4 Things To Do After You've Been Fired — Other Than Look For Your New Job

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 14, 2024 at 4:54AM UTC

“I never thought the day would come that I would be let go from a company,” a Fairygodboss member recently wrote on the community feed. “I've had a really great career and always put in the best work I can. It's an awful feeling, especially when coming out of left field. I'm better now, but I'm left scratching my head a bit and would love this community's thoughts.” 

When you’re let go from a job, particularly when it happens seemingly out of the blue, it’s natural to feel upset. You’re probably hearing plenty of advice on how to pick yourself up and start your job search, but it’s also important to look out for yourself and your wellness, first and foremost. Here’s how to do just that.

1. “Take the time to process.”

Heather Cutler chimed in with a bit of tough love: “This may be difficult to hear, but no one at your old job has given you a second thought. They’re all onto other things. so consider how much time you want to invest in contacting old colleagues.”

But, she added, “This situation is a singular blip in your professional trajectory. Take time to process this appropriately and consider things you would do differently if presented with this in the future.”

“Right now, I recommend that you put your energy into healing your self-esteem,” Sharmil McKee agreed. “Every day, do three active things to repair your self-esteem. For example, therapy, meditation, journaling, workbooks, cry, foot massage and pedicure, anything and everything.”

2. “Keep it social.”

Whether to reach out to former colleagues was the subject of a lot of debate among Fairygodboss members. But most concluded that if you do, it’s best to keep it light.

“It's okay to reach out to former colleagues,” wrote Wanda Shaw. “Connect via LinkedIn or other social media platforms. But you may want to give it some time (months) before establishing contact. Better to let them reach out to you. And when you do connect, be determined to keep it social (how you're doing, or miss seeing you or hopefully we'll have to get together soon) and above board. Refrain from rehashing the details of your termination.”

3. “Be your own best friend.”

“Console yourself: be your own best friend in time of need,” wrote Bradford McCormick. "A tendency for some persons, of course, is to blame yourself unjustly, which just makes the unjust harm that has been done to you worse. So you need to try to find a new place to go where your good work will be appreciated.”

“First, pop the cork on some champagne and celebrate the end of a terrible professional relationship with people who love and support you,” agreed Lisa Gibson. “Mostly, do whatever you need to do to shake off the bad experience, get your head in a positive place, and move forward.”

4. “Focus on what makes you excel.”

At the end of the day, put yourself first.

“I would focus on what communication style works for you,” said Rosa Goes. “Focus on what makes you excel.”

“Do yourself a favor and take the steps to move forward,” added Claire McCabe. “It’s time to start anew. As you begin your job search, remember that you are an incredible asset to any company. You've done it before and will do it again.”

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

What's your no. 1 piece of advice for coping after you've been fired or laid off? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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