7 Dumbest Career-Ending Mistakes of All Time


Everybody makes mistakes. However, some career-ending mistakes are so bad that they’ll never be forgotten. These seven career-ending mistakes are both devastating and something you can learn from. Take heed of these stories the next time you’re in a job interview!

Number Seven: Selling Apple. Ronald Wayne was in his 40s when he met Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, who were just 21 and 25 at the time. Together, they created Apple. However, Wayne backed out of their deal after just two weeks and sold his 10 percent of shares for $2,300. Now he’s in his 80s and has to sell stamps to support his monthly Social Security income.

Number Six: Phonebook Typo. Banner Travel Agency made a giant fumble when they tried to place an ad in the yellow pages in 1988. The ad was supposed to read “exotic travel services”; however, the ad ended up reading “erotic travel services.” Over 80 percent of the business was lost, not to mention the obnoxiously lewd phone calls.

Number Five: Cedar Fire. In 2003, one hunter was lost when he decided to start a fire. However, the flames quickly grew out of control, and he couldn’t put the fire out. This fire, now named Cedar Fire, the largest fire in California’s history and destroyed more than 300,000 acres.

Number Four: Firework Factory. An employee at a Danish firework factory in 2002 got butter fingers and dropped some firecrackers on the ground. Thinking it was no big deal, he bent down to pick them up, but the friction actually ignited them, causing a fire. This fire triggered every single firework in the factory to go off, and it led to approximately $100 million in damages.

Number Three: Flammable Barrels. In Nevada, some careless welders were working at PEPCON, a plant that produced rocket boosters when a fire broke loose due to a spark landing on explosive components. Two people were killed, 372 were injured, and there were $100 million in damages as a result.

Number Two: Underground Explosions. In 1992, underground gas explosions in Mexico caused the deaths of 252 people and $750 million in damages. The gas explosions were caused by an anonymous independent contractor who installed water pipes next to a gas pipeline. The humidity from the water pipes eroded the gas pipes, causing the gas to leak into the water pipe and sewage system. The explosions then ensued.

Number One: Lost in Space. In 1998, NASA scientists lost track of the Mars Climate Orbiter just because of a measuring malfunction. A subcontractor, Lockheed Martin, was hired to build the orbiter, but instead of using Newtons to build it, they used pounds. The mistake caused the orbiter to be lost in space forever.