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20+ Things To Do (And Not Do) If You Get Fired

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Facing the loss of a job can be a daunting challenge, yet it's in these moments that the strategic choices we make from the outset can transform adversity into a gateway to new possibilities.

Experiencing a job loss can be a profound disruption in modern life. It has the power to shake your self-assurance, and depending on your life stage, it can create ripples, jolts, or even seismic shifts in your family’s financial stability.

However, it can also be a transformative opportunity, compelling you to reevaluate your career path and guiding you toward a more personally fulfilling direction.

In the face of looming economic uncertainty, now is the ideal moment to contemplate your strategy when confronted with job loss.

To provide valuable insights, we’ve consulted with two seasoned executive coaches who share their wisdom on the things to do and not do if you get fired.

Their advice ranges from handling the initial conversation gracefully to managing your emotions and financial situation while embarking on the journey to secure new employment. This is their expert counsel.

Find out: How to say you were fired on an application

What To Do When You Hear You’ve Been Fired

1. Stay Calm

Emotions can run high, but it’s essential to remain composed. Take deep breaths, process the news, and avoid immediate reactions, advises Henschel Michael a certified executive coach.

2. Ask for Clarity

Seek a comprehensive understanding of the reasons for your termination. Michael says, understanding the cause can help you learn from the experience and potentially address any shortcomings in your future endeavors.

3. Gather Information

Request information about severance packages, benefits, and the process for returning company property. Michael says, being well-informed will aid in your transition.

4. Try to Negotiate

As you prepare to depart from the meeting room or sign off from your virtual conference, consider the power of negotiation, advises Debbie Wright, a certified executive coach.

Propose the idea of embracing a different role within the organization, especially in a department that’s experiencing growth. “Searching for new opportunities while still employed, even if it’s not your dream role, can be a significant advantage,” Wright wisely suggests.”

5. Maintain Your Professionalism

In light of an irrevocable decision, uphold your professionalism with unwavering resolve, Wright says. Remember, the world is smaller than you think; refrain from letting your composure slip and refrain from actions or words that may inadvertently sever valuable connections.

6. Secure Financial Stability and Health Insurance

To ensure a smooth transition, Wright says it’s crucial to establish the timing of your final paycheck. If you’ve been relying on employer-provided health insurance, make arrangements for your coverage.

If you’re married, explore the option of joining your spouse’s plan for continued health security. If that’s not possible, you can maintain your coverage through COBRA, a program allowing you to retain your health benefits for up to 18 months by paying out of pocket.

What To Do After Getting Fired

7.  Allow Yourself the Space to Heal

Experiencing a layoff often triggers a profound emotional journey, akin to mourning a significant loss. It’s advisable to allocate at least a week to navigate the spectrum of these emotions.

“You require this time to genuinely absorb the gravity of the situation,” suggests Michael. While it might feel as though you’re squandering precious moments, and financial pressures may be mounting, Michael emphasizes that this pause is indispensable for revitalizing your self-assurance, which has likely been more severely shaken than you realize.

Find out: What is Furlough: What Does it Mean & How Does It Work?

8. Don’t Take it Personally

Remember, in the world of business, decisions often come down to the numbers. Don’t let a financial choice become a personal burden.

Keep your head high, for there’s always another opportunity waiting on the horizon. As wisely put by Henschel Michael.

9. Avoid Sending Resumes Right Away

Before you rush into the job search, take a moment to reflect and recharge. Leaping straight into sending resumes might hinder your ability to exude confidence during interviews or, even worse, with recruiters – your vital link to a world of job possibilities.

Consider this break as a valuable phase of self-discovery, personal growth, and a strategic investment in an improved job hunt.

10. Networking for Insight

It’s not just about job hunting; it’s about diving into the current landscape to pinpoint the roles that align with your aspirations,” advises Michael.

Dive deep into your industry, identify the players, monitor the shifts, and discover who’s on the lookout for talent. These connections may prove invaluable when you eventually seek opportunities, but for now, your primary mission is gathering valuable insights.

Find out: How to Answer Why Did You Leave Your Last Job? (+ Sample Answers)

Starting Your Job Search

11. Revitalize Your Marketing Presence

After gaining a precise understanding of your career goals and achievements, Michael advises a comprehensive refresh of your professional image.

This involves enhancing your resume, refining your LinkedIn profile, and optimizing any promotional assets, such as your personal website.

Customize your resume by incorporating industry-specific keywords to ensure it resonates with automated screening systems. Seek a fresh perspective by having a trusted individual review your materials and provide constructive feedback. CEOMichaelHR got you completely covered here.

