Getting the pink slip is never easy. But as with any form of rejection, the trick is to not wallow in negativity. Once you are given notice that you are being fired, allow yourself a few minutes to calm down and try to think logically. You often hear of people getting violent after getting canned, and you wouldn’t want to be the star of your local news channel, would you?
You can initially entertain bitter thoughts, but never act on them. You begin thinking, “I’ve been a good employee,” or “I’ve worked here long only to be replaced by fresh graduates with zero experience.” These are only natural thoughts succeeding a termination, but you must never speak them out or act on them. Anger inhibits reason so with your best effort you must remain calm, collect your things, say goodbye to valued colleagues and step out.
To remain positive after being let go, downsized or fired, here are a few ideas.
- Right after stepping out of the office, keep yourself together, and your dignity intact. Get your family involved. Let them know what happened, and ask them to allow you some time to devise a plan before they start asking questions like “How are we going to pay the mortgage?” or “What about my 18th birthday bash, Daddy?” It’s normal for them to raise those concerns, although it may seem insensitive. Just assure them that you’ll be ok, or at least, that you will think of a way towards that path.
- Avoid staying indoors and pig out on unhealthy food. You suddenly find yourself out of routine, you choose to stay in and do nothing productive. If that relaxes your mind, then do it. But know that it’s best to not feel embarrassed by being laid off. Tell your friends and family in a positive way. You are at liberty to withhold any details you feel are too personal to share about losing your job. Also, spreading the news can also be a good start in finding new employment. Your network of friends is a great asset.
- Help yourself build hope by looking at your past merits and successes. This is a reflective practice that will help you regain confidence and take on new challenges.
- After considerable time away from your old workplace, begin assessing what led to your employment’s termination. Think of reasons why your employer fired you. Sure, it’s stated in the paperwork, or HR has a term for it in line with company policy, but you have to query into it more. Evaluate your shortcomings, accept your failures and treat it as an opportunity to make strengths from past mistakes. Focus on your weaknesses and performance issues and work on improving them.
- Never badmouth your former employer or company. You can always use them for character references and as work background in your resumes. If your manager fired you, it doesn’t mean all of your peers can’t vouch for you.
These are just a few tips on how to look positively at a life-altering event such as losing your job. Whatever works for you, do it. Just allow yourself to move forward! Find better job opportunities, or venture into something you have dreamed of doing. Just remember your responsibilities in the process. If you have dependents, you must push for a better-paying job that fits your skills and interests.