It doesn’t get a lot worse than being fired from your job when you are least expecting it, but rather than hit the panic button it would be better to work on a short-term strategy that will keep your head above water until you are back on the payroll again.
It might not feel like it right now, but losing your current job could even be an opportunity to move in a better direction. Meanwhile, it might be time for some fast fixes to limit the damage inflicted by unexpected unemployment.
Here is a look at the emotional aspect of getting fired, how to improve your future prospects by handling your dismissal positively, and why it pays to remain calm in difficult circumstances.
It goes with the territory
The fundamental point to remember is that getting fired can happen to anyone and even though you might feel like you have been singled out right now, you should take heart from the fact that many high-profile business leaders have been shown the door at some point in their career.
You wouldn’t drive a car while looking in the rear view mirror so focus on looking ahead rather than dwelling on what has gone on in the past, however recent those scars might feel.
Being fired is an unexpected bump in the road that can shape the way you view your career and if you channel the experience and look at it in nothing worse than a neutral light, you are far more likely to use that positivity to get a quick job offer.
Keep a cool head
You might be positively seething at the injustice of being fired but HR professionals almost unanimously agree that the best thing to do is keep your feelings and comments to yourself and avoid saying or doing anything that could be detrimental to your career prospects.
There are also some administrative aspects that need sorting before you walk out of the door.
Make sure you are given all the information you need about your severance pay, what will happen with regard to references and any other points that you would like to clarify so that you know what to expect over the next few weeks or months.
If you are too shocked or angry in the aftermath to have a level-headed conversation about leaving your job, make an appointment to come back and discuss the steps that are going to follow your termination notice.
Once you know how much money you will be getting as severance pay you can plan your budget and work out how to keep your finances afloat. This information will also help if you are looking at a short-term solution from someone to cover any bills that you might need to pay while everything is being sorted out.
It is not unusual to feel wronged and to think that you might want to take action against your employer for unfair dismissal, but it is a good idea to look beyond that initial anger and see whether the terms surrounding your employment termination do give you a potential cause to sue.
Employment lawyers get a lot of calls from disgruntled employees who feel they want to take legal action against their employer after getting fired. But there are only certain circumstances that warrant further action being taken for wrongful dismissal and compensation.
It would be better to channel your energy into finding another job rather than trying to get even with your old boss, but if you do believe that your old employers might have breached employment laws, speak to a lawyer who can put you right on that score.
Prepare for the interview questions you don’t want
You will have to accept that when you get offered an interview for another job it is highly likely that they are going to ask you what happened in your old position and why you got fired.
Prepare for this line of questioning and if you are asked why you left your job unexpectedly, it would be best to keep it brief and positive but don’t gloss over the facts or lie as it could come back to haunt you if they check the facts.
Rehearse your answers and put a positive but honest slant on your reply so that you are able to respond confidently and without hesitation when pressed on this unfortunate pause in your employment history.
Getting fired might feel like the end of your career right now but as many with similar experiences will tell you, it is just a temporary setback and should be viewed as such.
Nicholas Krauspe is the Head of Operations at MoneyBoat.co.uk, a London-based alternative finance company providing unsecured consumer credit to residents of the UK. Nicholas has over 10 years of operations and management experience in the consumer finance sector.