Job searching is never easy. Job searching after being let go is downright excruciating.
With nerves up and confidence down, how can you find a job after you get let go?
Getting fired is difficult no matter the circumstances. However, you’re not the first person to get fired and you won’t be the last. There is light at the end of the tunnel and you will be able to find another job, believe it or not.
The most common question GetFive career coaches are asked when dealing with a client who has been fired is: “How can I best explain getting fired so it doesn’t ruin my chances of getting a new job?”
Step 1: Step Back and Understand
Before deciding on an approach, it’s essential to understand — as much as possible — the circumstances surrounding you getting fired. Was it something you did or were extenuating circumstances at play? Perhaps a bit of both? Getting more details from HR and trusted coworkers can help you make peace with the situation plus ensure you don’t make the same mistakes again. This essential step gives you time to gain knowledge and let emotions cool before starting a successful job search.
Step 2: Include Achievements and Contributions
Desperate for an easy fix, some job seekers are tempted to omit their previous job from their resume. Generally this is not recommended because it leaves an unexplained gap in your work history. Instead, opt to focus on your skills and achievements. You want this to catch the attention of the hiring manager. It’s easier to overlook the circumstances surrounding your departure if you made a positive contribution during your tenure at the company.
Step 3: Reframe Your Story
Honesty is the best policy when it comes to getting fired. With preparation, you can best frame your story so it reflects as positively as possible on you. For example, if you didn’t meet quarterly sales goals and were let go, own up to it. Note how much you’ve learned and what you would do differently in the future. If you were fired for something more serious, make sure you show remorse and demonstrate how you’ve changed. No matter what, have several great references to share who can speak to the quality of your character. A conversation with these folks can help put a worried hiring manager’s mind at ease.
Step 4: Don’t Pass the Blame
Did a gossipy colleague cause you to lose your job? Did you loathe your boss? Were you given impossible goals that you could never make? While these things might be true, you should never pass the blame about getting fired. Owning up to your situation and showing grace regarding the past demonstrates emotional intelligence and true professionalism.
Step 5: Stay Positive
Losing a job is difficult. Your pride may be bruised, but bruises heal. Give it a moment and then get back up on that horse. Stay positive about the future and good things will come your way.