12. Craft Your Resilience Tale

Prior to embarking on your interviews, be prepared with a compelling narrative about the circumstances surrounding your departure.

It’s important to remember that companies typically don’t part ways with their top performers, so be ready to elucidate why you found yourself in the position of being laid off instead of others. Share this story truthfully, while also being kind and compassionate towards yourself.

13. Unlock Opportunities through Your Network

Tap into the power of your professional connections – from former supervisors and colleagues to LinkedIn contacts and alumni networks. These invaluable relationships can open doors to exciting career prospects.

When hiring managers receive recommendations from trusted sources, it’s not just about getting a call; it’s about receiving an opportunity for an interview, as they value the strength of that referral. Wright wisely suggests.

Find out: Networking for Career Success- How to do it well

14. Reach Out to Recruiters

Harness the power of recruiter relationships, as each connection has the potential to unlock numerous opportunities, Wright says.

The most invaluable recruiter contacts are those recommended by your network, individuals who have successfully hired through them.

In the absence of such connections, seek introductions from those who have experienced fruitful collaborations with recruiters or have attracted the attention of numerous recruiters to broaden your network.

15. Approach Your Job Search with Professional Dedication

Michael emphasizes the significance of maintaining a structured schedule and routines during your job search, mirroring the discipline and commitment you’d exhibit in a traditional job.

By doing so, you not only establish a sense of purpose but also foster balance and a heightened level of motivation.

What To Do As Your Job Search Continues

16. Stay Optimistic

In the face of adversity, maintaining optimism becomes a powerful tool. Instead of fixating on obstacles, train your focus on the unexplored horizons of possibility, Michael says.

It’s improbable that your first endeavor will bear fruit (in fact, it almost never does), but remember this: every rejection is a stepping stone towards an even brighter opportunity or a more fitting match on your journey.

17. Stay Productivity

Amidst the journey, it’s crucial to immerse yourself in activities that not only resonate with your strengths but also bring you immense joy.

Whether it’s breaking a sweat with invigorating workouts, indulging in a cherished hobby, creating culinary masterpieces in the kitchen, or the heartwarming act of picking up your children from school, these moments will serve as the bedrock for nurturing your confidence.

Find out: 6 Motivation Tips to Help You Start a Job Search

18. Discover Your Support System

Consider who can be your trusted accountability ally during those moments when motivation wanes, suggests Wright.

She wisely advises against choosing your spouse for this role, as preserving the integrity of your relationship is paramount.

19. Don’t Tackle It Solo

In your quest, be it for logistical guidance or a comforting embrace of emotional support, lean on the dependable figures in your life, advises Michael.

Share your sentiments with your partner, seek the aid of a friend to fine-tune your interview skills, or enlist a former supervisor or colleague to scrutinize your resume.

The more you engage the collective wisdom of your trusted circle, the stronger your sense of assurance will become, and the more fruitful your pursuit will unfold.

20. If You’re Struggling, Find a Therapist

If you find yourself in the depths of despair and grappling with emotional turmoil on this journey, it might be wise to seek the support of a trained therapist.

In such challenging moments, reaching out to a therapist can be a beacon of hope and healing, advises Wright.

How to Manage the Interview Process

21. Prepare for Interviews

Success in interviews hinges on meticulous preparation. Michael emphasizes the importance of anticipating questions about your resume and crafting thoughtful responses to hypothetical scenarios.

Consider arranging a mock interview with a trusted individual to refine your skills. When conducting remote interviews, prioritize a serene, well-presented environment to ensure a professional impression.

Find out: How to Ace Interviews with the STAR Method [9+ Examples]

22. Express Your Gratitude with a Thank You Note

Embrace the timeless gesture of sending a heartfelt thank-you message. In the digital age, it’s an elegant way to convey your genuine appreciation.

After your interview, gather the names and email addresses of everyone you interacted with. Craft a concise message, as advised by experts like Michael, typically two short paragraphs suffice.

Use this opportunity to express your gratitude and highlight something intriguing you’ve discovered about the company. If there were moments in the interview where you felt you could have performed better, briefly address them, providing a clearer explanation of what you wished to convey.

Final Thoughts

Facing the unexpected setback of getting fired from your job can be a challenging experience, impacting your self-esteem and financial stability while causing stress to soar.

Yet, in the face of adversity, it’s crucial to breathe, regroup, and chart a strategic path forward. By harnessing your inner resilience and leveraging your professional connections, you can embark on a journey to discover new, fulfilling opportunities.

Let CEOMichaelHR Executive Resume Writing Services guide you in crafting a powerful resume that opens doors to your next career chapter.


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