Getting Fired? Here Are 5 Things You Need To Know

The only failure in life is to fail to learn from one’s experiences. Never is this more true than when facing involuntary separation from your job. There are any number of reasons you might be let go – from legit to legally dubious – and there are lessons to be learned from all of them. Here are five things you need to know if you’ve been fired from your job.

1. Your Rights

When you’re being let go, the first thing to do is a quick double check of the laws in your area to make sure everything is above board. Even when the reason(s) for your severance are obviously legitimate, it’s advisable to review the letter of the law with regard to how the situation must be handled. The best of us are capable of some pretty boneheaded moves, but there is no reason for the situation to become unprofessional, let alone disrespectful, or outright illegal. For cases where the rationale behind a firing is less clear-cut, knowing what are (or are not) legal reasons for termination is essential for avoiding wrongful dismissal.

2. Your Prospects

Right now, a common cause behind job loss is a less-than-stable economy. In the case of a layoff or lack of work scenario, it becomes worthwhile to explore your options. Changing careers may not be feasible, but moving might be. There’s a wealth of resources online that can help you discover areas where your skills are in higher demand, or that provide free courses to upgrade an existing skill set.

Now is the time to take a breath or two to make sure that none of your energies are wasted through misdirection. If you decide a complete career overhaul is necessary, consider taking an online career assessment ) to narrow the field of options, and show you some suggestions for careers that will fit you best.

3. Your Weaknesses

When you’re fired for something you did (or didn’t do), it’s time to take an honest, objective look at where you have room for improvement. Everything from a short temper to sticky fingers can be remedied, but the desire to improve needs to come from within. It’s pointless to engage in self-improvement on someone else’s behalf – even if it’s ‘for the children’.

Permanent change is extremely difficult to pull off, even when the need to do so is immediate and intense. It can be done, but it takes time and will to succeed, both of which can only be provided by you. And if you need help to achieve your goals, never be afraid to reach out to someone that may be able to help you.

4. Your Future

Okay, so maybe getting fired isn’t exactly a Magic 8-Ball. Even if you can’t see what the future will bring, you now have a decent idea of what it won’t include. You know some of the red flags for the kind of employer who’ll try to snow you out of a job, or you know the kinds of behavior that aren’t welcome in the workplace.

Make a list of the negatives that lead to your current state of unemployment. Now, turn each and every one of them into a positive. This new list represents the blueprint you’ll use to build your bright and better future. It may not be a crystal ball, but it’s empowering to understand how much of what you will experience is under your control, and – just as importantly – how much is entirely beyond your control. Discovering pockets of personal agency, as well as learning when and where to let go, will make the life you’ve yet to live that much happier and more fulfilling.

5. Your Fit

Sometimes, being let go is no one’s fault: not you, nor your employer, nor the economy. Very occasionally, it just doesn’t work out. If you’re lucky, this kind of severance will happen before too much friction builds up. A best case scenario is for this parting of ways to occur during the first three months of employment. You and your employer have had a chance to get to know each other, and you’ve met and worked with others in your department or on your team.


When this kind of termination takes place, it can occupy a nebulous space between quitting and being fired. And the best part (other than possibly being fired and still getting a reference) is you’ve learned how vital fit can be to a happy, successful career. Now that you’re looking for a place to fit in, checking out the company profiles on Good.Co can point you down the right path.
If you’ve ever been fired, what have you learned? Leave a comment telling your story down below.

Share with:

career, Firing