Nobody ever wants to be fired from a job, but unfortunately, it happens. When it does, the first thing on your mind is likely finding a new job. But getting hired right after being fired can be tricky. Not only do you have to find the right job, you’ll also have to navigate tricky questions about your employment history. Even so, getting hired when you just got fired is possible.
Start your job search
First, it’s important to start looking for a new job right away. It may be tempting to take a few months off, especially if you got a nice severance package from your previous employer. However, a big gap in your employment history doesn’t look good and it can be hard to explain to future employers. Get to work polishing your resume and start your job search as soon as possible.
The most efficient way to find new opportunities is via the Internet. There are tons of job search sites out there, and you may be surprised at the number of openings in your area. Big sites like Monster or Indeed can be a good place to start, but local sites like New York Jobs (or something similar in your state) are often the best way to find jobs near you.
It can be easy to get down in the dumps after being fired. Nobody wants to be told they aren’t needed anymore. This is especially true when you were fired for personal reasons or made a big mistake at your job. But staying positive can be key to finding your next job. Employers want to see that you are resilient and ready to start a new chapter, not caught up in the past. It’s important not to talk bad about the employer that fired you.
This makes you seem petty and hints that there are major unresolved issues between you and your employer. Trashing your previous employer during an interview is a bit like talking about your ex on a first date—it always makes you look bad.
Don’t say “fired”
When you interview for a new job, you can be certain the interviewer will ask why you left your last position. While it’s important to be honest (more on that later), it’s not necessary to say you were fired. The word “fired” has a negative connotation, and it makes you sound bad. Instead, try an alternative.
If your previous company downsized or was forced to lay people off, say that. Otherwise, you might simply state that the job wasn’t the right fit for you or the company. Follow up with reasons the job you’re interviewing for is a good fit.
So, you don’t want to use the word fired, but it’s also a bad idea to lie. For one thing, if you lie on a resume or in a job interview, you can be fired from your new job. Depending on the industry you work in, it’s possible (even likely) that someone at your old company knows someone at your new potential workplace.
If you get the job, there’s a good chance your lie will be discovered. Even without the risk of being terminated, lying is not the best way to start out at a new job. It makes you look dishonest and not trustworthy.
Going from a full-time job to unemployment is tough. But keeping yourself busy can actually help you find your next job. If you can’t find a new position, do some volunteer work. It will look good on your resume and it shows potential employers that you didn’t spend all your time just sitting around.
It’s also important to cleanup your online reputation. Most job recruiters are required to look up candidates online and on their social profiles. Making sure your online content is squeaky clean is a good, productive way to stay busy.
Also, if you can find volunteer work that relates to your field, even better. This will help explain the gap in your work history to future employers and give you some unique experience to add to your resume.
Remember, almost everyone goes through the experience of losing a job and searching for a new one at some point. Unless you did something horrible at your job that caused you to be fired, there’s likely tons of outside forces that led to your termination.
Most of the time, when an employee is fired, it’s not personal. With the right attitude, you can get back to work sooner than you might think.