Toughest Moments of your Business Career

Roberto Goizueta, former president of Coca Cola, lived in 1995 one of the worst moments of his career when he promoted the launch of a new sweeter Coke, which was a complete failure.


Roberto Goizueta, former president of Coca Cola, lived in 1995 one of the worst moments of his career when he promoted the launch of a new sweeter Coke, which was a complete failure. Faced with the massive negative reaction of consumers, the company had to reverse and return to the original formula.

Nor was the break between Juan Abelló and Mario Conde, vice president and president of Banesto, respectively, after a fruitful business relationship of more than 13 years. Or the subsequent entry into prison of Mario Conde.

And what about the experience suffered by José Ignacio López de Arriortúa, Superlópez, following the suit filed by General Motors against him for alleged disclosure of trade secrets.

All of these, we already know, are or have been very high managers and entrepreneurs who have faced extreme situations. But also any professional, regardless of their rank within the company, may have to live moments of great complication.


Many of these situations can become the hardest moment of our professional career. It will depend on us to behave in the most convenient way and get out of an issue, sometimes, too compromised or thorny.

With the help of various professionals and consultants, we have detected several cases that we can define as ‘complicated situations’ that can arise during our working life. Some of them could be qualified, essentially, of professionals, but others can also affect very directly the personal field. Without a doubt, in the resolution of all of them, our professional and personal maturity will play a fundamental role.

On the other hand, we have looked for specific cases that serve as an example of some of these situations. Although we may all have gone through some of them, it is not easy to count them with names and surnames, as these are issues, sometimes very unpleasant and complicated. Therefore, we have guaranteed the confidentiality of its protagonists, hiding or changing any data that may identify him or the company in which it occurred. However, all the stories and statements that are poured into them are as real as life itself.



It is a painful situation, in which the need to produce it must be deeply analyzed. If there is no other solution, we will have to ensure that the dismissal is carried out in the best economic and social conditions for the affected person, as well as communicating it in the most appropriate situation and in the most courteous and delicate manner.

Direct and sincere

It should be taken into account if it is a massive or individual dismissal, as well as the role played by the unions in the company. In any case, when communicating, we would have to be direct and sincere.

One of the less rewarding functions is having to fire an employee, either for poor performance or to reduce costs. The best way is to do it directly. It is best to communicate the news directly, briefly and simply. The reasons must be clearly explained, trying to be as tactful as possible, but without discussing them, because it is only an informative meeting; the decision has been made previously.

The sooner the better

After the interview, the sooner the company leaves, the better. Always giving him the necessary time to collect his personal belongings and can say goodbye to his colleagues. It is not advisable to stay the fifteen days, after being dismissed, as it creates a bad environment and the dismissed usually does not feel like continuing to work and giving explanations to his colleagues of what happened.


Some people have experienced one of the worst moments of their professional lives when they have been accused of having committed fraud in the company or of having used confidential information. These are very serious issues, so we should be very clear about some issues, such as the functions and responsibility that we have in that work.

Analyze the accusations

In the first place, we should analyze in detail the accusations that they make us and try to know where they have come from, to ensure a good defense, as long as, logically, the accusations are false. According to the cases, it is advisable to go to the union representatives of the company and get a good labor lawyer.

Faced with a situation of this kind, he points out, we must listen carefully to the accusations made against us and in what evidence and arguments are supported. Next, we will collect all the possible information on this matter that may affect our intervention in it. And, third, we will seek the support of colleagues and other professionals related to the subject. With all this, we can corroborate our performance and attest that we have complied at all times with our task, with the rules of the company and with professional ethics. In this way, we will try to resolve the misunderstanding and be free, not only of the accusations that are made to us, but of any trace of suspicion that may remain.

Anyway, and although the story has a happy ending, this expert indicates that we must consider, according to the importance of the accusations and their resolution, if the company really trusts us and if, consequently, it is worth continuing in it or has come the moment to look, without haste but without pause, a new professional project.


It can happen when you are “burned”, when you feel out of place in the company, because you can not take your boss or have a bad relationship with colleagues. It will be necessary to assess very carefully if it is worth taking the decision to leave or if it is possible to make a human and professional effort so that the circumstances at work change. In addition, we will have to see the pros and cons of a decision that can radically change our lives.

