Updated: Jul 4
As professional speakers, we try to separate ourselves from our competition as much as possible. By doing so we lose the part of us that makes us human. The best speakers are real-life people who have real-life experiences just like you and I. And just like you, I have had trouble finding employment. And like many people across the country, I have been fired.
“This can’t be happening to me” was the first thing that came out of my mouth. I’m a veteran, I have experience, and I have a Master’s degree. This just doesn’t happen to people like me. The moment was surreal. Never have I felt such disappointment, and despair in my life. But, surprisingly what I felt at the end of the day was determined.
The first thing that I had to do was deal with reality. I got fired. There is nothing that I can do to change that. The positive about this situation is that I can now apply to companies and positions that I am interested in. There are a couple of things that you can look forward to when starting the job search after being fired:
1. Even though you were fired, you still have that experience. Now you may have the chance to get that high-paying position that you couldn’t get within my previous organization.
2. You may be able to follow up on job leads that you declined while working for your previous employer. Recruiters on LinkedIn are always looking to steal you away from your current company. Reach back out to them and tell them you are on the market.
3. You now have the ability to choose your dream job. Did you have a career that you always wanted to work in but you couldn’t while working for your previous employer? Now you have the chance to apply for that dream career and live your dream every day.
What helped me the most after getting fired is looking in the mirror. You can blame as many other people as you would like, but more than likely it was justified. After I was fired I realized that I wouldn’t be good as a supervisor. My leadership experience from the military didn’t make me the best supervisor for a younger workforce. In the military when you tell someone to do something, it is expected that they do it the first time you tell them. The civilian workforce isn’t like that so I know what positions I would be good for and which ones I won’t.
Something that worked for me after being fired is taking about 3 days to recharge my batteries. You may still be paid your vacation time within your last check so you won’t be so strapped for cash. Also you may still be covered by either their benefits or a Cobra benefits package for a couple of weeks. Taking a couple of days to unwind and relax helped me out tremendously after being fired. I had time to read books, play my video games, and even go on a few dates before starting my job search.
Getting fired sucks. However, I always say that only people that can handle it are given adversity in life. Having your back against the wall can make you feel as if you are going to lose everything. During this time stay true to yourself. Do not change your character or your relationship with your family and friends. Take this time to take a moment to reflect on what is important to you and the way you make a living. Most importantly dust yourself off, hold your chin high in the air and smile as you walk into the next chapter of your life.