So You’ve Been Terminated….

I truly believe that there isn’t a one size fits all solution or method when dealing with being laid off. There is no magical 12 step program and no perfectly written pamphlet that will give you the answer. Everyone is unique and the circumstances around being let go and how people deal with it will be different. Being laid off is like going through a divorce or a bereavement. Your stress level is high and you might give in to depression. We can all agree that being let go SUCKS but the good news is that you CAN move on.

Don’t feel sorry for Yourself

It’s not your fault you got laid off and most importantly there is nothing you can do about it.

Don’t let this Bump in the Road Define you

During interviews don’t share your whole life story about the event and how you have no idea how you’re going to pay your car insurance, rent, credit card bills etc. This makes you look really desperate, which you might be but recruiters won’t feel sorry for you they will wonder if the real reason you applied for the job is just to pay the rent and once the perfect job comes around you’re out a there.

Don’t forget to Update your Resume

For many folks it has been years since they even looked at their resume. This is the time to dust it off and start updating it. Think of yourself as a product and your resume is the packaging. You want to look modern, clean and want people to know who you are and what job you’re looking for after just glancing over it.

Don’t look Desperate

Looking for a job and even getting an interview can be very hard. Once you do get an interview don’t over thank the recruiter or interview panel for inviting you in. They don’t know you and your personal situation. They only know you by your resume, which represented you as a confident, knowledgeable, skilled individual who they think might be perfect for the job. You need to go into every interview oozing with confidence because remember getting laid off wasn’t your fault.

Don’t Rush

Why not take this time and look at what you really want to do for work. What would you be happiest doing? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? The worst thing you can do is to rush into a similar job that you had without thinking if that’s really what you want to do.

Be Patient

You are not the only person who was laid off. There are so many people in your shoes that getting an interview let alone a job offer might take awhile. Spend time with your family and enjoy the time off for a little while at least.

Make a Plan

Don’t just sit on your bum and think that your phone will ring and someone will offer you a job without you actually doing something. Think about being retrained or going to back to school. Think about joining networking groups online. The point is to be an ACTIVE job hunter rather than a passive one.

At the End of the Day

Being laid off can be a huge shock. Most people don’t like change and no one likes to feel that they are no longer wanted, especially if you put your heart and soul into your work. Even if you got a good severance package and a manager who softened the blow for you, being laid off still feels awful. You just can’t stay feeling sorry for yourself for too long. Look at this event as a challenge. With any luck (and some planning) being unemployed will only be a short phase. Stay positive and while networking think of your friends who are looking for work. If a headhunter calls you with an opportunity that isn’t right for you think of friends that you can suggest. That way you’ll be the first person they call when they have something that might be right for you.

Are you looking for a job? Check out the job board.

Do you think your resume could look better? Check out the services page.

2 thoughts on “So You’ve Been Terminated….

  1. Emma
    November 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Hi Dorothy,
    I am a recent college graduate who was recently terminated (well, fired) after working for a few months at a publishing company. There were some communication issues, and my lack of communication on certain things led my supervisors to believe that I was apathetic. To be honest, I was…I was bored out of my mind. SO, I feel that it was for the best, but now I’m not sure where to go from here. I plan to be honest in future interviews about being let go. It has been about a month and I’ve applied for a long list of different positions, and I’ve only had one interview since, with no offer. My interview skills are average, but I have a lot to offer. I’m a great writer and friendly person. I found a job I want more than I’ve ever wanted a job before, and I am unsure of how to express my longing without seeming too desperate. It requires an online application, but what else could I do to stand out from other candidates in the application process? Suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks 🙂

    1. November 4, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      Hi Emma,
      First, I’d be careful about being too honest with future employers. I wouldn’t share anything specific unless they asked. Second, to stand out you need to make sure that you have a killer cover letter and resume that is geared toward the job and you are using all the keywords you can. Also, try to find out a name of a recruiter and contact them directly. You can try searching the company on LinkedIn and then you’ll be able to see who works there. When you contact the recruiter make sure you are really enthusiastic and passionate about the role and show how you fit all the qualifications. Also, why not ask all your friends ( LinkedIn is good for this to) and try to find out if you have any connections or people that you know that may work there or can introduce you to someone in that company. A referral would be great!!!! Hope that helps.