Being fired is never fun, including when you’re let go for circumstances beyond your control, such as a company setback, merger or restructure. It can happen to anyone at any level, with or without warning.
But being fired isn’t the end of the world. It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. The key is to kickstart the process of landing on your feet, as quickly as possible.
Recruiters can certainly help and at face2face our services are free for candidates.
Here are four essential steps to get you moving forward.
1. Realistically assess the situation
Don’t take the situation personally if you’ve been let go because the company you’re working for has made a tough business decision to shift the way it moves to survive. That can include restructuring or downsizing or even closing, all of which can involve letting employees go, including top, high-performing talent.
If you’ve been let go for poor performance, take time to learn from the experience. Talk to a recruiter about skills you may need to enhance your offering. Talk to a career coach to work through how you can improve the circumstances that led to you being fired.
2. Move into the next stage of your life quickly
Sure, you’re likely going to want to take a few days to get over the shock, but don’t sit on your laurels for too long. Taking action will make you feel better and one thing is for sure…you’re never going to find work just sitting and watching Netflix all day.
Some essential actions include:
- Update your resume (indeed, we recommend you always keep your resume up-to-date).
- Update your LinkedIn profile.
- Keep your eye out for job notices on major sites like Seek.
- Tidy up your social media profiles, removing anything a potential employer might stumble across that could prevent them from hiring you.
- Sign up to job alerts through recruitment agencies.
- Register with a recruitment agency asap (see #3 below).
- Take the time to upgrade your skills through a workshop or course (online courses are great for this and you can check for government subsidy assistance and training. Also check out Jobactive Restart).
- Do some volunteer work to keep busy (but not so busy you’re not available to apply for jobs) and to make new connections.
3. Register with a recruitment agency asap
Register with a recruitment agency—one that provides services to candidates for free. This is a valuable step because a good recruitment agency has extensive knowledge and access to jobs that you may never find on your own (many jobs can be filled before they’re even posted).
Ask the recruitment agency if they’re on panels (public and private sector) and choose one that is. Winning positions on panels means the agency has competed for a place, which points to their quality. face2face is on 17 panels. The government panels we’re on give us access to the recruitment requirements of more than 50 departments and agencies. If you’re flexible and are free to move to another state or territory, make sure the recruitment agency you chose works nationally (we do).
At face2face, we help candidates in many ways:
- Review your resume to make recommendations on how you can improve it and help you handle the wording around being fired.
- Talk to you about your goals and aspirations—get to know your story.
- Help you think laterally about new opportunities, especially if you want to change your career path.
- Help you improve your confidence.
- Support you with developing an elevator pitch, writing a cracker cover letter, working through how to interview like a pro and even answering the inevitable salary question.
- Provide you with free tools, like a reference check template and a resume template, as well as other resources.
- Give all candidates who register with us a free copy of our Managing Director’s book, Resume Success Secrets, which has made it to #1 on Amazon for its category.
4. Connect with people you know and trust
Make a list of contacts, whether friends, former colleagues or other business people, and arrange to catch up for coffee. Let them know you’re on the market and talk about the types of opportunities you’re looking for.
Don’t waste time bagging your former employer or focusing on ‘poor me’. Instead work hard at being positive and confident.
Also begin networking at events to build your profile.