What to Do After Getting Fired

You’re Fired Now What’s Next

Being fired or laid off is usually not a welcomed scenario. Individuals that are in this predicament have two choices: exacerbate the situation or remain calm.

Remain Calm and Relax

It is better mentally and emotionally to remain calm and relaxed when faced with adversity. Losing a job may be challenging but it’s not the end of the world. If a calm attitude is sustained clarity and good decision making can lead to better employment opportunities.

Do Not Overthink

It’s important not to over think the past & future, nor to practice extreme self-criticism. When conducting self-inventory it should be in the context of reinforcing strengths and generating positive thoughts. Don’t be an incubator for anxiety and frustration.

“Life after unemployment” is not exempt from systematic processing. The primary goal is obvious: find another job. The steps getting there is not always clear. First and foremost when seeking employment remain professional. This includes not doing negative things like posting dramatic exit-messages (video or text) on social media sites. If discovered by potential employers it can negatively impact the application process.

Before the last day of employment collect permanent contact information from colleagues. Sometimes layoffs are staged and others may be released after your departure. Unemployed colleagues can be a good source of employment opportunities.

Focus on Personal Objectives

Before executing the task of job hunting take a few days off to focus on personal objectives. Use the window of opportunity to work on home improvement projects or spend time with family & friends. Taking time to reflect and clear the mind can be rewarding in many ways. However, never take a break from managing personal finances because finding a job can take up to three (3) months. Keep an open mind and consider temporary employment until something permanent is secured.

Embrace Confidence

Embrace confidence to focus on obstacles job hunting will present. Plan and search wisely, don’t carelessly distribute resumes bypassing quality jobs. If you’re willing to accept a position with your previous employer, it’s recommended to search for jobs within your industry. If the scope of your search extends beyond prior experience then conduct extensive market research to determine a good match.

Prepare for Your Next Interview

Prepare for the interview process and have a clear answer for the reason of termination. Large companies with publicized layoffs can make telling the story easy. Layoffs from small companies may require a well-thought-out explanation. Terms and phrases like restructuring, consolidation or company relocation can be used. But always be honest and consistent with explanations that previous managers and references will give.

When leaving a company it is commendable to thank colleagues, managers and HR staff for the opportunities and experience. Showing gratitude and lack of bitterness can create advocates on your behalf. It can also comfort active employees that are sympathetic or suffering from anxiety related to potential job loss.

Prior to the last day of employment negotiate severance packages and accrued paid time off. Also track important dates to manage insurance policies and 401Ks. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Keep all options on the table. Inquire about working with the current employer as a consultant or in a joint venture capacity. Managers might choose alternate options to firing when factors like familiarity with company policies, procedures and expectations are considered.

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