Some questions

The first impressions you feel when you want to leave your job are “confusing”, so you should clearly ask some questions: Why am I not satisfied in my work? Are you treating me well? Am I the one who does not feel comfortable?

If the answers lead us to make the decision to leave, we should do it without creating unnecessary conflicts, just in case we need references for further work. Once the decision is made, it is best to face it directly and talk to your boss sincerely about the reasons that lead you to submit the withdrawal and see if there is any possibility of change.

Rate the reasons

On many occasions, it is only necessary to be aware that a specific attitude or circumstance can annoy another person. Then it is possible that it can be changed. Of course, it will never be possible for a change to occur if it is unknown that it bothers. If the reasons that lead to this important decision can not be changed, it will be necessary to assess very well, before resigning, the possibilities of employment or the change that the new life will bring.


You may be asked to look for a substitute for a professional in the company. It is essential that the HR department be clear that one of the essential requirements is discretion. In HR, the majority of information received is confidential, salaries, evaluations and staff reports and, of course, dismissals or reductions in staff, which may be of more or less close persons, but in all cases must be treated with the professionalism that the position requires.

Do not give information

Another thing is that you have to lie, which should not be done. It is preferable not to give any type of information, true or false, but neither to let believe that everything is perfect.


In this case, it is recommended to be very friendly at all times and avoid any unnecessary conflict, since we do not know what the future holds and there may be opportunities to collaborate again. Above all, we must be very polite and explain our motives as objectively as possible.

However, this is not an obstacle to face the situation firmly and decisively. Above all, we must make it clear that, for your part, the decision is already taken and is irrevocable. In this way, we will not give you the opportunity to discuss. Next, we will try to reach the best solution to dissolve society, without rushing too much, but as quickly as possible.


When our current company has behaved well with us, it is more difficult to accept a tempting offer from the competition for a new job. Especially, if we just finance a major training program. The commitment requires calculating the reasons for the change and compensating, if possible, the previous company. Also, we would have to take into account the conditions in which the program financed us, the circumstances, and so on.


It is a very complicated issue, since it is difficult to investigate someone without breaking the discretion, without looking bad and without raising slander, but maintaining loyalty and efficiency at work.

A detailed study

In general, it is advisable, first, to study the matter in detail with the maximum information available. Next, it would be convenient to probe, with discretion, the behavior that this person has had with his colleagues, if any, in relation to the subject under investigation. In parallel, we could also check if he has been honest in other situations and how he has behaved in other cases. All this, logically, without attracting much attention. If we conclude that there is sufficient evidence to believe that there has been an incorrect action, we must communicate this to the manager who has commissioned the investigation, who must make the relevant decision.


Sometimes, a professional pacts some conditions with the company that then does not comply. The matter will depend on whether these conditions are in writing or not, in order to legally demand compliance. Although we must be aware that if you come into conflict with the company on this issue, there will hardly be a continuity in the position, so you can think very well, before entering into a legal conflict, the interest or not to continue in the job.

Anyway, a situation of breach of commitments says very little of the ethics and values ​​that you have, and perhaps, and even without entering into legal claims, it is convenient to start looking for a new job with a more serious company.


If you are offered a transfer with promotion included, it is advisable to think about the problems for the family, especially if the spouse has a job and the children do not like the transfer. The problem is that the negative is interpreted as a lack of commitment to the company and to the career. It is recommended to study the areas that may be affected by the transfer: professional career and family life. This way, the advantages and disadvantages that these entail will be valued and to consider to what extent it will compensate us to make some sacrifices.


This situation can leave you burned for the future, because they will see you as “the butcher”. Probably, you have to negotiate your own exit before starting the work, not to negotiate it later.


It will be necessary to agree beforehand on the objectives of the restructuring of the workforce and the conditions in which it must take place so that, subsequently, no surprises or new demands arise from the owners of the company. Also, we will have to make clear with the owners of the company if they are going to use us, fundamentally, to carry out the adjustment, or if they count on us also for the future project of the entity.