Got Fired? What’s Next?

This article is a survival kit that can help you pick up the pieces and make a new start. Getting fired can be the perfect opportunity to reinvent and rebrand yourself.

There are four phases that you must go through before you will be able to recover and reinvent yourself.

ACCEPT IT: You must get through the denial phase as quickly as possible. Accept that you have been fired, and then start working on rebuilding your career, as only you can. It is absolutely OK to feel sorry for yourself for a few days, but don’t stay there too long. Take some time and do something for you. Unless you seriously intend to pursue legal action, forget about blame. Admit it was your own fault you got fired, and go on from there. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain at this point. Success is the best revenge, so use this time to pursue your goals.

GET MENTALLY READY TO REINVENT YOUR CAREER: There is no need to focus on why you got fired. It is not the end of the world. Actually, it’s a rebirth on many levels. The bottom line is you have to pick up the pieces and sell yourself to potential employers. Before you begin, you need to take some steps to minimize the effect getting fired may have on your job search. You may want to consider how you will present your departure from your last company. Think positively, as you do not want to give any negative signals to interviewers. This is your time to coach yourself to success. You don’t have to volunteer the fact that you were fired from your last job on your resume. Make no reference to it on your cover letter either. There will be an opportunity to discuss it later, if necessary. It’s not your obligation to bring it up; just do not lie about it if asked.

CREATE AND LAUNCH YOUR PLAN OF ACTION: This is a no-brainer. Start your job hunt and go get another job. Get busy with your best job-hunting techniques such as networking, resume distribution, calling former colleagues, reaching out to friends and family, etc. Just put together a plan and make it happen.

ACE THE INTERVIEW: OK, so your hard work has paid off and you now have an interview. Now what? Again, you do not ever have to volunteer that you were “involuntarily terminated.” The interviewer may or may not ask. If asked, do not play word games or dance around the fact that you were terminated. Just admit it. Ask for a chance to explain the circumstances. Be tactful when you explain why you were fired, and try to make it sound like it was the right decision. Being tactful and positive can have an unbelievable effect. It can actually work in your favor if you do it right. Make sure you explain that being fired is an opportunity to explore jobs that better suit you. Arrive prepared to explain exactly why the job you are seeking is just such an opportunity.

Never say anything negative about the former employer and coworkers, or you will appear unprofessional. Also, never tell the recruiter or interviewer that you are pursuing legal actions against your former employer. That may send the signal that you would do the same to him.

Remember, getting fired is not the end of the world. The career services professionals at can help you with your personal branding and career reinvention so you can pursue gainful employment. Contact us today for a free ten-minute consultation.

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