Being Let Go

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Ok, let’s talk about something not to fun, but it has to be said…. being fired. It will happen to the best of us. It’s never fun (seriously, who likes being let go??). Either way, you need to have a plan in place. Here’s your surefire plan to get over this:

  1. You get one day (that’s 24 hours) to wallow in your grief. That’s it. Use this time wisely to cry, sob, get angry… whatever it is that you need to do to release the emotion. It doesn’t matter if you were laid off or fired… You will still feel similar emotions. It’s important to take the first 24 hours to get the emotions out or else you will never be able to get back to productive mode.
  2. Evaluate the situation more clearly. Alright, you’ve spent the last 24 hours wallowing away the situation. Now your’e going to put on your big kid pants on and look at the situation that led up to it.
    • If it was a Lay Off: How was the company performing? Did you work in a critical department or not? Was your supervisor acting a little off? What was your gut telling you?
    • If it was a Let Go: By this, I mean that your employment was terminated due to some sort of performance issue. The odds of your boss “just hatin’ on you” is very slim, so you’ll have to be very honest with yourself in this section. Let’s evaluate it: How was your performance? Were you just skating by with the bare minimum? Had you been on a performance improvement plan already? Where you getting along with other people? Did you follow the policy correctly (or not)? Where you coming in on time (most common way to get terminated for young adults)?
  3. Consider where you can improve. After evaluating how you were eliminated, now you need to figure out how you can develop and improve upon yourself. The biggest part about growing up is constantly looking for ways to improve because if you’re not growing, you’re not going anywhere.
    • If it was a Lay Off: Write down some of the signs you were seeing. What were some rumors you heard? How was your supervisor acting towards you? Now, file your list to the back of your mind until the next time, when you’re a lot more prepared for it.
    • If it was a Let Go: Understand what behaviors you did, what actions you did (or did not do) that led to the ultimate decision to fire you. Be honest with yourself because during your interviews, an interviewer may ask the question “why did you leave your last position?” and you will have to be (creatively) honest. What counts the most is what are you going to do in the future to ensure that behavior does not repeat itself?
  4. Update your resume and start applying like crazy! The majority of your time should now be dedicated to looking for your next position. Think of job searching as a full-time job now: You start your day at 8am working on your resume, checking out job listings, updating cover letters, and applying for jobs. Your day ends around 4 or 5. Monday through Friday (and maybe even the weekends!). This is your job now. After a few weeks, you will start seeing the phone calls and interviews rolling in. Don’t give up.

There will always be things in life that will throw crazy curveballs at you, both personally and professionally. If you stick to my 24 hour rule, you will have a lot easier time to recovering from those blows.

Where you ever fired or laid off from a job? Did you see it coming? What did you learn from that experience and how did you use it to enhance yourself for future opportunities?