You’re Fired! Now What?

you're fired now whatGetting fired from a job can be a blow to the self-esteem of many professionals.  Many emotions can come up, and it can seem like the end of the world right after it happens.  It can be tempting to let these emotions take over and hole up into a ball of self-pity.  But it’s important to remember you are not alone, and the last thing you want to do is make a bad situation worse by making impulsive decisions.  So before you write out an angry e-mail to your former boss, or let the world how hurt and infuriated you are over social media, pause and give yourself time to decide what healthy steps you can take to move forward.  Below are some suggestions on how to regroup after getting fired from your job:

1)  Work to maintain relationships with co-workers and clients

While you may not be able to get your job back, you can lessen any negative impact that getting fired from your job may have on your future career and job search.  If there are any co-workers or clients you had positive relationships with, be sure to reach out to them, let them know what a pleasure it was working with them, and express your desire to stay in touch.  They are likely to have seen some of your best work accomplishments, and are willing to vouch for you as a professional reference or networking contact.

2)  Give ample attention to legal matters

Do not put off tasks such as reviewing your severance agreement with a lawyer or filing for unemployment.  By waiting too long after getting fired to take care of these matters, you risk shortchanging yourself.   At the same time, be sure to thoroughly read any paperwork involved in your transition out of your job, and take the time to work out the best agreement for yourself.  Since it may take some time to find your next job, you want to ensure you are financially comfortable in the meantime.

3)  Take a close look at the causes and conditions

Getting fired from your job can be a huge turning point in your career if you can learn from it.  Being as objective as possible, look at any mistakes you may have made, and vow to handle those situations differently in the future.  Maybe the job just simply wasn’t right for you to begin with, and now you have a better idea of the direction you want to take in your career.

4)  Find out how to address the situation in future interviews

Discuss with your former employer how you can describe your termination in interviews, and see if they will agree to remain neutral and simply give the dates of your employment when contacted by companies you interview with in the future. But this agreement should go both ways; so don’t make negative comments about your former employer in future interviews.  This will only show immaturity and a failure to take responsibility on your part.

5)  Get right back into the game

The sooner you get back into the job search after getting fired, the more hopeful you will feel.  So start updating your resume, contacting your references and think about what you want your next job to be like.  Let your professional network know you are currently looking for work, and work on obtaining new contacts that can help you work towards your career goals.  While there will be a good amount of work involved in landing your next position, this should also be a time of excitement and opportunity.

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Jessica Cody

Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.

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