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Sunday, April 20, 2014

What To Do After Getting Fired

Posted Tuesday, October 25, 2011, at 3:08 AM

Being fired from a job is an overwhelming situation financially and emotionally for most individuals. This is especially true if losing your job is unexpected or you are the sole wage earner for a family. Although it may take time, realizing the professional and personal growth opportunities that can result from being fired is essential in successfully managing a job loss.

Individuals who spend forty or more hours per week working and developing close relationships with their colleagues may find that their identity is strongly related to the work that they do. When a job loss is experienced a subsequent loss of identity may occur. Ensuring that you incorporate hobbies and other activities in your life will alleviate some of the loneliness and difficulties associated with a job loss. After being fired it is vital to promptly commence a job search but it is equally important to involve yourself in activities that can minimize the stress associated with being unemployed and searching for employment. Communicating with family and close friends can be beneficial during this time as they provide crucial support in navigating a period of unemployment. Additionally, enlisting outside support groups designed for the unemployed and their families provides a safe environment to discuss concerns related to losing a job and strategies for surviving and thriving during this period.

A small percentage of individuals are capable of preparing for an imminent job loss, however the large majority are not expecting to be fired. Ideally, individuals and their families are financially secure and have built emergency saving funds to protect themselves in such situations. There are many families though living paycheck to paycheck and a job loss results in serious financial difficulties. Ensuring that you continuously update your resume and maintain a network of professional contacts will be helpful when you find yourself looking for a new job. It is important to recognize that your career does not define who you are and obtaining any type of employment is beneficial to the well-being of yourself and family. Continuing a job search while employed in a less desirable occupation is a viable option and recommended when receiving any income is necessary.

Optimal physical and psychological health allows an individual to commence a job search under the best circumstances. Eating well, incorporating exercise, and involving family with your present concerns are all valuable contributions during this period. Spouses and children need to feel as though they are making a team effort with the individual who has been fired to find employment prospects and reduce expenses at home. Avoiding isolation and building a support network of family and friends can be a tremendous help when unemployed.

Keeping to a schedule while job searching allows time for fun combined with serious efforts looking for new employment. It is acceptable to take some time to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and evaluate what type of position you are most suited for. Following this it is vital that previous and current references are contacted to assist with the job search. If you have been the sole wage earner for a household now is the time to ascertain which expenses are necessary and what can be cut from the budget. In situations where creating an emergency fund has not been possible it is now vital to save in any area that is not a necessity.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Thank you. I am going to print this out for my son.

-- Posted by KH Gal on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 7:25 AM

I was downsized about 5 years ago, and went to half the salary. As a single Mom who had struggled to get where I finally was (could even have fun and take kids on vacations!) I was devastated.

I immediately found work doing something I loved, so was only unemployed for a week, and really that was by choice. I went ahead and had that week off. I had enough money saved that I could have gotten by for about 3 months (which I had been told I should do, so I did) (Now days I think it should be more like a year) and I had a 6 month severance package, so really, I was a lucky one.

Another thing I found, is it's amazing how much money you can save in tiny things!

And I have made several hobbies into paychecks.... so it also makes you inventive!

Thanks for your column.... I enjoy it


-- Posted by jessiemiller on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 8:29 AM

We would save a lot of money if I just handed over my debit card to David.

-- Posted by KH Gal on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 10:52 AM

I'd save money if I had someone to hand mine too. Ha!

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 11:33 AM

Not implying that your firing had anything to do with improper grammer, but you might consider modifying your brief resume as shown under your photo. Your statement, "...by the Institute for Career Certification International and has been recognized..." by changing has to have.

-- Posted by Idaho Al on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 12:49 PM

I appreciated your blog - been there, done that! From my 45 years in manufacturing engineering, I was fired a few times. Following are some thoughts:

* All firings send a panic to the person, especially if their funds are paycheck to paycheck.

* You are poison to your former co-workers. It is doubtful that only those quite close to you will want to talk with you.

* If the firing was through no fault of yours, it is quite probable you will find a new and better job - the firing company did you a favor!

* You will only be looking for one job, even though you may contact many for an offer.

* There is life after being fired. Perhaps the biggest blow is the public rejection for your services.

* Several times the guy who fired me was himself fired within a few months. Figure that one out.

-- Posted by oldcoot on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 3:00 PM

My 2 cents worth. If your over 50, good luck. Your over qualified for entry level, under qualified for tech work, too old for physical labor, and as far as company paid for health plans, your just plain POISON.

-- Posted by royincaldwell on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 3:07 PM

I was (laid off) fired after over twenty years with the same company. What a shock it was! I am still having problems in my mind with what happened. People who I trusted either turned their backs on me or stabbed me in the back.

I am over 50 and went over six month's on unemployment. People would look down on me for being unemployed for that length of time. At one point I had my house for sale and started selling some of my belongings. Not because I needed the money, but because I did not want to move them when the house sold. Did not really matter, as there were no bites on the house.

I have since found work at half the salary of what I was making when I was "laid off". I think things will work out though. I am being trained to take on another career that hopefully will carry me to retirement.

My message to any one who will listen, put some money aside because you never know when the lay off or firing is going to happen. When it does, keep up the good fight and do not give up!

-- Posted by IdahoGrumpy on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 5:29 PM

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I am a master's level career counselor. I am internationally certified as a Career Management Practitioner (CMP) by the Institute for Career Certification International and has been recognized as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) through the National Board for Certified Counselors.