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You Got Fired From a Job, So What?

By Paul Keijzer | Small Business

I get it. It’s tough. You just got fired from a job and the prospects in the market are slim. Your thoughts jump like a monkey from branch to branch. One second you’re worried about how to manage household expenses, the next instant you’re happy about being ‘liberated’ from the horrible boss, then you delve into bouts of desperation only to surface with the exciting prospect of chasing your dream job.

Losing your job is significant. It’s just below marriage, personal injury or death of a close family member in terms of Life Stressors and it can have a significant social, financial and personal wellness impact. Knowing how to deal with the situation is important and although there’s a whole litany of advice out there, let me share what has worked for me:

Suggestion 1: Be Prepared

The best and fastest way to prevent the impact of being fired is not much different than most things in life; be prepared.

If you go to work everyday knowing that not your boss, nor your company define who you are and that only what you DO defines who you are, then being fired will not impact your confidence nor your social status. Yes it might impact your financials in the short term but of course here as well preparation is the key (they call it savings…).

Even if you find this a bit far-fetched, I’m sure that we all know when our time in the company is up, and these signals should be used to start getting ready to move on. Even when you are caught off guard and the company fires you, there are ways to get moving forward fast again.

Suggestion 2: Deal With Your Emotions

No matter how prepared or tough you are, being fired will leave emotional scars. You have to get these emotions out of your system How you do that is different for each individual. Some talk about it, others write / journal / paint about it, some put a picture of their boss on the dart board and then there’s always running, cooking, dancing, collecting stamps – whatever works for you.

The important thing is to deal with them as these scars might hamper your ability to think straight or act going forward.

Suggestion 3: Aim For The Stars

I could not find the statistic but my guess is that every person will get fired at least once during their career. When you speak to individuals who have just been fired from a job they’re traumatized. Most of them wonder, How could this have happened to me and why me? The interesting part is that if you speak to many of these people a couple of years later and ask them about their experience of being they often reply with: “That was the best thing that could have happened to me”.

Being fired can present you with an opportunity.

An opportunity where shackles have been taken off and you can find a place where growth and learning will continue. You’ll be able to continue to grow, learn and do the things that you loved doing or aim for doing the things you always wanted to do.

Aiming for the stars is not about day dreaming and hoping that it will come. It’s an active process in which you answer three questions:

  1. What really excites me?
  2. What can I be the best in the world in?
  3. What life style is important for me?

Suggestion 4: Stay Active

Being fired doesn’t mean you can sit on your bum feeling sorry for yourself. Of course slump for a week, take a holiday, maybe even take a couple of month sabbatical (if you can afford it) but the sooner you put yourself back in action the better. Make calls, meet people, send out a letter, research, read, write a blog. Do at least 5 things that will move you closer to your dream job or goal.

It doesn’t matter what you do, just do whatever is necessary to stay mentally and physically fit.

Suggestion 5: Network

Networking – this is my number 1 tip. My favorite blogger Bakadesuyo has a wonderful post on How To Make Your Life Better By Sending Five Simple Emails and loads of other pundits about the importance of networking. Ideally you have already been keeping in touch with a wide variety of people before you got fired. But even if you haven’t don’t worry about what people might think, get in touch with them.

A Couple of networking tips from my past experience:

  • Focus on people that are not in your close circle of contacts, focus on those that are two or three steps away from you.
  • Don’t ‘cold-call’ contacts, get people that know you well to introduce you.
  • Don’t network over Linkedin, phone, Facebook or email alone. Take people out, talk, learn and get ideas.

My friend Nate Thompson from RBL has a fool proof approach to get the best out of a network contact. According to him it’s a “60 second elevator speech where you tell them what you’ve been doing and what you are interested in doing”. You get this information by asking:

  1. What advice do you have for me?
  2. If you were in my position, what questions would you be asking? What things would you be considering?
  3. Who should I be talking to?

I realize that the above may or may not work for you – it really depends on your situation. So let me know what has worked for you. I’ll leave you with this story from Amy Shouse on how she found happiness after being fired from a job. I think it’s an authentic personal account and a wonderful story to learn from.

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: You Got Fired From a Job, So What?

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