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I Got Fired: What To Do On The Day You Are Fired

Getting fired, it can happen to the best of us for all manner of reasons. It can even happen when it’s not your fault. Here is what to do on the day you are fired.

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#1 Keep calm & carry on

[The] biggest advice I would give is to stay calm, stay classy and plan for the next place where you want to work. We've all seen those freak out videos, and they don't do any good, you just become known as the guy or gal that freaked out for whatever reason. By the time a company decides to let you go, it's been long in the work, and very rarely will you be able to get them to change their mind.

By the time you're given the termination letter, or those final words, the paperwork has been done, management approved and internally ratified. Calmly thank the company if you enjoyed working there, and leave the premise. Don't burn any bridges the last few feet from the finish line, as some of these individuals could still be a valuable reference for something else. Or at least someone in the company could be.

Contributors: Nenad Cuk from CroatiaTech

#2 Celebrate

I have had this tradition since I was a teen. Let's face it, when you are fired from a job it's usually because things were going sour already, either with the company or the relationship. No need to be down about it. The best way to get back on track is to be positive and optimistic and there is not better day to start than the day you get fired.

Call up some supportive friends, invite them out to dinner to celebrate that you are no longer working with that old employer. Use that time to network and be grateful for all the other positive things that you have in your life. You will feel much better afterwards and it's a great way to lift your spirits and have a positive outlook. People might think you are a little crazy but better that than to be down and depressed. Everything happens for a reason and when one door closes another opens but you have to be open to receiving those opportunities.

Contributors: Ramon Khan from National Air Warehouse

#3 Treat yourself to your favorite (inexpensive) meal

Go to the restaurant or taco stand and remember it will all be okay. When you get home, log onto the unemployment website and apply for unemployment. Call an empathic friend or family member. Start to think about what was not working at the job and what you’d like in your next position. Over the next few days, revise and update your resume and reach out to contacts to learn about other jobs. Work with a Coach to determine a smooth transition into the next role. Journal and look inward. Create a mantra or affirmation to remind you that this will be okay and you will grow from it.. You are resilient! 

Contributors: Nina Rubin from Life Coach 

#4 Legal Options

For corporate firings, you will be told the news while your office or cubicle is being emptied into boxes and you will be escorted out of the building. You will be asked for your Id. Do not react emotionally. Be professional. Understand that if you do have legal options that you can figure them out later. If given paperwork to sign for severance or other legal forms, ask to be given time to look over them and to be able to fax or mail them back. Walk out with your head held high and know many folks have been fired and it often leads to amazing new next steps. 

Contributors: Lisa Vento Nielsen from The Next Step 

#5 Take time off

I recommend taking a day or two off to just focus on yourself. If you're able to, take some time to reflect a bit on the last place you worked, what experience you've gotten from there, and prepare yourself for the job search coming up. If you still have an offer letter, or the job description, keep it handy to help you edit your resume. The job posting or offer letter usually has duties you performed at the company, and it'll make it easier to get a new resume out to career websites. 

Contributors: Nenad Cuk from CroatiaTech

#7 Find the Good

The best thing to do on the day you are fired is to ask yourself “What’s great about this”? This question is critical to ask and to answer e.g What does this allow me to do now, What did this job i’ve just been fired from hold me back from doing, what didn’t you like about it, what will you change about your next position or undertaking.

Napoleon Hill was famously quoted as saying "Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

This is true 100% of the time, e.g The house burns to the ground, now you can redesign the layout and start new.

Contributors: Thomas B. McVey from The Book On 

#8 Review your exit documents

Review your exit documents to see if you signed a non-compete that prohibits you from working in your industry for a stated period of time, as that could affect where and how you conduct your job search. Finally, remember that nearly everyone experiences employment termination at some time in their career, and that it's not a reflection on you. 

Contributors: Lynda Spiegel from Rising Star Resumes

#9 Slow down

Don't make any other major life decisions. Not the day to have the big chat with your girlfriend or decide on getting a major surgery. Slow down. Do have a good meal. Go for a walk. Take a nap. Make small healthy decisions. Journal. Write out your feelings. Start to write up a plan. Do think big. Outline some big thoughts and pursuits that you have had in the back of your mind. Most importantly, call a friend. Talk out all of your feelings. Feel your feelings. Speak your truth.

Contributors: John Crossman from Crossman & Company

#10 Formulate some kind of a master plan

I'd suggest on the day you lose your job that you take advantage of any grace period of relief from anxiety.  Do some small, nice thing for yourself to cushion the blow, like get ice-cream.  Then take an hour to sit quietly and think about the future.

In that hour you'll want to formulate some kind of a master plan.  Getting a job will be your new job, so outline the daily routine:  When will you start, what will your hours be, what are your goals and how will you know you are meeting them?

In short, get your act together and your feet under you before everything falls on you.  Then you'll be running strong rather than flailing about..  I can't think of a better way to use a rotten day.

Contributors: Adam Cole from A Jazz Musician Who Writes Books

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Written by Zak Parker

Journalist, writer, musician, professional procrastinator. I'll add more here later.

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