Getting fired from your job is never a good thing, especially in today’s economy, but it is not the end of the world if you learn from your mistakes and move on. However, the 21st Century is not a good time to get fired from a job.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed persons in the US in July of 2011 was 13.9 million and the unemployment rate was 9.1 percent. The Real Time National Debt Clock shows the actual unemployment rate as of August 14 to be closer to 25,000,000 unemployed workers in the U.S.
What shoud you do if you find yoursefl without a job during a tough economy? These 10 tips should help you handle and make the best of getting fired in the event you find yourself in the unhappy position of being terminated from your job.
Top Ten Tips for Dealing with Job Termination
1. Don’t Quit Your Job
If you suspect you are about to be fired from your job, don’t quit and don’t give them any grounds for job termination. You may be entitled to some benefits, including unemployment or severance, if you are fired. You might not be eligible for any benefits if you quit. However, while you are still employed is the best time to start looking for another job.
2. Find Out What You Are Eligible For
Check with your local unemployment office to see if you are eligible for unemployment benefits. If you were fired for misconduct, you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits, but your unemployment office may lean in your direction if there is a dispute about why you were fired. You might also want to check with an attorney to see if your firing could be considered wrongful termination. Other things to research would include eligibility for assistance programs such as food stamps.
3. Grieve Your Loss While You Prepare to Move On
After you are fired, give yourself a day or two to grieve the loss of your job and to do a positive little soul searching. What you can learn from being terminated? If you were not happy or not successful at your last job, now is the time to consider a different line of work or a different position and come up with a game plan for finding a new and, hopefully, better job. Talk to your unemployment agency about what training and other programs they offer. After you have mourned your loss and come up with a game plan, you are ready to start looking for a new job.
4. Let Your Friends & Family Help
Not only can your friends, family, acquaintances, former co-workers, church friends and other people be a an encouragement after a job loss, but they are a good resource for networking with you to help you find a new job.
5. Get Your Resume Ready
Prepare an updated resume. Look online for tips on preparing a current resume, because the best format for a resume changes every year or so. Your unemployment agency may also have tips to help you with this. In resumes, cover letters, conversations, and interviews, there is no need to bring up the fact you were fired. You can use terms like ‘job terminated,’ and ‘position ended’ instead of saying you were fired.
6. Consider Job Hunting a 9 – 5 Job
Treat job hunting like it is your new full-time job until you find work. Begin at 8 in the morning and work until 5 PM, Monday through Friday. Your new job description now includes making phone calls, filling out applications online, going to interviews, working on your resum©, writing cover letters, checking in with the unemployment office, building social networks online, contacting friends and acquaintances to see if they know of any jobs, and following up with everyone. Start a blog on a topic or topics you know something about. Make sure your MySpace and Facebook pages are professional. If you don’t have a MySpace page or Facebook page, start one. Get a Twitter account. Get your name, resume, interests, and experience out there. Check the want ads online and in local papers. Target the top 10 – 20 companies in your field for a phone call introducing yourself and asking to whom you should send your resume even if they aren’t advertising a job currently. Learn where the online job postings are for your area or your fields of interest.
7. Read Motivational Books
You are not the first person to get fired, so learn from the experiences of others by reading books frm others who have survived being fired and gone on to greater success.
8. Be Honest About Your Firing
While it is better not to bring it up yourself, if you are asked by an interviewer if you were fired, you must be honest and say yes. Not only is lying on a job application dishonest, but it is grounds for dismissal and loss of severance benefits, possibly even unemployment benefits. If your firing comes up, keep it brief, factual, and avoid using negative descriptions of your former company and boss. Think about how you will handle this question BEFORE you go in to the interview and have your brief, factual answer ready.
9. Consider Starting a Business
After losing your job, one thing to consider is starting a business. There are many opportunities working from home if you have a special talent or service you can market or if you consider network marketing.
10. Maintain a Positive Outlook
Don’t wast time being depressed or getting down on yourself for being fired. A positive attitude will go a long ways towards helping you survive being fired as well as finding a new job. Being fired may be the best thing that could have happened – now you have the opportunity to learn from your mistakes, to grow as a person, and to find something better suited for your talents and temperament.
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