Getting fired can be so traumatic that you just want to lie in bed for awhile rather than face the world. But your bills probably will not allow you that luxury. You have to stage a quick recovery and get back into the workforce as quickly as possible. Getting fired can create challenges when you search for a new job, because potential employers who know that your last position ended on a bad note may be afraid the same thing will happen if you join their company. Fortunately, such obstacles are surmountable.
How to get employment after a job termination
Learn from the experience. Though you may feel you were terminated unfairly, there is usually enough blame to go around. Think about ways to avoid having history repeat itself. You will, with any luck, be in a new position soon, and you want to make sure you can hold on to it. Even if the only reason you can come up with for your firing is that the boss was a tyrant, you have still learned something: Be on the lookout for potentially tyrannical managers during your job search, and avoid accepting jobs from them.
Determine what you really want to do. This is a good chance to figure out whether you like the line of work you have been in or if it is time for a career change. You may need to look into options for additional training if you decide to make a switch. You can also think about whether you want to stay in the area where you live or look for work elsewhere.
Assess the damage. Find out what your former manager plans to say about you if potential employers call for a reference. The best way to find this out is to ask directly. If that does not work, one option is to hire a company that specializes in finding this out. Allison & Taylor Reference Checking Services, at www.myreferences.com promises, for example: "We will reference check your previous employers, finding out EXACTLY what your former boss will say about you." Some companies do not give references at all, instead providing only the dates you worked there.
Make sure you have good references, whether they are from your most recent employer or elsewhere. If the manager who terminated you appears likely to give you a bad reference or no reference, you will need to focus on finding others who will vouch for you. Sometimes colleagues who knew you well but did not serve as your manager can give you a reference. Earlier employers are also a good choice, as are people who have worked with you or managed you in a volunteer capacity.
Project positivity in interviews. It is critical that you have a good explanation for leaving your most recent job. When asked about the topic in interviews, address it directly, honestly and briefly. Avoid criticizing your manager or the company, because that could lead to your interviewer seeing you as a troublemaker or, at least, a person lacking tact. Explain how you think you fell short, what you learned from the experience and how you plan to avoid making the same mistakes. And then explain the skills and experience you can bring to the position you are aiming for.
Tips & Warnings
- Networking is particularly important after a termination. Being referred for an opening by someone who speaks well of you can overshadow any misgivings a potential employer may have about the way your last job ended.
- Do not take rejection personally. While you may be sensitive and assume that employers are not getting back with you because you were terminated from your last position, rejection is, in fact, a part of nearly every job search.