What to Do After You’ve Been Fired

There are few things more disheartening than the act of being fired. If you’ve found yourself thrust back into the job market unexpectedly, you might be a bit rattled and unsure of how to bounce back. But rest assured, there are a number of things you can do to hit the ground running when you are ready to start your job search. Don’t give up! Here are the best things you can do after you’ve been fired.

Allow Yourself Time to Recover

Of course, getting fired can be traumatic, particularly if you have really put in the effort to meet the needs of your employer. The sudden loss of income and related emotional upheaval can have a real impact on your confidence, not to mention your financial security. Recognizing that the professional stigma of being fired can weigh heavily on your career and on your conscious can be difficult to deal with. It’s important to take a little time to grieve and feel bad about what happened, but don’t let yourself get too bogged down in the situation. The best thing you can do at this point is recognize what happened, and find a way to move forward.

Find Your Inspiration

Everyone has had setbacks in their careers. Learning from our mistakes is what allows for growth and experience. Find some inspiring stories of others who have lost their jobs and learned from their experience enough to rise above such obstacles. Good sources of inspiration include friends and family, mentors, and colleagues. You can also find some excellent inspirational stories of successful professionals who have received an unwanted pink slip, including Mark Cuban and J.K. Rowling. The key takeaway should be that often it takes a serious upheaval in a career to put you on a better path. Sometimes you need to make space in your life for bigger and better opportunities.

Be Honest with Yourself and with Prospective Employers

Being fired isn’t something you can ignore. You need to really evaluate what went wrong and think about how you can learn from the experience. Looking at the situation from an unpassionate perspective will help you move forward emotionally, and prepare to explain the situation to future employers. Interviewers will often ask why you are no longer with a previous employer, and you need to be prepared to respond with an honest answer.  Finding a positive way to tell interviewers what you learned from the experience of getting fired will feature your ability to learn from your mistakes and show your strength of character.

Overall, try to approach the situation with the resilience and positivity that will attract future employers. Recognizing your mistakes and being proactive in your response to situations outside of your control will present a positive image to hiring managers and may, in fact, work in your favor.

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