POSTED ON

26 Feb 2018

Getting fired can be a debilitating experience for anyone, even more so for those who believe that they've put in all the time, effort, and energy necessary to stay employed. Especially if you liked the job, getting fired can feel like breaking up with a person you really care for. It can drain the life out of you and sap your ability to cope.

What you have to accept is that getting fired can happen to anyone. Failures will happen in life, but it's not going to be the end of the world. You need to find a way to overcome your negative feelings, or else they'll get the best of you. Granted, it can be hard to do this alone with your willpower depleted, but with the proper guidance, you'll soon be able to face life's challenges again with your head held high. Let these tips help you get back in the rat race.

1. Feel the Pain

You need to let yourself grieve. Feel the loss. Feel the hurt. Feel the resentment. You're losing something important to you, and that can be a lot to take in, but it's important that you process each emotion as you feel them. Cry if you must. Let it all out. By allowing yourself to feel, you'll gain a deeper understanding of your feelings, maybe even get to the source of your pain. Only then can the work of healing begin.

2. Accept Your Situation

Very few things in life are fully under your control. Fate, causality, divine intervention-whatever you want to call it, life just has a way of blindsiding you when you least expect it. Things just happen, and even the best people for the job get fired for many different reasons. Accept your circumstances, take it as a learning experience, and do your best to ensure it doesn't happen again.

3. Distract Yourself

Once you're done with the negative, it's time to focus on the positive. Think of it this way-losing that 9-to-5 opens up your schedule completely. Now you can go back to some of the activities you've always loved but let fall to the wayside because you had a job. Make time for hobbies, passions, and other activities you enjoy. If you didn't have a hobby before, now would be a great time to start one. Turn your job loss into an opportunity to improve yourself. Who knows, what you learn during your time-off could prove valuable for when you start looking for a new job.

4. Figure Out What Went Wrong

If your job termination was related to your performance, then you have to work on some aspects of yourself. The keyword here is self-improvement. Are you aware of the areas of the job where you felt short of your employer's expectations? Even if they didn't tell you outright during the exit interview why they fired you, you can still find out the possible reasons in your own way. Start by reviewing your performance evaluations. Ask former colleagues to be candid about why they think you were fired. When you ask, listen. Keep yourself from arguing, contradicting, or debating their point. Identify all your possible shortcomings and work on overcoming them. Although it can be difficult, this is something you need to do. You don't want to take those negative traits with you on your next life venture, whatever it may be.

5. Build Up Your Personal Brand

Speaking of looking for a new job, you need to ensure your online presence is optimized and updated for the recruiters, HR managers, and employers who'll be checking you out after they go over your resume/CV/application. With 92 percent of recruiters admitting to reviewing an applicant's social media pages to scan for red flags, it's in your best interest to delete any post, share, or like that potentially sends the wrong message about you. As a rule of thumb, delete any information about yourself that you would not be happy for your future employer to find out. Likewise, update your website, social media channels, and other online portfolios to showcase your latest awards, achievements, and accomplishments. This can help boost your confidence as you look forward and plot to your next life chapter.

6. Look Ahead

Even if you're not a spiritual person, you can still find meaning in getting fired. Perhaps something was not working out between you and the company, and you'll be a better fit for some other job. Or maybe your employer could no longer afford you, because the business is going under. Don't let your job loss define you. Whatever the case may be, it's in your best interest to stay positive and look at the brighter side of your situation. Take it as an opportunity to start a new life. Choose another job, volunteer for a nonprofit, maybe even go back to school. Better yet, you can start your own business with everything you've learned from your former company. List down the things you could possibly do, and believe that you can bounce back from your dire predicament. Let your list can be limitless.

7. Thank Your Former Boss

Write your former boss a thank you letter and mean it. Hopefully, after acting on the tips above, you've moved past the negativity and are now thinking more clearly. Maybe you'll even begin to see your ex-manager's point of view and understand that he or she was right in letting you go in the first place. Even if this is not the case, you need to swallow your pride and send that letter nonetheless. Thank your former manager and the company for the opportunity to work there. Don't burn any bridges. You can never tell when you'll need their help in the future, and your actions could come back to haunt you. Ultimately, a thank you letter will serve you better than any bridge-burning activity that may be brewing in your mind.

Your job is personal because what you do is a big part of who you are. That's why getting fired can hurt. Getting over those negative feelings require honesty, courage, and openness. The hurt may leave a mark, but by facing it instead of ignoring it, the pain will start to sting less and less, and you'll be a better, more resilient person for it. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, after all.

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