Dealing with being fired or made redundant


Some people look at their current job as a race. A race between quitting before the company gets a chance to fire, lay off, or downsizes the employee’s position. Being fired is no fun, particularly if you are like most people who depend on their job to eat, pay the bills, and take a two-week vacation every year. Losing a job often throws chaos into the life of an employee, whether it was justified or not. The question then becomes how to deal with the event.

First, accept the reality and take time to decompress. It is a stressful event and usually comes unexpectedly. People need time to put the brakes on and mentally prepare themselves to move forward. For this step, the time each person needs will be different, but any more time than a week is probably too long.

Next, pick up a pencil and paper and write down all of your positive accomplishments during your time with the company. This will be necessary for the job description section of the resume, but will also show you that even though you were fired, there are a lot of positives you can take away from your time there. Do not try to be picky with what you write down; you can make changes later.

What you do next should be obvious – update your resume. You will need to do this to search for a new job, and you can add your accomplishments from your previous job. Another reason not to wait too long before getting back on your feet is because from the day you got fired the clock began to run on how long you were unemployed. As many people have found out during the most recent economic downturn, the longer the time between your last job and your current job search, the less likely you are to be hired.

One of the most difficult things you will have to do is to stay positive, especially if you believe your firing was unjustified. You have the right to your feelings but the most important thing to do is to get employed again. That is the antidote for getting fired.

There are times when you see the train coming down the tracks, and the train has a “Fired!” sign on the front. One of these times is when you feel your position and job are redundant, when you see five other people doing the same job. Besides being bored, you are waiting for management to show you the door sooner than later. How should you deal with this situation?

Compared to the unexpected firing, this is a situation where you have time to prepare. Emotionally dealing with it is easier as long as you take immediate action. You are trying to win the “you can’t fire me, I quit” race. Follow the same preparation steps as discussed above when being fired. Update your resume and begin looking as soon as possible.

There are a couple of issues to consider before moving forward and leaving the company. First, are you sure the reality of the situation is not something you fear or imagine? Second, if you do begin looking for another job and your current employer discovers it, what will your response be? Finally, is your perception of the situation a result of actually wanting to leave the company and you are simply looking for an excuse to leave?