My dad was an automotive controller for nearly 30 years. He ensured operations ran smoothly each day, saw that financial planning was in order, and upheld the company’s moral standards. The latter was a significant part of his job, and he was happy to fulfill that duty, but it also came with a major drawback: my dad was regrettably in charge of firing any employee that failed to fulfill said standards. And it quickly became his least favorite part of the job. While he knew it had to be done, he hated letting employees go and being the face of their misfortune. So, he did his best to let them down easy, whilst lifting them up and preparing them for whatever was next in their journey.
Today, my dad is retired, but he remains a hardworking man. He puts the majority of his energy into advising his seven kids on a variety of matters, which he has extensive experience in: one being career management. Not too long ago, my brother was unexpectedly let go from his job—a job he loved and expected to hold for many years to come. Needless to say, he was disappointed to receive the news and at a loss for how to move forward. Immediately, my dad became the advisor my brother needed him to be. Thanks to that most-despised job of firing employees, as well as his own firing more than 40 years ago, he knew exactly how to help my brother bounce back and become the happy, successful man he is today. If you’ve been recently fired or let go from your job, rest assured that you can make it through this. Just follow these 6 tips that have proven to help my brother as well as many others move forward:
1) Take the time to grieve.
First and foremost, let yourself be upset over this loss. Nobody expects you to be okay right after being fired or let go—it’s a difficult pill to swallow and you’re allowed to take some time to do so. Let yourself mourn the entirety of this loss: the familiarity of your routine and colleagues, the promise of work, and the fulfillment your job provided you. Only then can you move on to the next chapter of your life.
2) Reflect on what went wrong.
It’s hard to admit to your faults, but if you hope to move forward—better than ever before—you must reflect on what went wrong. In some cases, getting fired or let go is completely out of your control: the company is under water or corporate has to make extensive cuts. But even in cases of the like, it’s beneficial to look back at your time and reflect on what you could have done better. Consider everything your boss had to say and maybe even reach out to a fellow employee for their feedback on your work.
3) Get back to your happy place.
You can’t sulk forever—once you’ve allowed yourself the proper time to grieve and thought about what led to your firing, focus your efforts on getting back to your happy place again. Get off the couch and on your feet; trash the junk food you’ve been snacking on and make a nutritious meal; escape your downward spiral of pity and log off of social media for a while; leave your cocoon-of-an-apartment and grab a drink with some friends. Cater to your needs and prioritize your wellbeing—you might have lost your job, but your life isn’t over.
4) Channel the loss into motivation.
Now’s the time focus on using this minor hiccup in your career as motivation for your future. Take Steve Jobs, for example: he was fired from the very company that he helped create. But he didn’t let this set him back for long; he saw the opportunity to build another successful business and did just that. And when he later returned to Apple—the company that betrayed him—he brought about the innovative and beloved iPod, iPhone, and iPad. So, while Jobs’ firing from Apple was certainly heartbreaking, he refused to let it damper his career and went on to become a groundbreaking entrepreneur and household name. Take a note from Jobs’ book and use this setback as inspiration for whatever’s next.
5) Think about what you want and need.
You may be in a hurry to secure another job, but you shouldn’t blindly commit. It’s important you first consider everything you want and need out of your career. Start by asking yourself simple, yet telling questions: Was I fulfilled by my last job? Do I want to stay in this field? What would I change about the last company I worked for? What do I want and need out of my future workplace? Your answers will assist you in finding a meaningful, stable job that best fits your lifestyle.
6) Set a plan into motion.
Now, get to work on obtaining the job you want and deserve: fix up your resume to impress potential employers; research the companies and positions you might be interested in; employ the help of a friend and practice mock interviews; improve your time management skills by attending that workshop you heard about. Your career is a huge part of your life and, therefore, certainly worth investing in. Do whatever it takes to increase your odds of scoring that job and become an all-around greater addition to any team. Lastly, remember: you’re more than capable of achieving greatness; this job loss is a mere hiccup in your journey.