Getting a Job

Getting Fired: How to React and Finding Your Next Steps

If you get fired, you can plan your next steps to increase your chances of growing your career and getting a better job. In many cases, you may get fired because your role wasn’t a good fit, and you can use your circumstances to get a job where you can better use your qualifications. In this article, you can learn how to react when you get fired.

Getting fired: How to react and finding your next steps

Even though getting fired can be emotionally challenging, it is an opportunity for change and growth. 

Here are several reactions you should consider to turn your termination into an asset:

1. First, stay professional when you get fired

If you get fired, you should always act in a professional way with your employer. You will need positive references for your next step, so you can avoid expressing resentment during your discussions or by posting negative comments online. Instead, thank your employer for the opportunities they gave you. Complete the work you were assigned and leave on good terms. 

2. Second, ask why you were terminated

Keep calm, take deep breaths and listen when your employer explains why you’ve been let go. If your employer doesn’t offer an explanation, ask them politely to provide you the reasons in detail. When you understand the causes of your dismissal, you can identify areas of improvement. Whether it is based on your performance, attitude or lateness, it is crucial to know the reasons why you were fired to correct mistakes and improve yourself for the next job.

3. Third, find out if you are eligible for benefits

Even though the news is overwhelming, it is essential to stay cool-headed and ask the right questions. Your manager or the human resources department should inform you about compensation due and unemployment. If the reasons for your termination are budget cuts, company downsizing or because you weren’t a good fit for the job, you may be eligible. But in the case of termination for causes like theft, violation of the law, willful misconduct damaging the company or fraud, you may not be eligible.

4. Fourth, take your time to make a decision

Getting fired is a stressful experience. Even though it is important to update your resume and start applying for a new job, taking advantage of this break can be even more productive. Exercise, rest and take care of yourself. You might need some time to get over the anger you have experienced. Reflect on your last position; decide what you enjoyed doing, and what you didn’t like. Consider your strengths and weaknesses in your previous role and what new skills you acquired. Decide if you want to stay in the same industry or if you want to make a change. This period could be a turning point for your carrier and bring you more fulfillment in your next position. Use the time to heal and reflect to start fresh, energized and confident.

5. Fifth, announce to your network that you are looking for a job

As you communicate the news to your friends and family, you can take a moment to announce the changes and express your interest to look forward. Tell your network what kind of job opportunities you may want to look for.

6. Sixth, update your resume

Describe your relevant responsibilities and the experience you gained. If you decide to change your career, emphasize your skills rather than your last job title. You can always look at resume samples for inspiration. If you think a certification would help to get you more opportunities, don’t hesitate to take classes. 

7. Then, prepare for interviews

When you prepare for interviews, inform yourself about the company and the job position you have applied for. It will allow you to ask targeted questions and show your interest in the job.

Understand that the hiring manager may ask about the termination. They want to know if there is a problem with your attitude or the way you handle your work. All you have to do is express yourself calmly and avoid negative comments about your ex-employer. Prepare your answer with three to four sentences and explain what happened positively. For example, you can say that you learned from yourself and took it as an opportunity to rethink and achieve your career objectives, imply that this change was a mutual decision and explain you understand now that it was time for you to move on, there is no resentment. Demonstrate your ability to handle problems and learn from them. Practice your explanation in front of a friend or family member and mind your body language to demonstrate confidence.