I remember when Donald Trump’s The Apprentice debuted on NBC about a decade ago. The phrase “you’re fired” became such an iconic thing to say just because. It made for good television seeing the way Trump would dig into a candidate with all his questions about the task at hand and then suddenly say ‘You’re fired.” In fact if you type in the words “You’re fired” into Google, you’ll get pictures and videos of Donald Trump in his chair on The Apprentice saying those words. New Yorkers even had t-shirts made with the words ‘You’re fired!”. Those two words may have seemed like entertainment, but those are possibly the worst two words you want to hear when you go to work. It can make you feel like a failure, sad, confused, disillusioned and so much more. You can start questioning your capabilities and if you’re even worthy to find work again. It especially bites when you loved your job or it was totally unexpected.
When I saw the image above from the WhoWhatWear website I was surprised because I didn’t know this little fact about one of the fashion industry’s most successful people. Anna Wintour, the powerhouse Editor-at-Large for Vogue magazine, Artistic Director for Conde Nast, was actually fired once. I had no idea. Which goes to show you that losing your job does not define what your future success will be.
Getting fired from a position is one of the worst experiences anyone can have. Especially if you know you were doing your best or tried your best at the position. Sometimes losing a job can actually be a good thing because it sets you up for what’s yet to come. It gives you an opportunity to assess where you are and really work hard towards the goal. The worst thing you can do is sit around and mope. Sure it’s okay to grieve for a few days, but even that may be too much. The moment you have the freedom it’s your chance to figure out what your next steps are going to be.
Here are a few tips to finding your direction after you’ve been handed a pink slip.
Networking is Key
They often say it’s who you know that gets you the job. This is why it’s so important to stay in the loop in your industry. Establishing new relationships and nurturing old ones may be the way to go. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your contacts and find out who’s currently hiring.
With so many companies that offer services to job-seekers, take a look at what’s available in your area to assist you in your job search. There could even be some programs available to help you in your search.
Explore New Options
If there is a career you’ve always wanted to try, maybe this is your opportunity. Just be prepared to start from the bottom when making a career change. Especially if you’ve been in the workforce several years doing something else. It’s a good idea to either volunteer or start taking classes related to a career you want to try. Seek out experienced professionals to get their take on the industry and assess if you’d be a good fit.
Perhaps there is a talent you have and never really thought you could make a career out of it. This could be your opportunity to explore that gift as a new way to make a living. For example if you’ve always been great with graphic design and never thought it could be a career for you, give it a shot. With easy access to people on social media you could immediately start promoting your services. Do some pro bono projects to get experience and build your portfolio. This could be the start of something big.
Don’t Waste Time
This is very important. Don’t waste any time. Sure it feels good to relax and be free for a bit. Not having to wake up to an alarm to go anywhere can sometimes feel great. Sitting on the couch, watching movies and just thinking about nothing. This can be easy to fall into especially if you got a great severance package and money isn’t weighing on your mind.
It’s important to also utilize your time to be somewhat productive in your goals. Because unless you’re extremely rich, you will have to work again. Nothing works against you more than being unemployed for too long. It’s also a negative on your resume unfortunately.
It’s very important to always remain positive despite your situation. Surround yourself with people who will uplift you and guide you in the right direction.
Remember that almost every successful person has gone through some kind of failure or been fired. They didn’t let it stop them from becoming the huge successes they are today. People like Mark Cuban, Madonna and Jerry Seinfeld were all once fired from jobs. Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank were fired from their jobs before they founded Home Depot. Those are just a few examples. Don’t let losing your job today, affect your destiny for tomorrow.