Professional Development

So You Just Got Fired. Now What?

Written by Peter Jones

Even if it wasn’t your fault, getting fired can be a traumatic experience. Here are 8 steps you can take to ensure you bounce back.

1. Take a moment

Sulk. Set yourself a time limit—a week or less—and throw yourself a pity party. Wear sweatpants and have ice cream for breakfast and grieve for the job you lost. Feel all the feels and then cut yourself off and get back on that horse.

2. Stop Facebook stalking

No good can come of you and social media right now. You’ll only compare your current situation to everyone else’s apparently devastating success—the constant feed full of fancy promotions and careers, even marriages and babies. Remember that your current situation does not define the scope of your life or career and take a breather from all the bragging of your network.

3. Open the window

The door is closed. That sucks. But now you get to find the window. There will always be a window. Reframe how you’re looking at this loss, and turn it into a gain. What do you now have the freedom to pursue? Figure that out and go get it.

4. Soul search

You’ve turned the positivity corner. Now you’re strong enough to examine what you may have done wrong—or failed to do really well—so you can prevent that from happening again. This could be a valuable learning experience for you. Even if you learn that you just picked a rotten company at a rotten time. Figure out how you can make yourself a better worker having learned where your performance was perhaps not perfect.

5. Take it on the chin

Ask former coworkers you trust how they view the situation. Ask them to give you straight-up, honest feedback, then listen to what they have to say. Don’t argue. Just take in their view and examine it in the comfort of your own home. Ask yourself what you can take away from what they said in order to do better next time.

6. Make a plan

Now that you’ve learned more about your weaknesses (and are starting to feel that sneaky despair again), it’s time to get back into the positive and proactive realm. Make a plan for improving each thing on your newfound list of faults, whether major or minor. Turn all of this difficult feedback into a new set of goals you can work at, reach, and celebrate.

7. Get physical

Never underestimate the endorphin rush of exercise. Or the confidence you’ll gain from realizing your bod is getting hotter by the day. Your self-esteem will thank you.

8. Be grateful

Write a thank you note. Or ten. To your former boss, your colleagues. Most importantly, to your former supervisor for the opportunity and the things you learned from them. You’ll never know when you might cross paths again.

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About the author

Peter Jones

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