Posted April 19, 2013 by

How to Deal with Getting Fired

Woman carrying belongings after being fired from her job. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Woman carrying belongings after being fired by her boss. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Nobody wants to get fired, but unfortunately, it happens to the best of us. Most of us will be fired at some point in our careers. It’s not necessarily a sign of failure. Sometimes, you and the company are just not a good fit. Sometimes, the timing is just bad and the company doesn’t have the resources to maintain your position.

Whatever the reason for your firing, you must learn how to pick up the pieces and move forward to make positive change. You have to learn from the experience and understand how to move on to find your next job so you can meet your career goals. Here are a few tips for how you can deal with getting fired:

Reframe the Issue

You will inevitably be asked about the reason for your termination in an interview for a new job. You should never lie about what happened, but you can reframe the issue. For example, instead of saying that you hated your boss and you didn’t get along, you can say that you “weren’t the right fit” or that you “had different goals for the job.” The explanation is still accurate, but it also makes you seem like a more thoughtful and proactive employee.

Don’t Overshare

You may feel like you have to explain everything that happened, but you don’t. Only provide the information that you need to. Therefore, if you say that you “weren’t the right fit,” you should just leave it at that. Don’t follow up with examples of why you were incompatible, unless you’re asked. Try to share only what you must or you may end up revealing details that make you look bad.

Show How You’ve Grown

Employers recognize that things happen, and even if you were fired, it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad employee. What they want to know is that you have learned from the experience and that you aren’t going to make the same mistakes again. For example, if you were fired for tardiness, you can share that you’ve taken a course on time management and have no longer had a problem with punctuality. So long as you show that you have learned from the experience and taken proactive measures to correct the underlying issues, you should have no problem finding a new position.

Leave It Off Your Resume if You Can

Your resume doesn’t have to be a living history of your professional life. It is meant to showcase your achievements. If you did not work for a long time at the position and you have other work history that shows your experience with the skills you used on the job, leave it off your resume. You won’t have to worry about explaining the issues that led to your firing, and you can get a clean slate of sorts.

Bolster Your References

You have one job that didn’t go so well and at least one boss who might not think you were the greatest employee ever. However, that doesn’t mean that experience is indicative of your entire job history. Shore up positive references to show that you have a history of positive relationships and of providing results. Call your references to make sure that they are still available to vouch for you, and recruit new references if needed. The more positive references you have, the less it will matter that you had one negative experience.

Getting fired is never a fun or welcome experience (even if you hated your job). However, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. You can use these tips to help you deal with getting fired so that you can move forward and get the jobs you want.

About the Author:

Bridget Sandorford is a freelance food and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching possibilities of culinary school online. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.

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Posted in Career Advice, General, Interviewing, References, Resumes | Tagged Tagged , , , ,