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You're Fired.....So Now What?
Getting fired is not high on life's list of fun things to have happen to one's self. To quote Jeff Foxworthy, getting fired is about as fun as "sitting in a tub full of scissors."
Unfortunately though, it happens to the best of us. Sometimes we don't deserve it; sometimes we do. Yes, I just said that - sometimes we do deserve fired because, basically, we screwed up.
To errr is human though.....right?
Yea, that's what we'll tetll ourselves as we start the arduous task of going about our lives without employment.
Truthfully, is there something more embarrassing than being of working age and having to tell people that you're unemployed - knowing that you were fired and not, say, laid off?
It may seem like the end of the world.
But it isn't. Take it from someone who's been fired more than once - although it initially sucks, it can be a very big blessing if you choose to make the best of it.
Still though, the situation can be bewildering; especially if it's something that was unexpected. Let's say you made that one big "no no" error - every job has one - and you didn't know you did such a thing until you came in and your boss was there to tell you about it.
Lindsay Olson of US News & World Report puts it this way: "Getting fired can be emotional and difficult. You may not know the reason for being let go, and you may feel bitter or angry toward your former employer. You may be unsure of how you will handle financial obligations, and it may create strain in your family relationships.It’s important to handle getting fired as well as you can, since anger and frustration won’t help you out of the situation."
And even if you "knew" you were going to be fired - as many people can sense when they are in hot water with the job - how did you handle things when you were on the "down slide" and how did it feel - when reality hit - that you actually had no job to go to?
There are things that can be done - thankfully - to ease the blow and help you stay focused on your next move - and that eventual job.
The Initial Bombardment.....
When you get fired, you will most likely be dealing with a bombardment of ideas and feelings - and, uncomfortable as they are, they have to be dealt with. They are going to be there, so they must be faced.
So.....how do I know this?
I've been fired. More than once.
Trust me; few things stink more than being fired.
Let yourself be sad. For a day or two. Maybe for a week.
During that time, call family. Call friends. Set up a lunch with someone you haven't seen in a while. Maybe plan a weekend getaway.
Now will be a great time to tie up loose ends. Do a house project that you've long put off. Go see a sight that you've been longing to see. Take a drive for a day; do "whatever" for a day and let yourself be free of commitments for a while.....
Some people just don't do well with taking a "break" for a while. Some prefer to waste no time getting things together or starting a new job search - or perhaps a business venture. The point is, do what works best for you to keep straight your faculties, wellness, and focus.
Steven Balzak of the consulting firm 7 steps ahead offers these words....."“Symbolically ’bury’ your old job: burn the business cards or something along those lines,” Balzac says. “It’s fine to keep the awards and recognitions you’ve garnered, but get rid of the illusion that the job is still ‘alive’ for you.”
Recover Recover Recover.....
Then, it's time to snap out of it. It's time to get right on top of job searches and start networking. Come that first Monday morning of unemployment, you'll need to do several things.
1) Call unemployment. Get that set up and rolling as soon as possible. That'll most likely be your only income so you'll need to get things going as quickly as possible.
2) Call former coworkers. Network with them. Set up a lunch and get their feed back (and commitment for you to use them as a reference).
3). Write to your former boss. Don't email him or her; write them a letter. Than them for being your manager and for being a good leader (even if they weren't.). Face it; you never know when you'll need them as a professional reference.
The last point is worth a paragraph.
Start that business you've been wanting to start! Get together a business plan (there are plenty available online and most of us know at least one person who has their own business).
This is a great time to get together plans, develop a marketing strategy, or even being making contacts. You've always wanted to do that; now you have the time to do exactly that.
Even if you don't want to start your own business, immediately start job searching. Depending on how long you were working before your unfortunate termination, you may forget how long it can take to get a job. Getting a job does really take time. I don't have any statistics that show an average of how many jobs people usually apply for before getting an interview and frankly, I don't care about that type of statistic - and I doubt you'll be thinking about that as you apply for job(s). Simply put, your mind's going to be way too preoccupied with obtaining employment to think about those things.
"Once you’ve had a tiny pity party," Steven Continues, "begin networking to see what job opportunities are available to you. Let people in your industry know you’re available, and give them an idea of what you’re looking for."
Also, don't be afraid to go knocking on doors. Really. Show up to that company you've heard rumors is hiring. Ask to speak with the hiring manager and act like you've already got an appointment to meet with them. When the secretary inevitably asks if they are expecting to see you, reply "I'm here for an interview." Even if the manager only has a few minutes to spend with you, this is where the "initial" interview can take place - and in a world full of online and email applications, your face to face interaction will leave a unique impression on the hiring manager.
Tools, Tools, Tools....
Ok, so here are some practical things you'll need to do to get yourself out there and make yourself stand out from the pack.
First of all, update that resume. There are a plethora of professional resume writing services out there. They are worth the cost. Salary.com agrees; "A professional resume writer will know how to spotlight your most worthy accomplishments because he's looking at them with fresh, unbiased eyes."
Furthermore, "e/she can discern what needs to be on your resume (and perhaps more importantly, what doesn't), and express it all professionally."
They can also publish your resume in different formats, including .pdf and in a scannable format (useful for applying online, as recruiting programs often scan applicant's resumes for "key" words and phrases to separate the "qualified" from the "unqualified" applicants).
All of this may sound like a chore but face it - we live in a world powered by technology and if you want to become employed, you have to get into the game.
One thing I would also mention; look at the newspaper. Usually papers are filled with part-time jobs that will at least offer some money. So what if you have to work as a custodian or join a landscaping company to earn a few extra dollars while you explore other options? Even if it's not the job you want (or need), there are times when a job's a job......and having some form of a job always looks better on your resume than having no job at all. Plus, it'll do no harm to take a "basic" job for a while; it'll be a humbling experience and that kind of thing is usually good every now and again. There's no shame in doing a basic job for cash.
Sharpen Your Game
Let's face it - unemployment is a humbling thing - especially if you have been fired. No one wants to have that stain on their employment record.
Let's look again at another reality though; having some sort of employment is better than nothing.
And you may not have to settle for a "menial job" - depending on where you are and how you go about things, you may be able to get a job similar to the one you just left.
If you are able to do such, great! Then reading on will be a waste of your time......
But what if you are one who's had to take a menial job just to have employment, please keep several things in mind;
1) This is a great time to do some skills assesments. For this purpose, there are a myriad of assessments available that will help you identify your skills and jobs that are a good fit for someone with your skill base.
2) Consider your priorities. What's most important to you? What type of job would you like to have? Would you consider going back to school? Do you want a job that has normal hours or are you able to work outside normal hours?
3) Set goals; personal and professional. Been meaning to start a workout regimen? Do it now! Been meaning to take a class to bolster your professional credentials? Check it out. Been meaning to get done some housework? Now's a great time! The period of unemployment is what you make of it; it can either be a time of productive renewal or it can be a time of stagnation and depression; it really is your choice.
4) Start your own business......are you the type to take the bull by the horns, to want to take chances? Now would be a great time to go out on your own. Start that business. Develop contacts. Unlike when you had your job but also your dream of having your own business, you will now have the time to market and network.
Unemployment sucks. Being fired sucks even more.
So if you're fired, give yourself some grieving time. Feel sorry for yourself for a bit.....then pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get over it.
Hopefully you've found this article to be helpful.
You, being a creature of free will, have the power to decide the course of your life. What you do with this period of unemployment will have a sizeable impact on your future.
I hope and pray that you make decisions that are ultimately beneficial.