in these pages prove that you’re not alone—and that you, too, will get through this. Whether you’ve been fired or need to move on, Involuntary Exit will help you rediscover your value and emerge as a stronger leader on your own terms.
“Involuntary Exit should be compulsory reading for women at the top of their professions—and all who are navigating upward.” Deb Taft, Chief Executive Officer, Lindauer Global
Target market: This book is primarily targeted at mid- to high-ranking professional women, a large group that continues to grow; in fact, in 2019, there were almost 77 million women in the labor force and women held 51.8% of all management, professional, and related occupations.
Addresses important issues: A 2018 study by Fortune revealed that female CEOs are 45% more likely to get fired than their male counterparts, even when their companies are performing well; career-focused women need a resource like this book to figure out their next move when they’re let go.
Timely themes: In November 2020, 14.8 million people in the US reported that they had been unable to work because their employer closed or lost business due to the pandemic. This book will help the newly unemployed navigate the challenges of sudden job loss, including the struggle with separating identity from career and rediscover self-value after job loss.
For readers who liked . . . You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero, Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brené Brown, and Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You’re Worth by Mika Brzezinski.
Robin Merle has been a senior executive for billion-dollar organizations. She is a veteran of the power, value, and identity wars at the top ranks and has raised more than a half-billion dollars in philanthropy during her nearly forty years working with nonprofit organizations. She has served as a board member for three nonprofits in New York City, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals, New York City Chapter; the New York Women’s Agenda; and Women In Development, New York (WID). She also has been a vice chair of National Philanthropy Day in New York. In 2017, she was named Woman of Achievement by WID for her leadership in fundraising and commitment to supporting women in the field. Robin is a frequent speaker at national conferences on fundraising and leadership. Her short fiction has been published in various literary magazines. Involuntary Exit is her first nonfiction book.
Mid- to high-ranking professional women
Women who are in senior management and women who want to get there someday
Women who are more junior in their careers and looking for advice to navigate their careers forward
Career-focused women, especially those who have been fired or who lost their job during the pandemic Anyone who is unemployed and who feels like they lost their identity when they lost their job
"Being savvy about being fired is an essential skillset you never knew you needed. Involuntary Exit is a necessary read for women in the development profession!"
"The wisdom contained in these pages will assist you on the most important journey of all: happiness."
"This is more than a book about working through an abrupt career change; it is a book that reminds you of your inherent value, your strengths, and your resources no matter where you’re at in life. As Robin beautifully reminds us, you are not alone."
"This book will empower you to reclaim your personal value and give you the courage to create a positive future."
"Real and relatable, the book follows the stories of a handful of powerful, hardworking women in chronological order, drawing guidance from their exit processes… Smart, snappy advice breaks up each chapter. These suggestions are applicable to anyone who works for someone other than themselves, making the book relevant and useful for more than just its target audience (women who are going through a firing). "
"The resounding theme in Robin’s book is your instinct is always your guide. I lost my compass on this years ago, and Involuntary Exit reminded me how important it is to use that muscle, that voice, every day. I’m thrilled to be in this timeless book, may we all learn and listen to our instinct."
"Taking risks is necessary for all women in leadership. So is having a Plan B, C, and D. As CEO of a global executive search firm, I believe Involuntary Exit should be compulsory reading for women at the top of their professions—and all who are navigating upward."
"Next time a friend loses her job, buy her this book (along with a bottle of wine!). Robin Merle’s Involuntary Exit: A Woman’s Guide to Thriving After Being Fired is part survival guide and part group hug. It accurately details the trauma of unexpected job loss and provides helpful instructions for beginning to put one foot in front of the other, embracing the possibilities and creating your own success."