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How To Move On After Getting Laid Off - What To Do When You Get Fired from Work

Updated on June 13, 2012
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I'm a dad, husband, and Christian first. The rest is just life's add-ons: an educator, administrator, learning & development professional.

Have you been laid off from work?
Have you been laid off from work? | Source

3 employment strategies to keep you sane

You go to work one day and get a call to the boss’ office. For no apparent reason, you feel cold and clammy. You walk briskly but calculatedly and enter the room. After all the pleasantries all that is left in your mind are the cold words “we have to let you go”. Yup, you just got axed.

After the initial shock of getting laid off from work what do you do? What strategies should you do to keep your sanity intact?

Keep your cool in the face of stress.
Keep your cool in the face of stress. | Source

Keep your cool

Among the flurry of emotions that stirs up, anger often finds its way to the top. Yes, yes, I know it’s easier said than done. But you need to keep your cool before you go berserk. You have the option of staying sane or being dragged out of the office by security personnel. The latter is an employment strategy (or post-employment strategy) that won’t do you any good. I had one colleague who hurled his computer monitor at the boss’ office window. Apart from getting fired, he had to pay for the darn monitor. So don’t do more damage by lashing out on your boss – not even at your co-workers.

The good

  • Keep quiet or at least minimize any comments – remember anything you say can be used against you. So exercise the right to keep silent.
  • Act professional even if you think getting fired is unjustifiable
  • Remove yourself from the office premises without incidents

The bad

  • Thrashing your equipment and table just to get back at your boss or company
  • Lashing out at everyone in the office even those who have no idea what is happening.
  • Verbally assaulting your boss is not a good way to part with the company

The insane

  • Physical assault is not just unprofessional; it can ruin your record
  • Don’t disparage the company or anyone in the office using your social networks
  • Threatening lives or property or worse acting on your threats can land you in jail

Talk to someone to relieve the stress

One of the best ways to distress is to talk about it with someone. Whether it’s your spouse, a relative, your best friend, just let everything out.

The good

  • Process what happened and find ways you can improve yourself
  • Ask professional advice from career counselors
  • If you want to look at the legal standpoint, consult a legal expert and do it properly
  • Learn from your experience

The bad

  • Sulking over what could have been done and not focusing on what you can do
  • Bottling all negative emotions and repressing them
  • Trash talking everyone in the office can only make matters worse. Burning bridges won’t do you any good.

The insane

  • Telling lies about the company and the people who work there won’t get you sympathy
  • Standing outside the office building discouraging people especially applicants to pass their resume is just nasty and unprofessional

Actively search job openings
Actively search job openings | Source

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Get busy

Instead of wasting your time in a dark, damp room feeling sorry for yourself or plotting the demise of your former boss and company, get out and be productive. Keeping yourself busy will redirect your attention to productive outputs and hopefully to a new job.

The good

  • Improve on what you have – additional trainings while looking for a new job is a good use of your time.
  • Update your resume and send it out. Online applications make this easier.
  • Connect and use your contacts for possible work.

The bad

  • Hoping and waiting for employment without doing anything
  • Going back to the office hoping to get your job back
  • Drowning your sorrows with alcohol

The insane

  • Going back to the office to coerce others to resign
  • Harassing your boss or any employee who works in the company

Getting laid off from work is difficult. Anyone who got slammed with news like this can attest to the stresses attached to it. No one wants to experience something like this especially if you need a steady stream of paychecks. However, there are instances when such an unfortunate event catches up on you. We have the choice to move forward and move on or mope ourselves to a death.


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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      That's true Ryan, You have the choice to move on or wallow in misery and dark emotions.

    • profile image

      Ryan 5 years ago

      I've been sacked once and it great feeling. But it's something that happened and I have to take responsibility. Either I choose being proactive or simply flare out and decapitate someone - I almost did. My ex-boss was a genuine slave driver. Keeping my cool was HARD.

      Move on, and find a better place. Who knows getting fired can be the best thing that happened to your life.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi aviannovice. It's good that you kept yourself busy. it can be stressful not having an outlet. You can also continue submitting your resume while waiting for a response from an employer. I wish you the best of luck in job hunting.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      When I was laid off in March, I wrote a lot of hubs. Then when the new Olive Garden came to town, I got a job as a cook. I'm still waiting to be called back, but I don't know how soon that will happen in this economy.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hola avorodisa. Waking up one day and realizing you don't have work is just traumatic. We need to provide support to people who just lost their jobs. Family and friends to to be ready for this task. Thanks for the kind words about the hub.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      God day Just Ask Susan. When people lose their jobs it's easy to something they will regret. Instead, people have to turn on to positive and productive thoughts. It may be hard but that's a bteer course of action when getting laid off from work.

      Thanks for droppping by and sharing your insights.

    • avorodisa profile image

      Anna Sidorova 5 years ago from Russia

      Good tips. It's really traumatic to get laid off work. This is a great support!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great advice. No matter how upset you are don't do anything that you may regret later.

      Very Useful hub!

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there MelChi. Thank you for sharing your experiences and view on the topic. Being laid off can really be disheartening. moreover, it can affect the whole family. Support groups especially relatives can help ease the burden. We need to provide support in every way we can so the person can overcome and negative feelings.

      Thanks for the visit and comments. See you around.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      This is great advice. My dad, brother and husband have all been retrenched at one point in their careers. It's not easy. My dad was without a full time job for 5 years and our family went through hell. I think it's only normal for someone to be depressed and work through what they need to for a few days - a week at most, but thereafter I fully agree with everything you've said. It's important to keep positive and be around positive people to keep going. Things happen for reasons we don't know. Maybe there is something better around the corner that would never have taken place, if a retrenchment didn't take place. My husband is living proof of that - and so is my dad. Thanks for a great hub :)

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi Hermes411. It's unfortunate that you have to face this. But it is important to remain positive. I hope you can take home a nugget or two with the hub.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there ASchwartz. Being out of work can be tough. Thanks for dropping by. Let's just hope people who were laid off from work have the sense to do what is right.

    • profile image

      Hermes411 5 years ago

      I am waiting to find out whether I will be terminated or not. While I intend to take the "high road," I'd have to say that I have harbored both the bad and insane scenerios in my thoughts. However, I know that everything happens for a reason. The best thing that I can do stay positive.

    • ASchwartz profile image

      ASchwartz 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Good advice. Getting laid off is rough, but acting foolishly will only make the situation worse. Thanks for the great hub.