So you recently got fired from a job? You’re not the only one, nearly everyone has been terminated at least once, most people several times throughout their career. This is just the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in your life. We’ve provided some advice from our experience on what to do after being fired and how to step into a brighter future.
Remember that we are not offering legal advice and recommend that you consult a lawyer regardless if you feel your termination was just or not. Follow this guide and in your own time, you will be ready to embrace a brighter future than you could have imagined at your previous employer!
Take Care Of Legal Matters Quickly:
Read over your separation agreement quickly, carefully and consult a lawyer right away. The consultation fee will very likely be worth it. When consulting an attorney, be prepared with your questions and clear explanations of your concerns and situation. Make sure to highlight key information about your tenure with the company, major accomplishments and records of discussions or warnings prior to being fired.
If you feel that you have been unjustly fired, your attorney may need to prove it so you must provide any proof that you can. For example if you feel your employer terminated you based on Race, Sex, Age, Religion or any other protected ground, you will need to prove your allegation. If you have access to your email from home, pull any vital information before it is gone but make sure you comply with your separation agreement not to forfeit any severance pay.
It’s a tough time, but move on this very quickly. Any delay can have very serious financial implications. At the very least you will have a set time frame in your severance package outlining when you need to respond to the offer and payment amount (if one was made). Typically if you do not respond within a specified time frame, you may forfeit any severance pay.
Consult with your state’s unemployment agencies to see if you qualify for unemployment pay and/or benefits. Don’t fill out the forms until you thoroughly understand how the qualification process works. Sometimes there are grey areas and if you guess the wrong answer on a unemployment qualification survey, you may disqualify yourself. Again, settle this quickly so you can secure possible funds to cushion you during your job search.
Make sure you get references quickly, reach out to friends and coworkers that you can trust to provide a good reference. Be cautions and discreet as many severance agreements may forbid you from speaking to employees of the company. Approach this with care or wait until the case is settled, at the least, start thinking of who will provide a solid reference.
Take some time as well to calculate your expenses and life style to determine how much time your savings and/or severance pay can take you. This is a key step as you may also need to cut back on spending until you start generating income again.
Get Your Mind Right, Being Fired Is Tough:
Our minds at this stage can run in a million different directions, regret, anger, injustice, betrayal, self-pity, loathing, depression, and many other feeling can over take us during times of uncertainty.
“Remember – this is the start of your future, not the end of your life. It will be hard, it will be filled with unknowns, but this is the opportunity to step boldly into a brighter day.”
Your state of mind during putting together the next pieces of your life will make all of the difference. Those who can’t find the positive in a career change or stay depressed for a long time will have a much harder time getting back into the work force than those who stay positive and hopeful. It’s alright to feel depressed, that’s a human expression and you shouldn’t hide from it. However, the faster you re-bound, the quicker you’ll be back on your feet!
Make sure to look up to the sky daily (literally). Take time to gaze at the stars the moon and the clouds and don’t let you head fall for too long. It’s amazing what looking up does for your self-esteem and confidence. The neurological effects of looking up, smiling and laughing are incredible and will help you to rebound and find a better way.
A good way to keep a sense of normality after being fired is to continue doing work for all or a portion of the hours you were working before. Finding a new career or business venture is a full time job so head out of the house to a café, library or wherever you feel like you can be in work mode (not the golf course) and get crackin’. Great jobs can be rare, and you don’t want to miss deadlines on hot opportunities.
TIP: Beware of negative people. You’re a man. You don’t need pity. You don’t need a hand me down and you definitely don’t want to give people that already don’t like you a reason to smile. So be cautious with who you share your employment status. Some people love to dwell in negativity and will just add to your fears and doubts. You want to surround yourself with positive minds that will empower you to seek out your brighter future!
Enjoy The Time Off:
Once you understand that this is temporary and a brighter future is up ahead in the horizon, take some time to enjoy your time off. It can be a great feeling taking walk in a park on a Monday morning or being the only one at a local café during odd work hours. Enjoy time with your family, take a mini vacation if you can. You will be back on the grind before you know it.
Don’t over-do it. It can be a daunting task getting back into work-mode after a long time of relaxation. Schedule your time-off and don’t exceed what you decided as an acceptable amount of time away from work.
Use Transition Time & Pay-Out Productively:
The time span between your old and new career can vary. Mastering this time can make a huge impact in your next step (check out our article on Mastering Time). Finish up unfinished projects, housework, books, etc.
If you received a pay-out or severance, use it cautiously and if possible invest whatever you can. One of the best investment you can make is in yourself. Upgrade your degree, get a certificating, get your real-estate license. Invest in you. This could pay dividends moving into the future.
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and good business ideas running through your mind, this could be the time to change direction to self-employment!
Prepare Your Resume & Cover Letter:
Before you start writing or touching up your resume, take a moment to really reflect on your experience, skills and where you want to go. Research great resume examples or even hire a professional. Your resume is going to be your intro to your future employer and worth a good amount of effort. Make sure it reflects the best of who you are and highlights your skills.
When you start the search, aim for jobs you want or wished you had while you were in your last position. A long shot at a dream job works out every-once in a while so keep persuing, but also keep looking for work within your specialty.
We hope that this guide has provided you with a down-to earth perspective, hope and motivation to get you looking up and ahead! Remember that your mentality is going to play a large part at this stage of your life and you must stay strong and positive. This is the time to look to a brighter future. This unique period in your life is the bridge between your old life and what lies ahead. Take every moment to learn. Recognize these steps and get ready for the opportunities ahead!
Stay tuned for phone screen and interview tips to come as part of our career series! Let us know if this was helpful and feel free to email us directly for help and advice.
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