Oh, You Got Fired Fired…

black womanhood

You get a call from your boss, asking you to come meet her in the main conference room……

You enter the room and see an unknown person sitting patiently next to your boss. It’s the department human resources representative…

You are directed to take a seat and are immediately engaged in a one-way conversation about your performance, and your inability to abide by company policies and work ethics…all you can do is take a deep breath and take it all in…

Then, comes that final phrase “I’m sorry but we’re going to have to let you go.”

And that is it. In a bleak and heart-wrenching moment. You are no longer part of the company employee roster.

So, what’s next?

You might cry about how everything went down, and rant a bit in outrage for the injustice of it all. Or you can boss up like the bad bish you are and handle it like it’s simply a setback, and move forward to the next chapter in your life! I would suggest the latter and offer a bit of advice to help you cope with what you are going through. Further, I want to help you navigate to your next adventure in pursuit of a fulfilling career.

Assess Your Financial Situation

First thing first, immediately check your savings and apply for unemployment. Unemployment may not offer significant relief (depends on the reason of your termination), but this is the first thing you need to handle and properly manage in coping with the typical anxiety of finding yourself unemployed. You’ll need any extra funds you can come by over the next couple of weeks and possibly months as you reposition yourself.

Prepare yourself to temporarily cut back on things that you normally enjoy, while you work a strategy to get back on your feet. Keep in mind that unemployment benefits are like insurance proceeds. You pay a monthly premium in payroll deductions when you are working so that if and when you find yourself unemployed in need there are funds available, but you have to apply for the benefits.

Finding a Job Will Be Your Full-time Job Now

I know that trying to get back into the workforce and filling out job applications can be a daunting task but this is your job now. Depending on the marketability of your skills and how well your network functions, you need to brush up on your interviewing skills, update your resume, and polish that 60-second elevator pitch. Don’t just shot-gun your resume to every company you can think of out of desperation. Research and identify from 5 to 10 companies that meet your criteria in offering opportunities. This is an opportunity for repositioning yourself. Are you seeking an opportunity to learn and grow, or are you seeking to apply your skills as a star in the field? Focus on quality over quantity. Trust me, you will be absolutely miserable in the long run if you work for a company or in an industry where you have no interest or desire to further your career.

Check out online employment services such as LinkedIn and look for professionals that you have some commonalities with who work in a similar role or industry that you have an interested in. Attend networking events and don’t forget to utilize your friends and family members as resources. They may be aware of open positions or upcoming opportunities worth considering. In today’s job market, at least 70 percent of jobs are found and filled through networking. So, it’s crucial to network with people who understand what you are about, what you are interested in, and what you are really good at.

Get Ready to Answer the ‘Fired’ Question

You will get the “Why did you leave your last job”, “Why are you looking for a new role”, or even “Explain the employment gap”. It’s very cliche but honesty is the best policy. Potential employers will contact your previous employer to get feedback on your work history and your separation, whether voluntary or involuntary. Try to be brief and sincere in your explanation of the situation and please don’t badmouth your old boss or company. Accentuate the positives and always take the high road. Be accountable from your mistake and talk about what you learn from it. Talk about putting it behind you and how you are putting your energy into being a better and more valuable employee. Practice your delivery before the interview if necessary.

Quickly Reflect and Learn From It

Turn this setback, this letdown, into a triumph! Turn this negative chapter in your life into something positive. It is ok to cry, but you can’t afford to dwell on it. Things may get scary and seem out of your control occasionally, but the worst part is behind you. Things will get better over time, but you have to apply yourself deliberately. Take pride in the positive things you’ve accomplished and build from there. This is an opportunity to reassess your career goals as a career woman, exercise your potential, and put your best foot forward. Every hand is not a winning hand, but every hand has the potential to set the stage for a winning outcome. Self-awareness, humility, and personal reflection are building blocks for a foundation of real growth and personal and enduring success. Now, suck up those tears and go out there and show everyone what you got!

Have other ideas to get over your job breakup or any career advice when it comes to looking for other job opportunities? Please comment below!! 

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