So you’ve been fired. Congratulations, you’re now a member of the common masses. Nearly everyone has been fired at least once in their life. Of course that’s no consolation what happens to you, but it is a terribly common and ordinary event, so don’t panic about it.
When it comes to being fired, Michael Bloomberg once said, “I’ve always thought tomorrow was going to be the best day of my life. Even the day I knew I was going to get fired, I had never been fired before and wanted to see what it was like.”
There are number of routes that you can take to becoming employed again. The natural response is to seek out something similar to what you were doing before. If that is your dream, then go for it, but you are going to need a strategy to deal with the firing event.
Tell the Truth at Interviews
When it’s time for the interview, don’t tiptoe around the situation. Tell them the truth about your firing. If you were fired “for cause,” assure them that you understand the circumstances surrounding your firing clearly and have taken steps to remedy the situation so that it won’t recur.
But don’t stop there; tell them that you’re now taking a very proactive approach. Make sure they understand that it’s important for you to receive good, solid, constructive feedback on a regular basis, particularly if someone notes you are going astray.
Not only will they appreciate your stance, but they’ll feel you’re taking control of the situation and you’ll appear more reliable. You’ll have the appearance of someone who is teachable and responsible; you will look like someone that they would want to hire.
Make It Hard for Employers to Say “No”
Keep going! Make sure they know that it’s okay if you don’t get this job; sure you want it, but not if it is a bad fit:
“I’d like to have this job, of course, because ABC Company really fits in with my abilities, and I’m sure I could make a positive contribution. However, if you feel I am not the right person for this job, all you have to do is say ‘no,’ and I will certainly understand.”
Do you see what you have just done? People don’t like to reject other people, so you’ve just relieved the interviewer of some stress. You’ve made it hard for the interviewer to say “no.”
Now they like you better, and they see you as someone who communicates effectively. Moreover, you’ve eliminated the appearance of desperation. You now look like you don’t need the job so much as you simply desire it. You’ve put yourself in a very positive light.
Take Back the Interview
This is the time where you can return to your regular job interview skills. Show the interviewer that you’ve researched their company; that you understand their needs; that you can picture a place where you fit within the organization. Take back the interview and get it on track about you’re the right fit for them. Tell them about how you can contribute to the company’s overall goals.
You have assured them that you’re together mentally, that you’re not bringing any baggage from your old job, and that you’re going to be reliable and productive. In other words you’re not going to reflect badly on the interviewer. They’ll feel safe carrying on with the normal interview.
Go the Contractor/Freelancer Route
“Statistics indicate that 56% of all U.S workers are currently interested in switching to a new career, and it’s not surprising that midlife workers have had a big impact on this number”, says Alex Simon of CAREEREALISM.
If you want to try out being an independent contractor or freelancer, you can put your expertise to use. Many smaller companies can benefit from your knowledge of a particular field. You can provide information, skills, and experience that they couldn’t ordinarily obtain, for a price they can afford.
It’s a long slow process, relying on your contacts to get you started, and then relying on word of mouth to spread your reputation so you garner more business. If you happen to have the resources to live without income for three to six months, this might be your path.
If business is slow to start, you can always do temp work, part-time employment, or even volunteer somewhere where you’re likely to run into clients who might need your services.
For advice about this route to freedom, see the following article: Feast or Famine…or Taxes! for the Consultant.
Stewart, Cooper & Coon has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon or call 866-883-4200, Ext. 200.