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Lecture Teaches College Students How to Get Fired!


Veteran comedian and corporate speaker Jeff Havens has created “How to Get Fired!,” a comedic lecture designed to help college students succeed in the working world by encouraging them to indulge in the behaviors that most commonly cost workers their jobs. An accompanying book, How to Get Fired!: The New Employee’s Guide to Perpetual Unemployment, is due in bookstores in April 2010.

“The lecture and book are unique because I approach these very serious subjects in an entertaining way,” says Havens, 31, who graduated summa cum laude from Vanderbilt University. “College students don’t want to be lectured to, even when the information is important. That’s why ‘How to Get Fired!’ feels more like a comedy show than a lecture. It’s comedy with a purpose.”

“How to Get Fired!” is organized around the “Four Pillars of Poverty” – fake your résumé, establish your incompetence, destroy your work ethic, and alienate your co-workers. Replete with satire, “Fired!” ‘encourages’ students to treat their job like college, gossip about colleagues on Facebook and Twitter, surf the Internet, dress unprofessionally, and blame others for their own failings. Both lecture and book end with serious discussions on how college graduates can successfully transition into the working world – not only how to get a job but also how to keep one.

“The working world does not function the way that college does,” Havens says. “It’s not better or worse, just different. And for students who expect the professional world to cater to them the way college does, the culture shock can be severe. ‘How to Get Fired!’ is designed to make that transition as easy as possible.”

David Nevins, Leadership Development Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, declares, “Jeff addresses how to keep a job in today’s downsizing environment by weaving humor and a much-appreciated dose of sarcasm that students ‘get.’ He’s serious about his presentation without taking himself too seriously.”

Havens, who still tours as a stand-up comedian and is scheduled to make his first Comedy Central appearance later in 2010, enjoys the dual nature of “How to Get Fired!” “After college I was a high school English teacher. I love making people laugh, but I’ve always had a desire to do something more meaningful. This gives me the opportunity to do both. It’s perfect.”


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