One day you have a job and a fairly set future, and the next day you’re unemployed with no idea what’s going to happen next. However, it’s important to not lose hope. Here are a few tips on how to cope with getting fired. (more…)
The interview is going great—you ace every question, have a great rapport with the interviewer, and are pretty much perfect for the job. But then, your prospective employer asks about your last position and why you weren’t there very long. Memories of a company shakeup and a newly minted (but hardly qualified) boss showing you the door flash through your mind. Yeah, you were fired. But does the interviewer really need to know that?
The answer is yes. If you lie, it’s going to come up eventually. They might ask for a reference. Or that lie could lead to six or seven more. And that’s not how you want to start a new job.
Now that you know you have to tell your interviewer you were fired, how do you go about doing that?
Accept That You Were Fired
You were fired. It happens. The first step of telling any future interviewer you were fired is accepting it yourself. Being able to view that event objectively, not subjectively. Realize that, in all likelihood, nobody was out to get you. Whether it was a mismatch of personalities that led to a less than stellar workplace environment or the simple fact that you didn’t yet have the skills for the job.
Regardless of reason, the important thing is that you’re okay with it. You don’t want to go into interviews complaining about how terrible your boss was or how nobody liked you. That makes you look like a drama-prone employee. Plus, if you complain about your last boss, how does your interviewer know you won’t end up whining about them in the future? Settle your emotions so that you can talk calmly about your firing without all of that emotional baggage.
Focus on What You Learned
Most interviewers don’t want to hear complaints about your previous boss. They want to hear about how the firing affected you as an employee. Which means you should focus on what you learned from the event. Make sure to portray yourself in a positive light. If you were fired for your workplace behavior, you should have made changes. Maybe you learned that the company culture wasn’t for you, or you weren’t right for the night shift. Just make sure that you learned something, and that you’re a stronger job candidate because of it. Turn your firing into a good thing, something that highlights newfound strengths.
Just Tell Them
Be confident and honest. Those are qualities most everyone can agree are great to have in a candidate. Interviewers know acknowledging you were fired isn’t easy. But doing so demonstrates your character. So just tell them. Let them know what you learned, how you’re a better employee, and avoid mentioning anything negative about your previous boss. The thing is, the person who’s sitting in front of the interviewer now isn’t the same you who was fired from your previous job. You’re different. You’ve learned things. Show your potential employer that.
Have you ever had to tell an interviewer you were fired? How did it go? Let us know in the comments below!
Getting fired, laid off, or quitting a job can be a very rough time. If this happens to you, chances are you’ll be faced with some negative emotions and anxiety about your future. Starting a new job search while you’re under so much stress can be difficult, but there are steps you can take to lessen the blow. Check out these tips to help you move on after a job break up.
Give yourself time to let it sink in.
Often, leaving a job comes with negative emotions. These emotions are normal, but you can’t bounce back and find a new job if you’re still focusing on negative thoughts and memories. You need to be positive and enthusiastic about new opportunities in order to land your next job, so make sure you allow yourself time to work through the feelings that come with being let go. Go for a walk, take up a new hobby, or lean on family or friends to help you cope before you take the next step.
Learn from your mistakes.
If you were let go from a job because of something you did – or didn’t do – take some time to think about what went wrong and how you can stop it from happening again. Try to find lessons you can learn from the situation. If you were let go because of company problems, like financial troubles or a change in management, those lessons can be harder to find. But, there are always things you can do to improve your future employability. Remember to think of the positives this change may bring. Perhaps now you can explore a new career path, reassess your strengths and weaknesses, go back to school, or find a company that will allow you to move up in your career.
Starting a new job search can be intimidating, and you may not be sure where to begin. According to Amy Shouse from LearnVest, a financial planning company, start by writing down every place you’d like to work. Regardless of where these companies are located or if you have the education or experience to work there, put them on your list of dream jobs. Then, do at least five things every day that will work toward landing one of those dream jobs. Research companies, make calls, submit applications, and find places to network.
Be ready to talk about the job in interviews.
Although it’s not always easy to talk about former employers, you need to be prepared when an interviewer asks the inevitable question: “Why did you leave your last job?” Remember to avoid badmouthing your previous boss, always remain honest and open with your answer, and try to show your strengths to the interviewer. For more tips on answering this question, check out this Movin’ On Up article.
Regardless of why you are leaving the company, remember to exit gracefully. Since networking and references are an important part of the workplace, you don’t want to burn any bridges you may need down the road. And don’t broadcast your feelings on social media either. While it may be tempting to let your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn friends know how upset you are, it’s best to avoid saying anything negative about your previous job. These social accounts are easily searchable by potential employers, and you don’t want to air any dirty laundry that could prevent you from landing an interview. If you have to get all of your negative emotions out, rely on a friend you can trust instead of social media.
Looking for your next job may take longer than you expected. Since you don’t want long gaps on your resume that show you were out of work, consider volunteering to an organization in your community during your job search. In addition to giving back and feeling good about your part in the community, volunteering also offers many benefits to your job search. When you volunteer, you have the opportunity to network and meet new people, learn new skills, and gain experience to add to your resume.
Although moving on from a job break up can be tough, it doesn’t have to be. How have you bounced back from losing a job? Let us know in the comments section below!
Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.
