Grace.....All due respect to you, your parent's warning to you and to what appears to be an adamant, narrow opinion on an extremely complex & varied fact of life. This is simply not the case at all for untold hundreds of thousands of people in the workforce.
It is not at all naive nor unrealistic to be well aware that the VAST majority of individuals who may have been let go from a job, ANY job, are NOT tragically "doomed to failure".....and your "Kiss of death," comment.....well frankly Grace, I'm shocked you use such fatal terminology in this circumstance.
At this moment, I am able to call to mind such a vast number of cases that negate this attitude entirely, for the first time in a long time, I intend to utilize your question to write a hub on this very topic. Fortunately, my own career experiences provides me with an endless array of cases, circumstances and highly successful individuals to prove this is an unnecessary and unwarranted attitude.
In this particular venue, we are not allowed enough character space for me to do this justice. I am honestly rather stunned that you, as an intelligent, open-minded professional woman have allowed yourself to embrace this concept.
You neglect to bring into focus here, the "jobs/careers" involved, the terms of employment, the alleged basis/reason for termination, and have not explained your follow-up on the countless individuals you are certain went on to "failure," rather than possible success.
Since my intention is to present my rebuttal in hub form, I will end here with just one of HUNDREDS of case histories, to give you a slight example . (This is unusual that I disagree with you...so remember I love you anyway! LOL)
Going back a couple decades, in my capacity as Human Resources Director for a major corporation of our Tri-State area, one of our branch facilities had an Administrative Assistant who had been with the company for several years, working her way up from the pool of general secretaries. The undercurrent for months was that this young woman was clearly in the running for next in line to the Assistant General Manager's position.
As fate would have it, our GM was suddenly snatched up by Corporate and assigned to another property, meaning for a couple of weeks, we were left without a GM. When a new GM finally came aboard, I had to meet with him to bring him up to our current status quo. Afterwards I sensed that there would be a serious personality conflict between him and our Miss Admin. Asst. How did I know? (That's why they pay Human resources the big bucks,,just trust me)
I was right. Within less than 2 weeks, the new GM found a dastardly & sneaky way to terminate her. Believe me when I tell you she was beyond devastated. I seriously worried about her.
This woman took her 20 years of hard work, her personnel file, resume and determination to pound the pavement and go forward. In less than 3 months, she had secured herself a "GM" position with our biggest competitor, a salary and benefit package in excess of our GM......and went on to far surpass annual sales of our facility, 3years in a row.
Termination a Kiss of death? Well sort of, but not for her!!