In an earlier post I talked about the emotions you may experience if you are fired or your employment is suddenly terminated.
Today I want to cover some of the practical aspects of what to do after you have been fired.
These tips will incorporate some of the emotions I discussed in the earlier post because they may have an impact on the process.
Start looking for another job
I don’t think that one came as a surprise.
If you were recently registered with any recruitment agencies, touch base with them and let them know you are back looking for work. Reach out to any professional connections you have who might be able to help in your job search.
Head to LinkedIn and see what opportunities are listed.
Despite the power of the Internet for finding work, don’t undervalue the force of good old word of mouth. Job hunting is one of those ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’ situations.
Check out the employment search engines and see what is available. Go directly to company websites and see if they are advertising open positions.
Work through any emotional issues
I didn’t deserve to be fired. I poured my heart and soul into doing a good job at work.
Consequently, I was angry about how things panned out. I have dealt with that anger and moved on, however if I had stepped into a temp job straight away, I wouldn’t have allowed myself the time to work through those feelings.
You don’t want to start a new role and not be able to cope with any emotional issues that arise. I knew that if I didn’t take the time I needed, I would end up either crying at work (something I hate doing) or being snappy (also not recommended).
Get prepared for job hunting
If being fired came out of the blue, there are probably a few things you need to get in order. One will be sorting out referees. If you were new to a role, thinking about someone providing a reference for you when you left that position years down the track was probably the last thing on your mind.
Now it needs to jump to the top of the importance cue. Having good, reliable references is vital to your future success. Act quickly. Contact people to see if they will vouch for you.
Another important employment tool is your resume (or CV). Make sure this document is polished, professional and up to date.
Speak to an expert
To be honest I had no idea how to handle the whole being fired thing. What the hell was I supposed to say in my next job interview when they asked why I left my last role?
If you know a trustworthy recruitment expert definitely give them a call to discuss your situation.
Your friends and family will give you lots of different advice. As much as they mean well, some of their advice could be downright harmful to your career. Speak to an expert (preferably more than one) so that you get a clear picture on how to move forward.
Ultimately you will have to do what is right for you. I am a terrible liar so I would not even consider lying about what happened. I also don’t want to put anyone in a position where they would have to lie for me. Despite any difficulties I may face by telling the truth, I am more comfortable with being honest.
Sort out your finances
Remember when you were panicking about your financial situation the moment you were let go? Well now is the time to do something about it.
Have a realistic look at your savings, debt, taxes and superannuation.
Now is the time to draw up a new budget and to track your money carefully. You need to know where every dollar is being spent.
Understand you may have to dramatically cut back on your spending.
Look into financial support available
When I left working for an employer the first time, I fully funded myself for a year and a half before going back to full time office work, however being fired wasn’t something I planned. Whether I wanted to admit it or not, the idea of financial assistance was originally devised for people in my exact situation.
This can honestly take a bit to get your head around because it may trigger some shame/humiliation emotions but if you live in a country that offers some sort of temporary financial assistance while you are looking for work, then take up the option.
Never exploit or take advantage of any financial assistance whether it be from the government, family or friends.
Temporary financial assistance could save you from drowning financially.
Deal with some of the tasks you have been putting off
When we are working full time (with long hours as well), it can be hard to find time to get certain tasks done. Taking time away from work, particularly if your job is new means that some appointments simply don’t happen.
Take any time you have between jobs to book in for those appointments. For me that meant having some overdue medical tests done as well as booking in specialist visits.
Use your sudden free time wisely. Perhaps there are people you have been neglecting? Now could be the perfect time to pay them a visit or spend some time with them.
Take a break
Naturally this approach won’t work for everyone. If you are in a good financial position, now could be the time to take that holiday you have been promising yourself but never seemed to get around to.
If you have been working for a long time without a holiday, a small amount of time off might be just what you need to recharge your batteries.
If you can tee up another job but still have some time off before you start, even better.
Work on rebuilding your self-confidence
You have been fired. You’re feeling miserable and your self-confidence has most likely taken a battering.
Work on building your confidence back up again. Think back over your working career to the moments you are most proud of.
Laser focus on your skills, strengths, successes and what you are truly good at.
Think outside the box
Before you go running off to get a job working for someone else, now might be the time to capitalize on an opportunity.
Yes being fired can be a massive opportunity!
Have you always wanted to start your own business? Have you had a business idea brewing for a while? Have you thought about consulting or working for yourself? Now might be the time to act on it.
If you have been fired, I wish you all the best in your efforts to move onto greener pastures whatever that represents for you.
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