It’s something that many people worry about. Companies downsize; organizational politics have not been favorable; there’s a merger, and a position has become obsolete. Or, in some instances, an employee just gets “out of sync” with the company, and both know it’s time to go.
Whatever the reason, those words, “You’re fired,” can conjure up anger, fear, anxiety, and even depression, as someone thinks about what to do next. If you are in this position, the first thing to understand is that all of these emotions are natural and you can give into them for a few days. But no longer than that. You have things to do.
Here is a list of all of the things you can do as you prepare yourself for the next “leg” of your life journey.
- Take a few days to just get used to your new status as unemployed. Think about what your goals are and what you would do if you had total freedom of choice. This can lead you in a whole new direction that you had never really thought possible before.
Mark Cuban, J.K. Rowling, and Walt Disney were all fired from their jobs. They took their unemployment as an opportunity to set new goals and to pursue careers about which they had passion. Of course, they all became rich and famous, and that is the exception rather than the rule. But there are many more smaller success stories.
One woman, a computer programmer for a bank, was fired when her department was shut down. She could have looked for another programming job, and actually did for a while. But her real passion was writing. Today, she is a freelance writer. She’s not rich or famous, but she pays her bills and loves what she does.
- Take Advantage of Any Severance Package
You do have to be practical in some ways, after all. If you have a severance package, figure out how long you can live on it. Trim your budget to make it last as long as possible, and take a long look at your savings and how you can supplement during your non-earning time. If you can get your finances in order, you will lose some of the panic that can occur from termination. And if you need to supplement that money, go out and get a part-time job doing anything. It will get you out of the house (which is a good thing) and you have that extra cash you need.
The other thing to do is take care of any health issues while you still have insurance. Make those doctors’ and dentists’ appointment and get yourself totally taken of.
- File for Unemployment
This goes without saying, but go and get all of the public assistance that you can.
- Don’t do anything rash or out of bitterness
It’s easy to have anger and to want to lash out at a former boss or even co-workers. Just don’t do it. Here is what one fried and angry employee did. He wrote letters to all of the people with whom he was angry. He vented; he cursed; he ripped into them. But he never sent those letters, of course. What he said was that this was a great catharsis. He was able to get all of that anger out and down on paper, and it actually freed him from it.
- No Self-Pity – Instead, Do Good
During periods while you are waiting for that resume/CV to be reviewed and calls for interviews, don’t wallow in self-pity. There are those who are far worse off than you. Get some perspective by volunteering in a homeless shelter or a cancer ward. When you see the larger problems and issues that others have, you can begin to develop a sense of gratitude that you are not in those situations.
- Consider All Options
Some of us need the security of a full-time job with the benefits that come with that. Others of us are able to handle career risks. Assess who you are in this department. If you are a bit of a risk-taker, use your down time to explore how you might market your skills as a freelancer. There are a huge number of websites that cater to freelancers, and you may be able to pick up some gigs and see how you like being a solopreneur. There are some nice aspects to being your own boss. But even if you ultimately want a regular job, the gigs will bring in some extra cash and you will have them to add to your resume/CV. It can fill a “gap” in that document.
- Get Some Professional Help with that Resume or CV
If you’ve been out of the job market for a while, you may not be “up” on the latest trends in resumes and cover letters. Things have probably changed a lot. And, of course, your documents have to be updated. Getting professional help is probably the way to go.
- How are those interview skills?
Again, things have changed. There are now psychometric tests that you may encounter as a part of the application/interview process. You may even have to write something. And some of the questions will be geared toward scenarios that you will have to respond to. It might be a good idea to get online and search a bit. There is lots of good information out there about typical and not-so-typical questions you may encounter. Be prepared with answers.
It’s an Opportunity
Once you get over the shock of losing your job, sit back and breathe. Take time to process your emotions, and then think of the opportunities that lay ahead for you. Be sure to consider all of your options, set those goals and then go after them, one step at a time.
At a relatively young age, Donald Fomby has already amassed impressive experience as a freelance writer. Currently, he is a valued member of the writing team at PickWriters.com. Donald studied Computer Science at Texas A&M and is a loyal Aggies football fan to this day.
In his spare time, Donald writes Sci-Fi short stories. He’s active on the convention scene as well. He also enjoys local music, and has a soft spot for authentic Texas BBQ. He has a passion for technology, social media, and travel that make him a great fit for PickWriters.