A Guide to Finding a Job After You’ve Been Fired
An average of twenty million people lose their jobs every year through downsizing, layoffs, or termination. If you’ve recently been fired, rest assured that you aren’t alone. Statistically nearly everyone has or at some point will be let go from their job and many of the most admired figures in American culture and business—Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, and Steve Jobs, just to name a few—have been fired at various points in their careers. However, remember that it isn’t what you did to get fired that is important, but what you do after your termination that leads to success. Refocus your job search by reading through our three helpful tips on finding employment after you’ve been fired.
- Define a narrative
Being fired often carries negative stigmas. As a result people may draw unfair (and many times untrue) conclusions about you and your work performance. That’s why it’s imperative to define a well-crafted narrative about yourself, your work history, and particularly your termination. You should be prepared to answer questions related to your departure and while it’s best to remain truthful, you don’t always have to use the “F” word. Instead of saying you were fired, simply stating “I left the company” or “the company downsized” accomplishes the same thing. In fact, hiring managers are less concerned about why you left a position and more interested to know what you’re doing to get back on the horse.
- Avoid resume gaps
It is best to avoid gaps in employment history on your resume. This is particularly difficult to do following an unexpected termination, but remember: your resume is the written extension of the narrative of your working life. To a hiring manager it may appear you were unfit for hire when you were actually soul-searching as you scaled the Swiss Alps. Regardless of whether you were scaling the Alps or the crevices of your sofa looking for loose change to buy ramen, framing the narrative of your unemployment is important in making yourself attractive to potential employers. In order to avoid resume gaps, the moment you are fired begins the day you should make the betterment of yourself a full-time job. Either through furthering your education, freelancing/consulting, and/or volunteering, do your best to develop skills, contacts, and references in your time unemployed.
- Take the high road
If you have a solid narrative in place and are taking steps to better yourself as you apply to new jobs you are well on your way to finding gainful employment. The last thing worth recommending is the importance of maintaining a professional image. Maintaining professionalism goes beyond how you dress. Professionalism is in how you communicate, as well. Never bad mouth an ex-employer, boss, or even comment about the ways in which they may do business. Always stay positive about your past work experiences.
Every work experience should be a learning experience. Getting fired is more common than you might think, and employers are well aware that being fired is not necessarily indicative of a job poorly done. As a jobseeker it’s best to learn from your experiences and be confident in the narrative you are presenting employers. Use Real Jobs Hawaii to search for your next position today and be assured that you are putting your best foot forward for tomorrow.