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Constructive attitudes after getting fired Oct 21

So you got the F word at your job, ha? No, not that one; the other one! Getting fired not only has practical negative consequences (especially in a crisis period), but also emotional ones. Oddly, enough, until you handle the emotional ones effectively, your chances of handling the practical ones effectively are waaay slimmer.

So for me, the process is not 1) get a new job 2) then feel better; it’s 1) feel OK, 2) then get a new job, 3) then feel even better. I think you wanna have constructive attitudes after being fired. Not positive ones, not negative ones, but the one that help you the most to get results.

With this premise in mind, here are my top 3 ideas for having constructive attitudes after getting fired:

1. Mourn. Pissed off and panicked after losing your job, don’t go straight into looking for a new one. It may seem logical to act quickly, but actually, you are probably nowhere near the emotional state to be looking for a new job. Because of this, you can do a lot more damage than good.

Instead, take a mourning period. My recommendation is anywhere between 3 days and 2 weeks, depending on how hard losing your job hit you emotionally. In this period, get used to the thought that your previous job is no more and that the future is ahead of you. Don’t repress the pain – it’s a natural part of the healing process – just let it go through you and drip out.  

2. Detach. Easier said then done. How do you do it? The most powerful advice I can give you here is understand you are not your job. We live in a society that wrongfully teaches us to define ourselves by our job, our car, our clothes etc. Even though it may seem otherwise after you just got fired, where you work and what you do does not define you as a person; it’s just one part of the way you live. Get this thought really deep in your head.

3. Don’t blame. Almost every time a person tells me about loosing her job (and I have a lot of clients in this category), this sentence is followed by blaming someone or something outside of her: “My boss is incompetent and was intimidated by me professionally”, “Someone else got my job based on relations”, “The company does not appreciate my skills”.

Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. Either way, one thing I always notice with these people is that blaming is toxic. Instead of making them feel better, it often gets them feeling worse and it prevents them from seeing their own faults and approaching the job hunting process effectively. So, put the blaming aside and just move to the next step.

Once you have constructive attitudes about getting fired, you are properly equipped emotionally to move to the actual process of finding a new job. Good luck!

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2 Responses
  1. Hi Eduard,

    I think the three points you enumerated are very healthy and constructive. It’s natural to go into panic mode or worse, have your self-esteem take a hit. But, as you say, it’s important to take a little time to feel all the feelings that come up, do a little reflecting, and consider all the possibilities ahead of you.

    Instead of wallowing on feeling down, why not think about applying the “free” time you now have to doing some simple, inexpensive things that you might enjoy, that might give you a rejuvenated spirit? For example, you could play tourist in your home city by visiting neighborhoods you don’t normally visit, go to galleries/museums and let beautiful art fill your senses, go for a refreshing walk around a park or spend a little time with a friend who’s positive and uplifting over a cup of tea. Or, consider doing volunteer work for a day for an organization that you’ve been interested in. Or, consider the possibility of becoming an independent consultant, someone who can pick and choose paid projects, instead of the usual employee status.

    It’s amazing how a whole new world opens up for us with just a little effort, just a simple switch in perspective.

  2. Eduard says:

    Hi Belinda,

    It’s surprising how many actual possibillites open up once you’re in the “unfortunate” position of not having a job. You just need to look deeper then the first lair to notice them.

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