Being fired is a horrible feeling, and it can leave you in a state of panic when you consider your bills and other financial responsibilities. Sometimes the separation is warranted due to poor performance, but in other instances, it comes out of the blue due to work shortages or other issues.
Even if you find yourself without a job, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that about 18 percent of workers are fired each year in this country.
What To Do When You’ve Lost Your Job
Once you’ve been fired from a job, it leaves you in a tailspin. You will likely go through many steps in the grieving process, including anger, denial, and acceptance. However, it would help if you handled things appropriately as you have rights, and you don’t want to worsen a bad situation.
Ask The Right Questions
You have a right to know why you are being let go. Each state has laws, and some are considered “at will,” meaning they can fire you for no reason. Do they have write-ups on you, or was your performance lacking?
Always make the management team give you an official reason for your separation. This can help determine whether you can collect unemployment benefits and what steps you need to take next.
See If You Qualify for Unemployment Benefits
In many instances, you could file for unemployment if you did nothing wrong, there’s no written documentation against your performance, and you were a good worker. You may be entitled to these benefits when you become unemployed through no fault of your own.
Additionally, if you were hurt on the job, and you’re sure this is the underlying cause of your termination, you need to speak to a worker’s compensation lawyer. Employers cannot just fire you because you got hurt on the job, and there are laws to protect you.
Take Some Time to Process the Situation
It’s going to take some time to process what’s happened. If you didn’t do anything wrong, you need to accept that it wasn’t your fault. If your actions led to these decisions, you need to see this as a learning curve to make changes to become a better person and worker in the future.
Don’t Badmouth the Company or Management
The worst thing you can do is badmouth the company, management, or workers to others. You especially don’t want to say anything negative during a job interview, as it can leave a bad taste in their mouth about your character. Acknowledge that it wasn’t a good fit for either of you and move on.
Don’t Lose Faith in Yourself
It’s easy to lose faith in yourself when you’ve been through such an experience. However, you must realize that often these things happen so that you can move on to something bigger and better. You were looking for a job when you found this one, and you will land on your feet once again.
Final Thoughts on What to Do When You Get Fired
If you’re worried about being fired and finding new employment, you shouldn’t be too concerned. A study found that over 90 percent of the people who lost their jobs bounced back quickly. Additionally, they often find better employment than in their previous job. So, while it seems like a devastating blow, you will find something else.
Author information: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.