Even though it can feel like the end of the world, I know you will bounce back from being fired from your last role. I encourage you to look at this situation as a moment to reflect on your career and learn from the experience.
And just remember that you are not alone. In fact, over 40% of Americans have been fired at least once in their career. And according to data from Intoo and the Harris Poll, 23% of people lose their jobs three or more times throughout their career. What’s more important is how you will move forward. Here are 4 steps to help you navigate the aftermath and what you should do next.
Getting fired from a job can be traumatizing. Layoff anxiety is a thing, and it can cause you to dwell on negative thoughts that can hinder your self-confidence. Take some time to grieve and let all your emotions out. It won’t happen overnight but take little steps towards accepting the situation and understanding that the past is the past.
This predicament is only temporary and you’ll more than likely be able to find a new job (that may even pay better) soon. The key thing is to learn from the experience, and use that lesson to improve upon your skills.
Next, I recommend you to do a personal audit and review the skills you currently have. It may even help to assess your own performance in your last role, and try to see yourself from the perspective of your former employer.
Were there specific tasks or responsibilities that you could have handled differently? Did you receive any feedback or performance evaluations that indicated areas for improvement? Identifying these aspects will help you pinpoint areas where you can grow and develop.
Another option is to get feedback from others you have worked with. Reach out to former colleagues who may be able to provide valuable insights into your performance and shed light on any blind spots you may have. Be open to feedback, as it can be a valuable tool for personal and professional growth.
Now is the fun part: you get to decide what’s next! While it may initially seem like a daunting decision, this can be a golden opportunity to reassess your professional goals, values, and aspirations. You get to ask yourself: what do I really want to do next?
Maybe you’ve always wanted to try out entrepreneurship? Maybe you’ve been in the same industry for too long and want a change of pace? Maybe the role you had did not bring out your best skills and you want to do something completely different? These are the questions to ask yourself that are going to shape your overall career satisfaction and personal growth.
And if you’ve decided that you would like to get back on the horse, it’s now time to start applying to new roles! It may be tempting to just take your old resume and spam the “easy apply” button but that’s not going to do you any good. The first thing you should do is update your resume and LinkedIn profile to highlight the skills you gained and the impact you’ve made in the last few months.
Remember to tailor your resume based on the role that you’re applying for. If you’re looking to switch industries, it’s a good idea to be selective with what you include in your professional experience section by emphasizing certain roles and skills that align with your new field.
If you want to maximize your chances of getting the interview, one hack that I recommend to my career coaching clients is to look up the hiring team on LinkedIn and connect with them. Add a note to your connection request and let them know your interest in the role and the value you can bring to their team. That simple note can be the difference between you getting an interview or not!
It’s standard for recruiters to ask the reason why you left your old job. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to approach this question with honesty and a positive mindset.
Even if your last job didn’t end on the best of terms, it’s not a good idea to bad mouth your former employer or colleagues. Instead, what I recommend is to reframe the conversation around the lessons you learned during the experience. This allows you to highlight your adaptability, a crucial transferable skill that all employers look for in their candidates.
Here’s a sample answer that can help:
My position was terminated in July 2022 after nine months with the team. I learned a lot in my short time there, but at the end of the day, it just wasn’t the right fit for either side. I think they were looking for someone with more specialized experience in paid media, while my expertise was more focused on SEO and content.
I also learned that I’m a better fit with roles that involve a bigger team, and that’s one of the reasons this opportunity caught my eye. I’m excited to pursue roles that bring out the best in my digital marketing experience and looking forward to learning more about this opportunity.
Getting fired can be unpleasant, and applying for a job after it can be downright daunting. However, it’s crucial to not treat it as the end of the world simply because it isn’t. The road to success is almost never straightforward. So hold your head high, keep walking, and know that your next opportunity could just be right around the corner. Keep moving forward!
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