Conan's next career move: Watch and learn


Conan O'Brien is out of a job now that his last gig on "The Tonight Show" has aired, but like many unemployed people, he'll probably find losing his job to be the best move of his career.

The $32.5 million severance he's getting from NBC is enough to take care of him for life, but that's not the issue. As far as his next career move, getting kicked off the air for Jay Leno gives O'Brien the chance to become bigger and better than he ever could have been at NBC.

"If Conan stays in character as the quirky, weird-haired guy who wants to be in comedy ... he will be a bigger success than anyone can imagine," said Doug Hirschhorn, a peak performance coach to Wall Street's elite who helps them with career advice.

"It for sure could be the best thing that happens to him if he stays in character," said Hirschhorn, author of 8 Ways to Great Peak Performance on the Job and in Your Life.

If O'Brien becomes another pissed-off comedian upset with his former employer, he'll lose a lot of interest from viewers, Hirschhorn said. O'Brien's recent zingers at NBC on how much of the company's money he spent before he left may not sit too well with people in the long run.

As I wrote about recently on WalletPop, O'Brien's new job hunt is hitting a nerve with people who are either out of a job or fearing that they'll soon be out the door. Workers can empathize with someone who has worked hard for years to get where they want to be professionally, only to lose it on a whim after being on the job for a short time.