What To Do If You Get Fired
So You've Been Fired; What Do You Do Now?
There are few things in life that feel worse than getting fired. There's something about it that just makes you feel like a failure - even when it happens through no fault of your own (e.g., due to a merger).
That said, being fired doesn't have to be a terribly sad event. In fact, it might be one of the best things that ever happened to you. There are plenty of ordinary people who got fired, and then went on to fame and fortune, as you can see by visiting Famous People Who Were Fired and Bounced Back. In short, I believe in looking at getting fired as an opportunity - the opportunity of a lifetime, in fact.
What To Do For a Career
So you've just been fired, and now you're looking for another source of income. But don't just rush out and get a job for the sake of having a job. Being fired liberated you; you're free! You can do whatever you want! That being the case, why would you take just any old job - especially a job you may not care for?
The truth of the matter is that your job limited you. Your growth and potential were always kept in check by what your employer wanted - that's who dictated what you were and what you could become career-wise. But you don't have those restrictions any more. The being the case, you need to ponder what it is you really want to do as a career for the rest of your life.
So what's always been your dream? Do you want to be an artist? Do you want to own your own restaurant? Did you always fancy becoming a writer? Whatever it is, that's what you should be pursuing, not another job. In short, it's time to be employ yourself, and put all those skills you have to work on your own behalf. Almost immediately you will start to realize the Benefits of Being Your Own Boss.
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Assess Your Skills for Your Dream Job
Now that you've decided not to settle for just any old career, it's time to assess the skill set required for your dream job. Do you have the proper knowledge, skill, experience, etc.?
Don't misunderstand; this assessment shouldn't deter you from pursuing your dream; it should merely give you an idea of the areas where you may need to shore up your talents. For instance, if you always wanted to be a novelist but spent the last 10 years writing software code, it might be worthwhile to take a basic grammar course at a local community college. (Also bear in mind that if your dream job also entails being the boss, you might want to take a few business or management courses if you don't have a background in such.)
Seek Funding If Necessary
Pursuing your dream career may require more rsources than you have at your disposal. Funding, for instance, may be an issue. However, don't be deterred, as there are many places you can go to for funding, from the Small Business Administration (who offer SBA loans) to venture capitalist. (Home Depot, for instance, received its initial funding from a venture capital firm.)
In short, don't let money be an obstacle. Remember, this is your dream, and if you give up on it then it will never happen because nobody else cares about your dreams - they're busy trying to make their own dreams reality.
Of course, I've focused here primarily on pursuing your dream once you get fired - letting the fact that you are unfettered to finally focus on the things that you feel are important. Still, there are some practical matters that will require attention following dismissal from your job. With that in mind, here are some things that will require your attention after you get a pink slip:
Get a Handle on Your Benefits
Make sure you get a thorough understanding of what benefits you have coming to you and how long they last. Compensation due, severance pay, medical/dental, etc. (Also, it's worth noting that COBRA health insurance is available for many fired employees for 18 months following job termination.)
File for Unemployment
It may take a little while for everything to clear and you don't know how long you will be out of work, so feel free to sile early for unemployment benefits.
Cut back on unnecessary expenses. Things like excessive dining out, vacations, etc. will need to be curtailed. Moreover, little luxuries like cable TV may have to go as well.
Look for Additional Sources of Income
Update Your Resume
Also, if you decide that your own dream isn't worth pursuing and has truly been cancelled, you should probably update your resume. It also won't hurt to start practicing your interview technique, among other things.
Poll on What to Do If You Get Fired
If you were to be fired from your current job, which of the following would you do?
Summary: Your Career After Being Fired
In brief, being fired can be the best thing that ever happened to you.
It will liberate you so that you can pursue your own dreams and make them real, rather than working to make that happen for someone else.
It can give you a chance to reach your full potential and achieve true greatness.
Finally, I'd like to leave you with one bit of food for thought: in the movie Up In The Air, George Clooney's character is essentially a hatchet man. He's paid to fly all over creation for the sole purpose of firing people. However, he's learned to do this with a bit of finesse, and early in the film he terminates a guy who - naturally - is upset. The Clooney character looks at the guy's background and says something like, "I see it says you initially wanted to be a chef." The guy agrees, but says something along the lines of life getting in the way, needing a regular job, etc. Clooney kind of eggs him to give that a try again (because it really was what the guy wanted to do his whole life), saying something like, "And what was your starting salary here? How much did they pay you to make you give up on your dream?" The guy kind of snorts derisively and mentions a lowball number, obviously convinced that the salary wasn't worth it.
With that in mind, you should consider the question: For that job you just got fired from (or may still be working), how much did they pay you to make you give up on your dream?
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