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Let’s be honest … just reading the blog title makes your stomach feel like it’s dropping down to your feet, doesn’t it? It’s a situation nobody wants to face and a topic we want to avoid. Which is why we’re NOT avoiding it! We want you to be prepared so you can learn and grow from the experience. Yes, it is hurtful and humiliating, but you can come out ON TOP.
Before we get started, one of the biggest lessons to remember is that being fired doesn’t define you as a person. It simply sheds light on areas that need improvement or things you may have been avoiding. It’s important to show yourself grace and compassion.
There are so many people who look back later and think that being fired was the best thing that ever happened to them. Why? Because so often they knew all along the situation was not really working out to begin with. Whether it was a performance-based decision, a personality misfit, or a change in management, it was likely something that was holding them back.
If you find yourself in this position, use these tips to pick yourself up and move forward.
1. Get the Facts
Before taking that first step forward it’s worth your time to reflect on the situation. You don’t want to head down the same path at a new position. Ask your manager or HR representative:
- Was it performance related?
- Was it a policy violation?
- Was it part of a grand downsizing plan?
- Was there anything else that may have caused the abrupt exit?
While doing a deep dive into the why, remember you want this experience to help you not hurt you, so learn as much as you can. Be open to receiving a message from this.
2. Ask Questions Before You Leave
It can be really hard to focus on the future when you are still reeling from the shock of being let go. If there is still time before you exit, these are some important questions to ask your employer:
- Can I resign instead of being fired?
- Is there a severance package?
- How is unused vacation paid out?
- Who would serve as a reference?
- When will I receive my last paycheck?
If you’re not in any shape to ask these questions, then make sure you know who you can call or email once you get home.
3. Look for Performance Patterns
Have you been called in for a performance review or have you been written up for specific issues that needed improvement? Think back through your job performance feedback or even just regular meetings with your manager. Was there a specific area you were asked to improve upon more than once? Make a plan to improve your weakness. Better yet, turn it into a strength! You can find TED Talks on almost any subject. They can be a great way to motivate your effort at strength building.
4. Don’t Seek Revenge
Absolutely, under no circumstances should you post about your firing or former employer on social media. Vent to a trusted friend or family member, but never on a public platform. Now is not the time to burn bridges which could sabotage your future employment efforts.
Yes, you were fired, but you don’t know how many people liked working with you and admired specific strengths you had. Those people could always reach out later with opportunities.
5. Take Time for Self-Care and Reflection
Losing your job is an emotionally challenging experience. It’s important to recognize those feelings and work through them. There will be times of anger, disappointment, hurt, and even grief. Talk to a trusted friend, relative, or mentor about the situation. Confide in someone you can rely on to help you work through any post-firing issues.
6. Update Your Resume and Start the Job Search
After taking a breather, it’s time to jump back in! Refresh your resume to reflect on all the strengths and lessons you’ve acquired. And don’t be intimidated by the job search ahead. Start looking for opportunities at Westphal Staffing as soon as you can! We’d like to find a match for you!
Here at Westphal Staffing, it is part of our culture to make connections, recognize humans as individuals, and collaborate with professionals. Today, more than ever that culture is transforming the staffing experience, making us a different kind of staffing company. Call or text us today at (715) 845-5569!