Although you may not be sure how to answer this question without hurting your chances of landing the job, it’s important to remain confident when telling interviewers what you can bring to their company. So, here are some tips on how to answer this critical question without working up a sweat.
Keep it simple.
As a general rule, interviews aren’t the place to air your dirty laundry. While honesty and open communication are necessary and respected elements of any interview, there are a number of creative responses to answering this age-old question without disclosing too much.
If the reason you left your previous job would take 30 minutes to explain, don’t go that route. Your interviewer has a busy schedule and doesn’t need a lengthy explanation. Instead of ranting, raving, or adopting a style of full disclosure, try to hone your reason down into a shorter, truthful answer.
Don’t badmouth your previous boss.
You won’t get along with every boss you’ll ever have, and interviewers know that. But, telling them how awful your boss was will only make them concerned that you’ll talk the same way about their company if you left. Instead, try something like:
“After speaking in length with my manager, we decided that my vision for my role wasn’t the same as their overall goals. I decided it was best to part ways so they could find someone better suited to their vision.”
You don’t have to say, “I was fired.”
There are a number of reasons why employees are terminated from their jobs, and if you’ve experienced one of them, you aren’t obligated to simply say so. Instead, dig deeper into why you were let go. Did you lack the skills necessary for the job? Were you desperate for work that wasn’t right for you? If so, try some of these phrases:
“I really needed to find a job, and I made the mistake of accepting one that wasn’t the right match for me. It was a mistake I’ve learned from and won’t make again.”
“Under new leadership, my company let some employees go. This cleared the way for me to have the opportunity to apply with your company.”
Or, if you weren’t a good fit for your old job, go a step further and research the company culture of the place where you’re interviewing. List some of their well-known traits, like corporate giving or community involvement, when using this response:
“I’d prefer to work in an environment whose company’s culture is more suited to my own.”
If you were let go because of downsizing, make that clear.
Interviewers understand that businesses go through ups and downs. If you were let go due to downsizing or economic turmoil, be honest about it. Try using one of the following answers:
“Unfortunately, my position was eliminated when the company decided to scale back.”
“I knew the company was downsizing, so I decided to seek another job before my position was eliminated.”
Show your strengths.
Though talking about previous jobs can be a tough subject, it can also show the interviewer the skills you can bring to their position. If your old job was wearing you down or wasn’t right for you, try some of these answers to show that you’re focused on your career:
“When I decided to take my career down a different path, my previous employer didn’t have the opportunities I needed.”
“I believed I’d learned everything I could in that position, and I wanted to find a new challenge that would help me better utilize my skills on a daily basis.”
“I was ready for a change, but it didn’t seem ethical to take company time to go on interviews. I left so they could find someone more suited for the position while I looked to better my career path.”
“I didn’t believe there was any room to grow with my former company.”
If your reasons for leaving your previous job were unavoidable, like moving, personal issues, or illness, explain those reasons and be honest. Your interviewer will understand, and you’ll show that you’re personally committed to your life as well as your career.
Try not to dwell on this question for long. Your interview shouldn’t be about past jobs, but rather about the job you’re trying to get. Always use any opportunity you can to remind the interviewer what a great asset you’d be to their company.
How have you answered this question during an interview? Let us know in the comments section below!
Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.
Being fired can feel like the ultimate hit to your career, and it’s easy to think you’ll never recover. But, that’s not always the case. Despite the immediate emotions you may feel, losing your job doesn’t have to be so overwhelming.
As Paul Anderson, managing director of career management and job search firm ProLango Consulting Inc, told US News, “You shouldn’t hold onto the belief that you’re damaged goods or that another employer won’t offer you a more satisfying career option. Sometimes it really is a blessing…Just take advantage of that self-reflection opportunity to find something even better.”
If you’ve recently been let go from a job, here are three tips to help you recover. These tips will help you make the most of the situation, keep from doing any additional damage, and get your career back on track.
1. Be careful where and how you express your emotions.
It’s natural to feel angry, indignant, betrayed, and frightened after being fired, but airing your emotions via social media has the potential to really hurt you in the long-run. Nothing online is truly private anymore, and you don’t want future employers to uncover your rants. Even something as minimal as stating you were fired from a position in your resume is a no-no. There are certain things no resume should ever say, and “fired” is one of them. While it can be healthy and beneficial to talk through your emotions with a close friend or spouse, make sure to keep the negativity in check.
2. Take an honest look at the reason.
Once you’ve had time for the emotions to subside, you need to analyze why you were fired. If your employer told you specifically why, impartially consider their reasons and take responsibility for the part you played in your termination. Decide how you can improve and handle things differently in the future, and do everything you can to learn from the situation. Even if the termination was completely out of your hands and no fault lies with you, use this opportunity to analyze what happened so you can hopefully avoid a similar situation in the future.
3. Be tactful, not untruthful.
As you begin networking and applying for new jobs, you need to prepare yourself for the unavoidable question – “why did you leave?” Honesty is always the best policy, and lying is never acceptable in the job search process, but you can also find a way to answer the question with tact. In preparing for an interview after you’ve been fired, you need to formulate an answer that is truthful, straightforward, and that you’re comfortable giving. And, always remember – keep it positive!
Getting fired can be a very difficult thing, but don’t let it shape your future. With time and effort, you can recover and even come out better than before.
What about you? How have you handled being fired? What steps did you take to get back on your feet and find a new job? Share with us in the comment section below.
Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.