What to Do If You Got Fired

I Got Fired | What to Do If You Were Fired | Resume.com

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Being fired from a job is not a pleasant experience, but it is possible to take action immediately following termination and take steps to minimize the impact your termination has on your future employment. You can apply for unemployment benefits right away as well as discuss with the employer their reasons for firing you. You can use the information in this guide to help you move forward if you were just fired from your job.


What are the reasons for being fired?

Typically, employers will terminate an employee for a valid reason. A valid reason for termination could be due to misconduct, poor work ethic (like consistent tardiness) or another cause that may include a negative behavior or action on the employee’s part. However, if you were fired because of something you did, you might find it beneficial to ask your employer directly for their reasons for terminating you. Additionally, there are several approaches you might take to get back on track in your career after being fired.


What to do if you were fired from your job

These approaches may help you move past your termination as smoothly as possible:

Determine the cause of your termination

After being fired, you might request a meeting with your employer to find out their reasons for firing you. For instance, you might find out what specific actions or behaviors you demonstrated that led to your termination. Typically, an employer will review the causes of termination with you so you can take steps to improve the skill or behavior for future roles.


Negotiate your severance pay

In some cases, terminated employees still receive severance pay, no matter the cause of termination. If you are in the process of negotiating your severance pay, you might consider waiting to sign any documents until you reach a compromise on the amount you will receive.


Apply for unemployment benefits

You can also apply for unemployment benefits even if you don’t think you will need it. Depending on the reason you were fired, you may be eligible for unemployment compensation that compares with your previous salary. At the very least, unemployment benefits can help as a buffer while you are looking for another job.


Budget your current finances

It’s also important to reevaluate your current finances to create a budget while you are in between jobs. Assessing your finances can also help by giving you an idea of what your expenses will be and how much money you may need to set aside to pay for your living expenses. For instance, you might make a list of your fixed expenses such as utilities and phone bills and try to set aside the exact amount you will need.


Request a letter of recommendation

Getting fired from a job doesn’t mean you can’t request a letter of recommendation from your employer. Even if you failed to meet your job expectations, you can still ask your employer to write a recommendation or at the very least, to write a letter of impact, which can still benefit your future job search.


Appeal your termination if it was wrongful

You may also choose to appeal your termination if you feel it’s warranted. If you do choose to appeal your termination, there may be specific time frames you need to adhere to, so it can be important to find out what the specific deadlines are for submitting an appeal.


Reach out to your professional networks

Another important step to take after being fired is to reach out to your professional networks. For instance, you might reach out to former colleagues or past employers and explain your situation. You may be able to find a new position when taking this approach, and you can also use your network to ask for advice or reach out to a mentor during your transition.


Prepare to explain your termination in future job interviews

It’s also important that you get prepared for future job interviews by practicing how you will explain your termination. Typically, interviewers may ask about past terminations or your reasons for leaving past jobs, especially if your resume reflects it in your work history. The important thing to remember is to be honest in your discussion.


Accept accountability for your actions

Before you leave your job completely, you might think about offering an apology and accepting responsibility for your actions. Sometimes an apology can lead to a further discussion of the event and how you might improve in the future. Being accountable for your actions can also show employers that you are capable of conducting yourself professionally, and it can also increase the chances of receiving a letter of recommendation or an employee referral.


Make time to work on your professional development

As you process the events surrounding your termination, it can be a good idea to get focused on your professional and personal development. Taking some time to make a new career plan can help you focus on moving forward rather than focusing on how you lost your job. For instance, you might go ahead and pursue your interests or perform in a volunteering role as a way to focus on developing additional skills.


Accept a job to fill in time gaps between employment

You might also think about accepting a part-time or temporary position to avoid employment gaps on your resume. If you choose to transition to another career field altogether, a temporary job in the industry you’re thinking of switching to can help you develop the skills you’ll need for a future position.


What to avoid after being fired from a job

Avoiding taking certain actions after being fired can be just as important as the steps you take to move forward, such as:

Losing control of your emotions

It’s never good news to hear your employer tell you you’re fired, however, you should avoid letting your emotions get in the way of your professionalism. Losing your temper can make matters worse, and it can lead to a poor review should the employer ever be called upon as a reference.


Speaking negatively about your employer

You should also avoid saying anything derogatory about the employer within your networks. For instance, avoid sarcasm or cynical remarks on social media and in professional settings. Maintaining your professionalism and avoiding retaliatory actions can help you quickly move beyond your termination.


Lying about your termination in an interview

It’s important that you remain open and honest in future job interviews regarding your termination. If the interviewer asks why you left your last job, be honest and explain how you were terminated. You might explain that although you made past mistakes, you have taken steps to improve and develop in your career.

If you have recently been fired, there are several approaches you can take to handle the situation including finding the reasons for your termination, applying for unemployment benefits and preparing for a new position.

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