When you get fired your emotions flare. Anger. Fear. Guilt. Shame.
It’s a time of supercharged feelings and that can make it very difficult to focus and do what you need to do to get back into the game. That’s why I’ve created the following “to do” list.
Without further ado, let’s go.
1. Dwell on the past.
No, I’m not suggesting you remain in a rut. I’m asking you to remember that you’re a survivor.
Think about other times when you’ve been “let go” in any number of ways inside and outside the workplace:
- You didn’t get picked to play on the volleyball team when you were 10.
- Remember when Sue Ellen broke up with you in 7th grade?
- Your partner took over the budget because you didn’t keep it up.
- Your sister decided who your parents were going to use to draft their living trust because you didn’t know how to find the right attorney.
- You sold your house at the wrong time.
All these events hurt….but you survived them. And you got over the discomfort. I’ve been there myself.
But since you went on to thrive in the past despite setbacks, isn’t it likely to happen again?
Yes, you lost your job but that might lead to a better job down the road.
It’s happened to you before, hasn’t it? What makes you so sure it won’t happen this time too?
2. Be honest.
A friend of mine was a huge music talent scout. When he was at the top of his game, he complained all the time.
The bands were terrible. The managers were rotten. He hated traveling all the time. Nothing was any good. He was miserable.
Fast forward 10 years. He is making less money now but he’s a lot happier doing something else and he’s never looked back.
Why do I bring this up?
It’s lousy when you get fired, but you may have been let go from a situation that wasn’t that great in the first place.
Don’t kid yourself. Was your old job really all that great? Maybe you got fired, because the Universe is telling you to change your career.
Once you’ve cleared out the emotional baggage, it’s time to get out there and shake the trees.
Assuming you know what you want to do, it’s time to really focus on networking. If you really think that you can find work by sitting home and sending out resumes you need a reality check.
Only 5% of us find jobs through the open job market – responding to ads and sending out resumes.
24% of us find work by knocking on doors of potential employers.
Another 23% use headhunters and employment agencies and 48% get jobs through networking.
That being the case, it’s time to shine up your shoes and make new friends.
I’ve written about networking extensively. The best advice I can give you is not to ask any favors.
Rather than hit up your friends and acquaintances for job leads, ask to be introduced to people who can help you understand the work landscape better.
Once they make the introduction, don’t push. Just invite the right people out for a cup of coffee and interview them.
Ask about the industry.
Find out what is happening at their firm and at other companies as well.
Find out what problems they face and how you might solve them.
All you want is to understand what’s happening in your industry and to make new friends.
At the end of your meeting, ask who else this person knows who might also shed some light on the situation.
Try to get as many interviews as possible.
Don’t push or ask for a job. If there is an opening that is suitable, they’ll let you know.
And most important, always ask this person what you can do to help them – then do it.
Become a resource. Find out what they are interested in and do a little research yourself. Let them know what you find out. Do whatever you can to repay that person by being helpful to them.
Finally, stay in touch. Let them know how you are doing and what progress you’ve made. This is crucial. It cements your relationship, avails you the opportunity to be of service to them and it reminds them you are still out there.
Getting fired is a pain and it’s frightening. The best way to overcome the emotional and financial problems that are associated with being sacked is to get into action on finding a new and better job ASAP.
This process may take some time to actually land your job but stay focused and stay in action. Don’t give up.
As long as you keep active doing the right things, good results will follow.
Have you ever been fired? How did you find your next job?
Mark @ BareBudgetGuy says
If I were laid off again like I was in 2008, I would definitely do it differently. I wasn’t out that long, but I would have tried to cope with it better to make is a less stressful experience. These is a great list of things I would have tried to incorporate.
Playhouses Man says
Remember that it was the postion that got made redundent not the person. The company needed to save money and lost jobs, so they cut roles not personalities. Try to feel that they made the choice independently of the individuals involved so it is not a refection of your abilities.
Little House says
Many years ago I was offered a training manager position at a restaurant. I was young and thought they would actually train me. However, they never really did and though they thought I was a great cashier, they blamed me for not calculating the total sales correctly. They also tried to pin some missing funds on me, which completely humiliated m since I’m a very honest person. When they fired me, I bawled like a baby. Luckily, I survived it and realized that not all jobs are going to be great. In the end, I’m glad I didn’t end up in the restaurant biz!
Neal@Wealth Pilgrim says
Good question…..I’ll look into it and if I can add something interesting, I will write it.
Justin Goodman says
Neal, will you do a similar post on the process of collecting un-employment, disability ect.
Matt Jabs says
A lot of times losing a job is a blessing in disguise, like Neal eludes to, we just need to learn how to recognize the disguise.
Also, if losing your job was out of your control – meaning you did your work to the best of your ability but were let go for circumstances outside your sphere of effect – then God may have better things in store for you. Focus on seeing potential rather than failure. Mourn, but move on… and take your learned wisdom with you!