|Find in this manual|
"Coaches are Hired to be Fired," or so the saying goes. Unless you've opted to allow yourself permanent job security while setting up the game, you're faced with the same concern as every other coach and GM in the game: you need to meet your owner's expectations, or you'll be looking for other employment eventually.
Owners are a highly variable bunch, and are rated for their overall patience. Testing this can land a GM in trouble. Owners also have some strong ideas about who they employ - if you try to fire a coach they're happy with, they're not going to allow it.
Usually, you'll have some warning that you're in trouble. Aside from the obvious method of checking your Owner Confidence screen, there's another danger sign: the game uses "in jeopardy" status to mark a coach or GM who is close to being fired. It's not shown explicitly anywhere in the game, but you'll know when this has happened to you - news stories will start to appear speculating that you may be on your way out. The only way to cancel this status is a sharp reversal in your team's fortunes - i.e., start winning or you're out. During the regular season, a coach or GM must be in jeopardy to get fired - it's a necessary prerequisite that keeps teams from getting too trigger-happy.
Mid-season replacement hires generally get a lot of leeway that year, as the owner understands they're trying to salvage a season gone astray.
The offseason is the one time you can be fired with little-to-no warning. The owner will take stock of the team's situation at the end of the year, and, even if you've managed to save yourself repeatedly during the season, he may simply decide that he's not happy with the direction the team is going in and will make a change. At least you should have plenty of other job opportunities at that point from teams who've just done the same thing to your simulated counterparts.
Bear in mind that there are many, many valid (or invalid) reasons that a team can use to justify firing front office staff. The Devils dumped Robbie Ftorek with a .642 winning percentage and only a handful of games left in the regular season...and then went on to win the Cup. Moderate success is no guarantee of continued employment, especially if you're trending downward and/or have been struggling badly in recent weeks. A lot of owners are very much "What have you done for me lately?" guys.
If you are in the GM-only role, you have a bit of a safety valve: firing your coach when pressure starts to mount on you. This can buy you some time to right the ship, but there's no guarantee his replacement will do any better - and your players may not be impressed by the change.
Aside from being fired, you also have to keep your contract renewed. Usually, if you're doing well, the team will be happy to offer you a new deal. Rarely, though, they may simply decide to let your deal expire and find someone else.
If you do find yourself out of a job, it shouldn't be for too long. If you don't have an established reputation, you may not be able to find work at the highest levels right away, but as long as you have a lot of leagues set to playable, you shouldn't lack for offers from smaller leagues. Running the Sakhalin Sea Lions may not be your dream job, but it's a first step back on the road to redeeming your bruised reputation.