I've Just Been Fired! Now What?

Julie Shenkman
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In today's competitive corporate world, terminations, layoffs and downsizing have become almost commonplace. Where once "being fired" was reserved for the under-achievers, it has now become a situation that most employees find themselves in at least once during their professional career. The important thing is that if you involuntarily lose your job, don't let it get you down. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back into the job market.

Although staying in bed and hiding from the world may seem enticing, it is important to get up and immediately begin your search for a better job. The longer you sit around, the harder it will become to motivate yourself to begin your search - even if you received a severance package. So, get up, get dressed and make the conscious decision to make a new start and find a great, new job.

Before starting your new search you need to make an important decision. Were you happy at your previous job? Did you enjoy your work? If not, this is the perfect time to make a career change. Think about what types of transferable skills you could take to a new career. Think about what you would like to accomplish and about your goals within this new path.

Decide whether you want to include your previous job on your resume and if so, update your resume to reflect your departure. Be sure to also update any new skills you've acquired and accentuate the positive. Create a "scanner-friendly" and email version of your resume as well as a formal version.

Recruiters and potential employers are using the Internet more and more as their primary resource for recruiting. Post your resume to career sites and resume databases that you feel can benefit you in your chosen field. Be sure to actively use their job search features to actively look for opportunities that fit your criteria. Applying for a job can be as simple as sending an email message or filling out a form on a web site.

Let friends and colleagues know that you are in the job market again. You don't have to give them the details of your departure if you feel uncomfortable doing so. Additionally, take a good look at your references and contact them. Let them know that you are looking for a new job and confirm that you can count on them for a reference. Be sure to have positive references on-hand to counterbalance any possible negative feedback from your previous employer.

Inevitably, the reason behind your departure from your previous employer will be discussed during the interview process. Think about your response and be clear as to why your last job didn't work out. Expand on what you learned from the experience and what you hope to gain through your new position with a new company.

By being proactive, positive and determined, you have the ability to take an ugly situation and turn it into a fresh, new career choice. So get up, get out there and get a great, new job!

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