Yes, being terminated is a process that no one wants to experience. However, it is very common, and most times it is not a result of your performance. It is a business decision to change direction or a cost-saving exercise. You lose your job, you lose your paycheck, you get very emotional. It can be like a roller coaster for the first few days after you are told you are not wanted. Nevertheless, think of it positively, as a new opportunity to move on, to embrace a new challenge and learn new skills. Here are the top seven things to process after getting fired:
Believe it or not, grief is good. It gives you a chance to reflect and digest the outcome. Try not to feel that you have been rejected. Don’t show desperation. Allow yourself a few days to mourn as psychologists tell us being terminated is as high on the stress list as death and divorce. Don’t wallow in it. Try to communicate your feelings to friends and family and then move on.
Depending on the employment laws in your country, severances can vary dramatically. In the US, they are mean to employees, but in other western countries, severances can bring notable financial rewards. When being terminated, don’t sign the severance agreement at the termination meeting. Take it with you, and always seek expert opinion from an employment lawyer. Generally, your employer is expecting you to go back with changes. Negotiating a severance can be a lengthy process but try to get a career transition service built into the agreement swiftly after the termination so that you can start preparing your resume, cover letters, LinkedIn profile, and a career plan. Fight for what you think you are worth under the employment laws for your country and region, but don’t let this consume your life as you need to move on.
In-Person and Online Networking
Embrace the new world; embrace in-person and online networking. More often than not, your next job at the junior, mid or senior level, is not going to come from an online job board. Don’t ignore them, but don’t spend extensive amounts of time on these platforms. Your best ROI for time will be using social media with an emphasis on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Have a powerful resonating presence on these platforms. They all provide you an opportunity to portray yourself as an expert and connect with people who can generate leads or maybe your next boss. Nothing can top the in-person networking approach. You need to network, network, and network. A good tool to find networking events is Meetup.com, a platform with hundreds of different events catering to different professions and interests. Attend industry events such as conventions and symposiums and your association chapter meetings. But, don’t just network inside your industry, network outside your industry as well.
Your Elevator Pitch
You have your resume in-hand and a resonating and powerful LinkedIn profile. But, have you thought about your elevator pitch? This is your chance to draft, practise and deliver a compelling statement about who you are and to attract interest in you. Don’t make it too long. Keep it precise, lively, and deliver a memorable closing. Don’t have a 20-minute diatribe. You will be disregarded straight away.
This is your chance to tell the interviewer or interviewers your story and answer their questions. It’s a two-way conversation to see if there is a fit. Yes, it can be nerve wracking, but allay those fears by practising answers to many questions to increase your confidence.
After the Interview
Be patient. Very rarely do you get a swift reply. It can take time, so this is your chance to continue your job search and hopefully attract other interviews and offers to position yourself into a multiple offer situation. After each interview, send the interviewer or interviewers a hand-written thank you note by snail mail. This for sure increases your competitive edge.
The Job Offer
Times have changed. Before you sign the job offer, have an employment lawyer review the offer for your exit conditions as tenures are a lot shorter today. Review the offer, be comfortable with it, and accept it on your terms.
To wrap up, being terminated and career transitions do have an effect on both your mental and physical health. Be sure to keep yourself fit, eat well, and maintain conversation with those around you. Don’t be frightened to air your thoughts as you go through this process.