It’s an unpleasant thought, and hopefully you’ll never have to devise a plan for it. But getting fired occasionally happens. You may have not been the right fit, or the company may not have been what you had hoped for. While the actual situation may throw you for a loop, make sure it doesn’t derail you completely. Here is a step-by-step guide of what to do after getting fired so you don’t feel even more flustered.
1.) Look at it from a legal standpoint
Were the reasons you were fired legitimate or can they be considered discriminatory? You need to be objective when you think about this. If you know that you lacked in some areas, then this could be a reason for getting terminated. And don’t beat yourself up over the fact you were fired – it happens to the best of us.
If you are confused about why you were fired, it is okay to ask a supervisor to give you the reason. You may want to ask to have this in writing.
If you truly feel as though you were fired for a discriminatory reason, it is best to seek out legal counsel to further your case.
2.) Assess your financial situation and see if you need short-term help
If getting fired has put you between a rock and a hard place financially, you need to seek help in order to make sure you have the basic necessities. There may be more help out there than you think.
Many people believe that if you’re fired from a position you are not eligible to collect unemployment. In some cases, this is true. But as with every employment scenario, it is different with every situation. If you believe that you have a good reason, many state unemployment offices will allow you to state your case for collecting unemployment. For example, if you believe you were fired from your current position for no legitimate reason and had no prior intention of leaving the job before being terminated, you could be eligible for collecting.
Again, each state is different. Check with your local unemployment office for more information.
3.) Create a job-hunting routine
Job searching can be daunting if you weren’t expecting to do so anytime soon. The best advice comes from a WyckWyre Twitter follower, @ReneeBenda. Benda says to create a new routine in the hours that you used to work.
“Stick to a schedule, get up at the same time as if you were going to work. Use that time to job hunt,” Benda said.
If you used to get up to go to work at 7 am every morning, and had to be in by 8:30 am, make sure you are dressed and ready to go by 8:30 am each day. Power on the computer, or head to your local library to access a computer and begin finding jobs on different job boards. Some great job boards that pull jobs from several different companies include:
You can narrow your results by putting in the location that you live, or what type of work you are interested in.
While you are job hunting, make sure to take advantage of all the resources around you, including help from local unemployment organizations. Some organizations can help you revise your resume, or come up with a killer cover letter. Others can do mock interviews with you to make sure that you have your A game ready to go when you’re called in for an interview.
4.) Network, network, network
As you’re applying to local jobs, see if you have friends or relatives that already work at the companies. Often times, managers will be more willing to meet with people that have a connection to the company already. This could be your foot in the door.
Call friends and family and let them know you are actively job seeking. Ask if they know of any positions available at their current companies. You’d be surprised by how many openings you’ll be able to find just by picking up the telephone and giving an old friend a call. And don’t be too shy to ask your friends to put in a good word for you.
Another way to network is to go to actual events that have people with the same interests that you have.A great website, MeetUp.com, holds different events for people who share the same interests all the time throughout each month. Just go to the website, put in your location and what you’re interested in, and you’ll see a variety of events coming up that host people with the same interests.
This is a great way to network with people in your area that you may not have a connection to otherwise. MeetUp.com is a free site, however, some group’s administrators may charge a small fee for joining a group. Check with the group that you’d like to join for details.
5.) Figure out how to respond to the question, “Why were you fired?”
If a potential employer asks why you were fired, it is never a good idea to lie. However, it is a good idea to come up with a quick one or two sentences in response to the situation, just so you don’t get caught looking like a deer in headlights when it comes up.
An example of a good response that takes the spotlight off of you getting fired and brings the interviewer back to the new opportunity at hand can go something like this:
“Both the employer and I recognized that that just wasn’t a good position fit for my personality and what I was looking to get out of a job. I’m moving forward looking for a job that would be able to better suit my skills such as x, y and z. I really believe that the position you are offering here would be excellent for me.”
Have more tips to offer after getting fired? Leave them in the comments below!