Getting sacked is one of the most traumatizing, distressing life events anyone could experience.
This is because, at some point, your identity gets intertwined with career, so much so that when you are riven from your occupation, you feel like you have lost a part of your soul.
It doesn’t help that companies have become so creative of late in sacking personnel. Now you can easily get fired over Twitter. But the effects remain the same: devastating blows to your self-esteem and cash flow.
There is a thing called resilience, however, and you may not have the perspective for such an outcome right now, but you will rebound. Maybe not today, but tomorrow. Here’s how you can get back on your feet.
While you’re in the office…
If you’re one of the many who have been fired on the spot, resist the temptation to make a scene. Reacting vehemently is the equivalent of scooping spilt milk with your foot. At the very least it will not turn around your situation.
Look for a job as soon as you can.
Sure, take the first few days off to ease your mind. But remember that the longer you wait, the more difficult it is to explain to prospective employers the gap between jobs. Unless of course, you put that gap to good use by going back to school or volunteering for a relevant gig in an industry that hews close to your dream career. Besides being active will help you shake off the negative emotions attendant on getting terminated.
Don’t just send applications hastily.
However, don’t just send out any resume arbitrarily. It’s important that you research the company you’re applying for, lest the cycle starts again. You get hired for a job you don’t like, you lose interest in it, your productivity suffers, and you get the axe; rinse and repeat.
Obtain financial help.
You will realize that the time between jobs can be a pecuniary pain in the backside. Know that you could be eligible for some financial assistance from the state after losing a job. In Victoria, Australia, recently axed workers of a particular age bracket may have a claim to a so-called Youth Allowance.
If you were a card-carrying member of a labor union, getting fired would be the most opportune time to pull that card out. Unions will help you fight the good fight if you were unjustly axed. However, realize that it can be a pyrrhic victory, to stay in a job that that doesn’t want you anymore.
Arrange a tight-knit pity party with your closest friend or relative. It is important not to bottle up emotions that would only ache for release sooner or later. However, it is equally important to not just yammer about your former company to just about anyone, because the cliché still holds true. It’s a small world, and word gets around easily.
During a job interview…
Any company who hears you badmouthing your ex-employer would have good reason to think you would do the same to them in the future. When you’re in an interview, make a positive spin on your termination, insofar as you don’t have to use such words as “fired” or “terminated.” Say your company was downsized, etc. Reassure them about the lessons you have learned and put to practice since. Then again, lying is another beast. Don’t say you resigned when in truth you were clearly being pushed to the front door.
Get your full severance pay.
If you were a fulltime employee, make sure that you get a whole month’s pay before completely crossing the bridge. Your company is bound by the law to give you a whole month’s remuneration, whether or not you have carried out your end of the two weeks’ notice.
Think of it as a new beginning.
Many people have been fired, only to emerge stronger than ever. Look at Ellen Degeneres, whose show was cancelled in the 1990s. Look at Madonna, fired by Dunkin Donuts when she was just a nobody. It’s not the end of the world; it’s just business. Don’t confuse your identity with your job.