College students and recent graduates sometimes make the
mistake of thinking that they will never get
fired. Unfortunately, you probably will.
Everyone gets fired at one time or another. That’s
just the way things work today. However, the question becomes,
what will you do when you get fired?
Stages of job loss -
Your Normal Job Performance - If your normal job performance
is not considered to be at least average to above average. You
are more likely to be terminated in tough times. No employer
tries to hang on to employees who only do the minimum
Savvy employees do their best to stay employed, so they can
leave on their own terms. They understand their own jobs, as
well as other jobs in their department and perform those jobs to
excellence. Additionally, the best employees understand that
there is more to their responsibilities than just doing a good
- They never speak badly of their
company or its people.
- They look out for the best
interests of their employer, their department, their
coworkers and their
- When needed, they come in early,
stay late, volunteer for the dirty jobs, come to
the rescue of coworkers
and go the extra mile for their employer and its
Smart employees also keep up with job-related technology,
procedural changes and operational changes that increase speed,
reduce costs and solve problems. Your contributions in these
areas will always be noticed.
Additionally, the best employees develop great leadership
skills and demonstrate exceptional communication skills. Both
of those skills greatly reduce your chances of being
Termination and Disbelief - Everyone is shocked when they are
told that they have lost their job. Regardless of your
performance and whether you were fired, laid off, downsized or your
employer went out of business, it hurts!
There is a sense of disbelief. You’ll ask,
Interestingly, most people are not terminated for
performance. They lose their jobs for one of two
reasons: 1) They don’t get along with the other people
in their organization, or 2) They are downsized with many
others in their department and throughout the company. There
may be little anyone can do about these two situations.
Anger - Disbelief quickly gives way to anger. Someone has
taken away your income and your security. Losing your job
hurts and makes you angry.
Terminations are especially difficult when you have family
obligations, medical expenses, few financial resources, no
severance pay and little chance for quick reemployment.
Mourning - You will mourn the loss of your
job. That’s normal. However, don’t get stuck
at this stage. If you do get stuck, it will hold you
That’s not good.
People lose their jobs all of the time, through no fault of
However, when it affects you, it is personal and it
hurts. The best approach is to stop feeling sorry for
yourself, accept your situation, mobilize your resources, apply for
unemployment, get started with your job search and become a bit
more flexible in your job requirements.
Acceptance - Don’t engage in self pity. It’s
a waste of time. Pick yourself up and get started with your
job search. The faster you get started, the better. If
you lost your job because of your performance or your attitude, you
must recognize the facts and take steps to improve.
You know how to conduct a job search. You’ve done
it before. 1) Update your resume, 2) Sell the contributions
you’ve made, not just your job duties,
3) Reestablish your network, 4) Investigate job search web
sites, and 5) Research potential employers. Then be sure to
work at your job search 8+ hours a day, seven days a week, no
matter how long it takes, until you land your next job.
Since there is no telling how long that will take, conserve
Accept help from wherever you can get it. If
necessary, go home to your parents. When times are tough,
everyone must pull together.
Reemployment - When you do find a new job, never badmouth your
last employer. Your new employer has hired you to do your job
in a way that will contribute to the success of their
organization. They want you to be positive, hard working and
effective in getting things done. Since teamwork is expected,
they also want you to get along well with the other
When you become a well liked and well respected member of your
new organization, you are helping your career and doing everything
you can to prevent your future termination.
Everyone gets fired at one time or another. However, wise
employees do two things. While they are employed, they do
their best to make themselves, their co-workers, supervisor,
department and employer successful. When they are unemployed,
they sell their accomplishments, successes and positive results to
potential employers. In each case, they focus on doing