worker speaking in car with caption 'Unsolicited Career Advice' (l) worker speaking in car with hands up (c) worker speaking in car with caption 'The Person Who Would Get Fired First' (r)


‘You should identify this person as soon as you can’: TikToker says most important person at work is the ‘person they would fire first’

'What if it’s me?'


Melody Heald


Posted on Mar 21, 2023

A man went viral after stating that the most important person at work is first on the chopping block to be fired.

TikTok user Sean Holloway (@coolseandotcom) uploaded a video giving “unsolicited career advice” to his followers on March 21.

He starts the video by asking viewers who the most important person at their job is. Before giving viewers a chance to answer, Holloway knocks out plausible first guesses, saying that it’s not the boss, CEO, or “person who’s actually good and knows what they’re doing.”

Instead, he says the most important person is the one viewers are least likely to suspect.

“The most vital person to your career and livelihood is the person who they would fire first,” he says. Holloway advises viewers to “identify this person as soon as you can” when starting a new job.

“No matter what your manager, or society, or your subconscious tells you, you only need to work one iota harder than the biggest dipshit in your office,” he explains.

Holloway says when that person is “inevitably fired,” viewers can “just crank up the effort to regain your position as second to worst.” He continues by saying he identified this person at his last workplace after they named a project “after a teen girl from an anime and then submitted it to the U.S. Navy.”

“As soon as that happened, I realized: I’m safe. The bar is low,” Holloway says.

@coolseandotcom #fyp #career #careeradvice #humor ♬ original sound – Sean Holloway

The video racked up over 369,000 views within 24 hours. In the comments section, many viewers agreed with Holloway.

“As a 33 year old who’s worked numerous jobs way too hard- EXCELLENT ADVICE,” one viewer wrote.

“Straight facts,” a second agreed.

“I have ALWAYS thought this way,” a third commented.

However, some pointed out the flaws in this method.

“You’re banking on the fact that people will perceive you and your efforts accurately. This is almost never the case in my experience,” one user pointed out.

“Except when companies lay off tens of thousands at a time and performance has nothing to do with it lol,” a second added.

“Problem with this technique is that they’re usually the bosses kid,” a third said.

Others users offered additional pieces of career advice.

“My motto was always ‘Bad enough to be annoying, but not bad enough to fire,'” one person shared.

“You don’t actually have to work hard you just have to get the boss to like you,” a second stated.

“Better advice is to be good at your job, but make … some mistakes. Promotable but not indispensable at your current position and not the ‘go to’ guy,” a third advised.

In an email interview with the Daily Dot, Holloway clarified that the video was mostly a joke. However, he believes people “might as well find the minimum-effort safest position” because they can be fired even after putting in “a ton of effort.”

“I discovered this when I was really worried about getting fired at a job and putting in tons of effort, but then realized that my coworker was messing up and causing problems constantly and yet not getting fired,” he wrote.

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*First Published: Mar 21, 2023, 4:13 pm CDT