6 super successful people who were fired from their “dream job”

Whether you’ve been recently let go from your “dream job” and you’re still trying to find your sea legs as you navigate your next steps, or you’ve become unsure about whether or not your “dream job” really is, well, the stuff your dreams are made of, as it turns out, the job of your dreams may be just the beginning on your path to greatness and success.

Below, we’ve pulled together a list of highly successful executives and business owners who were publicly fired from their first “dream job”—and how they used that small set back to get motivated, see things more clearly, and finally make the move they always wanted to.

From Anna Wintour, the Global Chief Content Officer for Condé Nast, to Mark Cuban, the multi-millionaire businessman and Shark Tank investor, here are a handful of well-known visionaries who got their real start only after being fired.

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg may be one of the richest men in the United States—but his success story wasn’t without a struggle. Bloomberg was let go from the Salomon Brothers investment bank in 1998 but he used his severance money to start his own investing firm. It’s safe to say that as the 18th richest person in the US, his initial career setback really paid off.

Anna Wintour

Anna Wintour is best known as the Editor-in-Chief at American Vogue, and while she currently holds many other executive titles within the Condé Nast publishing house, she wasn’t always a publishing powerhouse. The British journalist was once fired from her junior level editorial role at Harper’s Bazaar and now famously tells fashion students that she believes everyone should get fired if they really want to grow.

Oprah Winfrey

It’s hard to imagine Oprah Winfrey as anything other than a multi-talented American treasure. But the media mogul had a rocky start when trying to break into the business. Oprah was told she was “unfit for television news” by her producer and was demoted to daytime TV—and let’s just say it worked in her favor.

Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban always knew he wanted to be in sales and finance—but his first salesman job made it pretty clear that he’d be unable to work for anyone other than himself. One day, when he didn’t open the computer store he was working because of a pending deal he was working on, his boss let him go. He went on to start his own company—MicroSolutions—and the rest is history.

Steve Jobs

While Steve Jobs will be remembered as a tech wunderkind as long as we tap away on our iPhones and MacBooks, the co-founder of Apple was actually let go from Apple, which led to a decade of soul searching, the creation of new companies—including Pixar—and eventually a return to Apple with fresh ideas.

Walt Disney

Imagine the entertainment space without Disney? It’d be a pretty bleak place! But one newspaper editor didn’t see the potential we’ve all come to love and cherish. Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star due to having “lacked imagination and had no good ideas” which fueled his desire to start his own cartoon company.