By Gretchen Carlson
One week after getting married in my 30s — while I was working as the main anchor in Cleveland, Ohio — I got fired. The station was the first to try a double female anchor team in prime time — revolutionary and risky — and when it didn't work, I was the obvious one to go. The other female anchor was born and bred in Cleveland. I was the outsider. But it still hurt. I got called up to the general manager's office a week after my honeymoon, and he told me I was done.
Read an excerpt on this story from Getting Real:
Then he added, "Now that you're married, you'll be okay." I was too stunned to respond, but later it was those words — Now that you're married, you'll be okay — that upset me. I was so disappointed that after I'd spent four years at his station, he still had no idea who I was. I was a professional who had dedicated years to establishing my career, and he had brushed me off with a gratuitous remark. I'd never heard of a man losing his job and being told, "Don't worry. You're married. You'll be okay." My career had zero to do with whether or not my husband also worked. It had everything to do with personal identity, personal goals, and making the most of my life.
For years, I never spoke publicly about being fired. I was too embarrassed and ashamed. It was a huge failure. But after getting back on my feet and working so hard to get on the national stage, I realized I could help other people who'd also been humiliated with losing their jobs. I started speaking out about my firing only recently - and I have a special place in my heart for anyone who's ever lost their job and is still looking for their next job. I feel their pain.