Top 13 Things To Do After Getting Fired
By Olga Butyrina, Career Expert // May 8, 2020
A study in the book “The CEO Next Door” proves that 91% of terminated people find a new job that outshines the previous one and meets their expectations and needs to a greater extent. 78% of them even manage to get leadership positions.
This percentage proves that a dismissal is not a career collapse but rather an opportunity to move on. The main thing is to know where to start. In this guide, you will learn what to do when you get fired and how to turn this bad situation into a good advantage.
Post-Dismissal Action Plan
Getting fired from a job is a stressful situation that often catches workers by surprise causing them to be guided by emotions and not by common sense.
But this is a faulty tactic since you cannot change the decision of the employer. You could end up losing your face and ruining your professional reputation.
To avoid making a bad situation worse, take a deep breath, get a grip of yourself, and follow a well-thought-out action plan.
1. Calm down
Once you find out about your dismissal, you want to set the record straight, identify the reasons, engage in a dispute, or prove that their decision was ill-judged.
However, the first reaction is not always the best one. Straight talk with superiors is inevitable, but you should not start it right after you receive painful news.
Instead, give yourself time to gather your thoughts, rethink the situation, and accept it. It may take a couple of hours, but this time is needed to calm down so that you don’t say things you don’t mean or will regret later.
2. Clarify the reasons for getting fired
After the first reaction is left behind, ask the employer or HR manager to explain the reasons for their decision. This is a far from pleasant conversation, but it is better to get through it than to be left in the dark to self-chastise.
Try to find benefits from the conversation. If the reason is budget cuts or other external factors, you can just breathe a sigh of relief as the fault was not your own and you can not turn things around.
But even if it is about your performance, skills, or qualifications, take this chance to learn about your gaps, understand areas for improvement, and get food for thought.
Remember, accepting a problem is the first step to solving it. Accordingly, if you know your weaknesses, you can eradicate them and avoid mistakes in your future work.
3. Determine your eligibility for benefits
Establishing the true reasons for dismissal is necessary to understand whether you can apply for unemployment benefits from the state or severance pay from the company.
Both payments are available only if you are not fired for cause. Fraud, theft, failure of a drug test, or any other illegal action that has damaged the company will disqualify you from receiving benefits.
If, however, you were terminated for any peaceful reason, feel free to contact the state or company for support. This will be your financial cushion during the period of searching for another job.
Besides, you could be fired wrongly due to discrimination or slander. In this case, feel free to solicit the support of a lawyer and fight for well-deserved compensation.
4. Leave the door ajar
Even if it seems to you that you were fired unfairly, and your talent has remained depreciated, you should not lash out at your employer and burn bridges.
You will regret the hasty actions. Instead, test the waters for future collaboration. For example, if you were laid off due to budget cuts for your role, take an interest in other available vacancies in the company, and if you still lack the skills that qualify you for the post, discuss comeback opportunities after additional training.
5. Ask for recommendations
It may happen that there is no opportunity to return to the company. In this case, your rapport with the employer and the team can play into your hands.
Ask them to provide you with positive recommendations for the upcoming application process and interviews. Such documents increase the credibility of the applicant, along with their chances of employment.
The best way to handle being fired is to focus on the future rather than the past.
You can ask yourself the following questions:
• Do I want to adhere to the previously chosen professional path?
• Am I ready to fix the weaknesses that caused my dismissal? Is it worth it?
• How long will training and self-improvement take?
• Did the previous job meet my expectations?
• Do I realize my full potential?
• What do I want today?
• What qualifications, skills, and personal qualities do I have to succeed in my career?
Could I decide to change my career for a promising future?
These and other questions will help you choose a development path. Perhaps you can immediately begin to improve yourself and search for a job identical to the previous one. And maybe you will understand that dismissal is one of the welcome signs to try your luck in a new industry.
7. Gain the support of your close setting
You can tell your friends or relatives about your dismissal, but after you think through your message. Are you still worried or ready to move on?
Will you look for work or take a break? What are your current goals? Can they help you achieve them? Provide the information you are ready to share about your life stage, so that your loved ones understand how to respond to it.
Perhaps one of them knows a person who is looking for an employee right now, or another can give valuable advice. The outcome depends on the delivery of your message.
8. Update your resume
At the moment, you have completed another career stage, and this is an occasion to analyze it and add it to your resume. Think about what new skills you mastered at your last job, what difficulties you managed to overcome, or what you brought to the team.
Even being laid off unfairly, you still walk away with a conclusion from this experience that brought you to a new professional level.
9. Start your job search
After introspection, you understand your goals and preferences, and therefore it’s time to explore the current labor market offers.
Study the salary levels, working conditions, and the main requirements in your industry in general and your position in particular.
It will help you to understand what qualifications you are ready to offer now and which ones still have to be improved. To stay up to speed, set up notifications on job boards and get new available vacancies every week.
10. Create a cover letter
A cover letter is always customized for a specific position that shows an employer your genuine interest. When you stumble upon an attractive vacancy, study it carefully, and be prepared to reflect every requirement in your self-presentation.
Also, add a few words about your motivation and the reasons for choosing the company. It will enhance your message. If you need successful samples, GetCoverLetter.com service can come in handy.
11. Continue self-development
You can master the skills that became a stumbling block in a previous position, focus on qualifications for the new desired area, or just devote time to knowledge you never had time to gain before. In any case, each improvement brings you one step closer to a cherished and highly paid job.
12. Prepare for an interview
Rehearse your self-presentation and think ahead about what you will say if your dismissal comes up. The employer will ask elaborative questions like “Why are you looking for a job?” or “Why did you leave your last job?” Regardless of the reasons, remember the basic rules of business etiquette:
• Do not lie to a potential employer but honestly explain the reasons for dismissal
• Do not revile the previous employer
• Do not discredit a company for which you worked
• Do not cast yourself as a victim of circumstances but prove that you are responsible for your actions.
13. Do not mistrust your powers
You have no reason to doubt your professional aptitude after a job loss. If you have not met the expectations of one employer, it just means that you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
There are many other companies, corporate cultures, tasks, and responsibilities that will allow you to be in your element.
Dismissal can be unsettling for even the most steadfast employees because it is impossible to prepare for and is hard to take indifferently.
Nevertheless, try to find the benefits from the situation. During your busy working day, you did not have time to revise your career priorities, approach to work, and goals, but now you have a unique opportunity to improve yourself. Use this occasion for a professional reboot.
Remember that the right conclusions, a positive attitude, and motivation will help you get a job after being fired and get back on track with renewed vigor.
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