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So You’re Fired – Now What?

What went wrong? Did you see it coming? The day that all employees dread has finally come, and you’ve been sent back to your desk to pack up your belongings. Don’t take it out on the baked goods – set down the cupcake and step away from the box. Take this time to sort out your priorities and you’ll have yourself bouncing back in no time. Sure, you might stumble a bit along the way but you got fired for a reason, so figure out how to fix the qualities or mishaps that landed you in your former employer’s bad books.

What not to do after it happens:

  • Don’t start applying right away. Take a break.
  • Don’t take your anger out on social media and rant. What you post may come back to haunt you.
  • Don’t get mad or cry. Remain professional.

Once you take time to plan and prioritize your next steps, start piecing things back together by using the suggestions below.

Understand what you did wrong and try to learn from it

It might not be easy to come to terms with, as many of us would rather not focus on our flaws, but if you were fired due to performance issues or inappropriate misconduct, analyze the situation and learn from your mistakes. If you want to prevent yourself from getting fired in the future, take the criticisms you’ve been given and work on improving them.

Set a budget

If you’re a sole-earning income family or have other financial burdens that rely on your salary, you should consider setting a budget so you can make it through until your unemployment comes in. Map out your monthly finances and try to identify gaps where you can take funds away from in order to pay for your life essentials. Start planning as soon as you can because it may take a few months for you to get hired again.

Plan next move

Think about where you want to go next and start looking. Having trouble finding something? Reach out to recruiters or other staffing professionals that can use their networks to get you hired faster.

Get your story straight

Friends, family and HR professionals are going to start asking you why you left your last job when they see that you’re looking for employment. Prepare to talk about being fired and the reasons why you were let go. Be honest and open and speak to why, but put a positive spin on it with your recent acknowledgement of your actions and how you’ve grown.

Start working on your resume

Blow off the dust settled on your resume from the last time you updated it, and start refreshing it. Add your last role to the mix, and if you’re stuck and not sure if you’ve gotten it right, check out these resume tips to make sure you’re on the right track.


When your spirits are lifted and you’ve got your story straight and resume polished, head out to start networking. Mix and mingle with industry people and any contacts you might have that you think can help you land your next career. Face-to-face networking or participating in events and local fundraisers will have you bumping elbows with people who can possibly hold the key to your future career – so be prepared to dress to impress.

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