You Got Fired – Now What Do You Do?


Getting fired can be extremely hard, but you might be surprised how many successful professionals have been through it. Big names like Mark Cuban and J.K. Rowling have both been there and risen to greatness despite – or even partly as a result of – their struggles. The truth is that not every job is the right one for you. Despite how you feel now, there are a number of things you can do to bounce back. The bottom line is don’t give up! Here are a few things you can do after you’ve been fired to get back into the job market.

Give Yourself Time

Getting fired can be traumatic, particularly if you feel the decision was unjustified. The sudden loss of income and related emotional upheaval can have a real impact on your confidence, not to mention your financial security. Recognizing that the professional stigma of being fired can weigh heavily on your career and on your conscious can be difficult to deal with. It’s important to take a little time to grieve and sort through your feelings about what happened. But don’t let yourself lose confidence or faith in your skill or your talents. The best thing you can do at this point is to recognize what happened, pull the appropriate lessons from the experience, and move forward.

Revamp Your Resume

Even if you’ve been forced out of a job that you enjoyed, there are some valuable skills and accomplishments that you should add to your resume. Take a deep and honest look at your job search materials. How can you update your cover letter? Does your LinkedIn profile present your skills and work history in the best possible light? Now is the time to take the time and refresh your professional marketing.

Create a Plan

Uncertainty in your career is the worst thing that you can let happen. Lack of direction or motivation will bog you down in a way that will compound the negative effects of your job loss. Now is the time to act. Reevaluate your priorities. Think about what you really want to do with your work, with your time, and with your skills. Who do you want to work for? What would you need to do to achieve that goal? Plan your career in small but achievable steps and don’t be afraid to change directions in response to feedback. A career is not a predefined path. Take things one step at a time, but make sure you’re going the direction you wanted.

Be Prepared

Being fired isn’t something you can just ignore. You need to really evaluate what went wrong and think about how you can learn from the experience. Often interviewers will ask why you are no longer with a previous employer, and you need to be prepared to respond with a good and honest answer.  Finding a positive way to tell interviewers what you learned from the experience of getting fired will feature your ability to learn from your mistakes and show your strength of character.

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