When you’re unceremoniously booted out of a job, you can feel anything from anger and hurt to bewilderment and depression. This is normal; after all, you just went from a known thing to a lot of unknowns.
But while you’re working through your feelings and figuring out your next steps, try to avoid some common pitfalls so you can get on with making your transition easier.
Three Things NOT to Assume After Getting Fired
(Without more than circumstantial evidence, that is.)
1) That your old boss is out to get you.
Has your ex-boss remained cordial? Accepted or offered lunch invitations or other get-togethers? Introduced you to key people in your industry?
If so, your boss is willing to help you, not out to get you. Think of it this way: Just because your previous job didn’t work out, it doesn’t mean your boss doesn’t recognize your valuable, viable skills. You just need to find the right fit for them. And if your boss is willing to actively advocate for you, that’s well-nigh priceless stuff right there.
You do still have to do most of the work yourself. Instead of daydreaming about being sabotaged, follow up on those key people. Work on your resume and online presence. Keep making connections. And be sure to thank that old boss of yours when something they started for you works out.
2) That it was the company’s fault.
It’s not the most pleasant of thoughts that you could have done yourself out of a job. And it can be very true that you were in a toxic environment with a toxic manager (if so, avail yourself of the AskaManager blog for help and support before, during, and after).
But if there’s a pattern in your job history of being let go instead of walking out on your own two feet, it’s worth it to take a closer look at the common denominator: You.
The hard part about this is we all have our own perceptions of ourselves, and when they don’t mesh with how others perceive us, we have a tendency to think the problem is on their side. And yes, sometimes it is.
When it comes to holding down a job, however, you may not literally be able to afford this kind of attitude. It doesn’t mean you aren’t the fabulous person you are. You just need to make sure some parts shine through more than others.
What can you do about it? Everything! Remember, you still have all the skills, knowledge, and experience you had when you had that job. Those things don’t go away.
What you need to do now is think honestly about your past work history. Then think about the skills employers love for you to have, such as accountability: Did you promise a lot of cool things but failed to deliver? Did you come up with great ideas but always left the actual execution for “somebody” to finish?
I’d even recommend looking at past reviews. If you thought you were doing well, but your performance reviews said you weren’t, did you try to improve or did you brush it off?
Armed with these new tools, you can work on your most important asset: Yourself.
The last thing you shouldn’t assume is…
3) That you’re alone.
You aren’t. Friends, family, former co-workers, people at networking events, that guy walking down the block, that person headed off to lunch–it’s a fair chance that everyone has been out of a job at some point. They know what it feels like. So with that in mind, approach people with your head up and don’t be afraid to ask for help–even if you aren’t always sure of the reception.
Just don’t: Ask them to “get” you a job. That’s a no-no!
What have you done to get back on your feet after being let go?