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Getting fired: strategies for dealing with getting terminated


Getting fired: strategies for dealing with getting terminatedGetting fired used to be something that many people figured would ruin their career.
Obviously, getting terminated isn’t an ideal situation but it’s certainly something that can be dealt with.
In other words, you can get back into the work world again with some solid job searching, some support, and perhaps a bit of luck.
Maybe as a society we’ve gotten used to hearing about people being fired, whether it was the whole dot com bubble bursting which resulted in thousands of companies closing and jobs being lost.
Perhaps we’re used to hearing about managers and coaches in professional sports constantly getting fired and then resurfacing with another team and have gotten used to the concept.
Maybe we’re numb from listening to the latest corporate executive who has been charged with some offence and know that whatever happens, they’ll land on their feet at another corporation once the legal dust has settled.
In other words, we know that getting fired doesn’t have to be a death knell.
Here are some strategies for dealing with getting fired so that you can get back on your feet as soon as possible:

1. Tell the truth
At this point probably the worst thing you can do is lie when explaining why you got fired. If you’ve been fired and are then caught in a lie, that makes you a liar who got fired so you’ve got two strikes against you.

Getting fired doesn’t necessarily mean of course that your boss walks into your office and yells “you’re fired!”

This isn’t Hollywood…

Getting fired might mean that your contract simply wasn’t renewed, it could mean there was a difference of opinion between you and your manager, it could be a result of a new manager getting rid of staff so that he/she can bring in friends of theirs.

Trust me; this happens all the time.

Conflict is something that we humans are quite good at and the truth is that we won’t get along with everyone that we come into contact with.
When telling interviewers why you were fired, just remember to:
•    Tell the truth. Tell people what happened and what you have learned from the experience.
•    Take responsibility and don’t point fingers looking for other people to blame.
•    Keep your answer brief. Don’t start rambling and tell a long story which could get you into more trouble by making you look defensive.

My experience dealing with job searchers who were fired are that the ones who land back on their feet the quickest are the ones who understand why they were fired, understand what they need to do to minimize the chances of it happening again and are honest about what happened.
Believe me; the ones who lie are usually very easy to spot.

2. Use your references to defend you
Ideally, you will have several references from the company who fired you who can defend you and can speak positively about your time with the company. If you can find several former colleagues or management-level staff who can give you a positive reference, you’ll be one step closer in your job search.
As mentioned above, from time to time we all run into someone whose personality clashes with ours so if your ex-boss was the problem, think about who else you can use.

Perhaps the job just didn’t match your skills and experience as well as it should have.

Whatever the reason for getting fired, having several people who worked with you who can highlight your positive attributes and alleviate any concerns a future employer might have will only help your chances of landing a new job quickly.
In my experience, when I have worked with a job searcher who had been fired, I’ve normally done at least one reference check right away to determine whether or not the person was telling me the truth with regards to their reason for being fired.

When the reference check alleviates my concerns by explaining why the person was fired and if they can show me that the firing might have simply been an explainable situation that was not the result of a fundamental flaw in the person’s background, I feel much more comfortable helping that person find a new job. Further, I feel better speaking with potential employers about this person and comfortably dealing with the reasons why they should look at hiring someone who was recently fired.

3. Be prepared to lose out on some job opportunities
The reality is that some potential employers may shy away from you when they find out you were fired and the reason behind it. In some cases, you might not be able to avoid this if the employer doesn’t have an open mind or if the reason you were fired was very serious.

You can help your own cause by following the two points listed above but you can also improve your chances at finding a new job by trying to find a new job right away.

When you get fired, taking time off for an extended vacation or to figure out what you want to do next in your career might not be the best thing you can do because then not only do you have to explain why you were fired you also have to explain the gap in your resume, which means you might have two strikes against you, not one.

The reality is that if you are dealing with getting fired, you want to minimize the number of reasons that a potential employer could look past you at this point. Now is not the time to put further doubt in the mind of people who could be looking to hire you.

If a potential employer hears that you’ve been fired and then sees that you haven’t worked in several months, this could send the wrong message. They could think that you are having trouble getting a new job and would then further question why they should hire you.

Getting fired means that your job search might be a bit more difficult than it would otherwise be if you had been still employed. If you understand the reasons for getting fired, take responsibility, tell the truth, and get people to help honestly defend you, you should get back on your feet quickly.
Reprinted from

Related to getting fired
•    Rebounding from a career setback
•    Shift happens
•    Quitting your job


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