You're Fired

So You Got Fired?

Five Things You Should Do Next

So you heard the two words from your employer that no one wants to hear “You’re fired” or if they were a little nicer “You’re dismissed”. When you heard those words you had a million things going through your head from how will I pay my bills? To tomorrow I do not have to come to work, its fishing time!  Whatever was going through your head one thing that most people experience is anger, you want to scream and tell the boss how lousy he or she was as a supervisor.  But you cannot do that, you will look crazy and you don’t want people saying that when everyone starts gossiping why your cubicle is empty.  
1. Settle Everything With The Old Employer
You are probably not coming back to work the next day so it is important to settle everything right away, like your last check, applying for unemployment benefits and your annual leave. During the initial period of anger and frustration you are probably not thinking about your accrued annual leave, and that is ok. But be sure to have the telephone number and contact name for an individual in human resources, you quickly want to find out if and when you will get your annual leave paid out and when you should expect your last check.  It is also important not to sign any documents during your dismissal, you are in no position to clearly read and understand what you are signing. Especially if you believe that the employer did not have good reasons to get rid of you.  Just politely state that you would rather not sign anything today, no one can force you to sign anything. 
2. Get It Out Of The System 
This is the step when you do get angry and scream at the boss but again you do not do that at the office, remember the gossiping coworkers? In this step it is perfectly ok to cry you might even have to do that right when you get in the car if you cannot hold it together. Just remember to keep it together in the office, you must show to everyone that you are a strong person, even if you feel like totally losing it. You never know when you might run into these people again, what opinions will they have of you?  You might want to contact family and friends depending on what kind of an individual you are, some people prefer being alone in hard times, others do not. 
It is important to get everything out of the system. No one can move on if they are still thinking about the old job and cursing their old boss. That job is in the past and it is not coming back it is important to accept that. 
3. Figure Out Your Financial Situation 
This is an important step.  Now that you do not have a steady income you have to figure out how long you can survive without a job. Experts say that one needs to have 6 months’ worth of savings in case of an emergency, but probably few people have that much money. Figuring out your finances early will avoid the headaches later on.  It will give you an idea how long you can survive without finding a job.  If you still have college loans make sure you notify the banks immediately of your new financial situation maybe you can lower your payments or not pay your loans for several months.  Just remember that interest keeps getting added on. 
If you qualify this is also the time to apply for unemployment benefits. Also contact human resources to confirm when you will get your last check and your annual leave paid out. 
4.  Job Search 
Updating your resume and getting it printed on nice paper is a good start.  Signing up on website like Monster and Linked in should follow. Searching for a job is like a full time job itself. Waking up early like you are going to work is a good way to stay in your routine and keep your day structured.  This could be a good time to hit up some of your contacts that you made through your old job or any organizations that you might belong too.  You should try to apply to one job a day and even that is probably not enough.  Also most of the jobs out there are not even advertised, getting dressed nice and hitting up various employers is a great way to hand out your resume and it shows great initiative. 
5. Follow Your Dreams 
Hopefully you keep applying to jobs everyday but that still leaves you with a lot of free time.  Sometimes out of the worst situations in life best things can happen.  Getting fired might be the best thing that has ever happened in your life.  This might be the first time you have free time on your hands in years. Ever wanted to take a cross country road trip? This might be the time to do it and reflect on your life and where you would like to take it. Maybe it might be time to think of a career change and taking out classes at a local community college might be the way to go about it.  You do not have to sail around the world to enjoy all this free time (but you sure can) maybe starting a new hobby or returning to your old one?
This might also be the perfect time to start living a more healthy life, like starting a new diet or exercise plan.  The main point is that possibilities are endless and you can do whatever you enjoy.  Getting fired is an awful thing and no one should experience it but only you can turn it around into something positive.  Remember that your old job was only a short stop on your long journey.