No one wants to think that it can happen to them, getting fired. Some people can sense something is not right at work, but others may simply fall victim to an unexpected layoff. Regardless, most workers in their career will at some point face the challenge of being terminated at work, whether or not thru any fault of their own. What you can control is how you handle that moment, and possibly make it an opportunity. Thus, things to not do include:
Don’t make a scene at your place of work.
Remember, this is the very start of your next search for a new job. Your colleagues will not just notice what you were like to work with, but will also observe how you handled adversity on the way out.
Don’t feel ashamed.
While this employer may not recognize your value, others will. You’re not alone during this difficult time. Afterall, everyone at some point or another is involuntarily let go by an employer and can empathize.
Don’t avoid looking at yourself in a mirror.
Whether you were terminated wrongfully or not, this is your best opportunity to look adversity right in the face. What were my strengths in my last job? What should I have done better? Why did I really lose the job? Confront adversity and self assess to become an even bigger asset for your next employer. Such self assessment may help you evaluate career choices as well.
Don’t sign a severance agreement without fully reviewing it and its ramifications.
Companies often offer severance agreements with provisions to protect themselves from future lawsuits. You may want to first review your severance package, if any, with a lawyer, as well as the conditions surrounding your termination. While you may not think you have legal rights, an employment or labor law attorney can open your eyes to various issues you may not have considered. Asking employees to sign an agreement “on the spot” is a pressure tactic some employers use, but asking for the time to review and consider the agreement may be an opportunity to evaluate your options more fully.
Don’t skip town immediately.
There may be some loose ends when employment ends such as insurance, unemployment, severance (if applicable), and/or updating your resume while all of your job duties are fresh in your head. Consider your transition plan.
Don’t forget everyone you just worked with.
Consider which people you just worked with that could be a good work reference to identify to future prospective employers.
Don’t think never.
When faced with disappointment, some people’s immediate reaction is that they will never find another job as good as the one they just lost. But, you did it once, and you can do it again. With the right preparation and attitude, success is possible.
Don’t rush thru your resume.
Make sure your resume is a good reflection of yourself, and presents you in the best light.
Don’t automatically reject help.
Some companies offer job search services to workers that they have laid off. Also, there are many services such as government, state, and local agencies that can provide counseling for your job search, covering everything from making a great resume to preparing for preparing job interviews and dressing the part.
Don’t forget about your health.
You may still have insurance coverage until the end of the month, and you may not have seen a doctor in some time. It may be a good time to catch up with a check-up, a dentist visit, or any other medical visit you have been postponing, especially if insurance benefits for same are still available to you.
Lastly, don’t doubt that opportunity awaits you going forward!