How To Get Over Being Fired

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated February 25, 2021 | Published July 6, 2020

Updated February 25, 2021

Published July 6, 2020

Getting fired is more common some people might realize. A company may decide to let go of an employee for a variety of reasons, such as budget cuts, creative differences or unsatisfactory performance. Whatever the reason, it's important that you find ways to get over this surprising life change and move forward. In this article, we share how to get over losing your job and tips for when you get fired.

Related: What To Do After Getting Fired

Why is it important to know how to get over being fired?

Knowing how to get over being fired is an important part of moving forward. When you learn to accept your employer's decision, you can begin to rebuild your career. Oftentimes, your employer's decision for firing you could reflect more on the company than you as an individual. It's important to understand that there may be times in your career when you and your employer have different points of view. By getting over being fired, you can continue to grow as an individual and a professional.

Related: How To Deal With Job Loss

Steps for how to get over being fired

Follow these steps to get over being fired and move forward in your career:

1. Let yourself feel your emotions

When you get fired, it's likely that you'll feel a mix of emotions. It's okay to let yourself feel these emotions as you process this life change. Realize that eventually you can feel good again and move forward from this point in your life. By giving yourself a grieving period, you can fully accept your new reality and make positive changes.

2. Focus on yourself

As you begin to search for a new job, remember to make time for self-care by doing things that improve your physical and mental health. Examples can include reading a book, going on a nature walk, buying yourself flowers or doing any other activity that makes you feel better.

3. Reflect on the positives

Even if you aren't leaving this job on your own terms, there may be some positive outcomes of getting fired. For instance, maybe you weren't the right fit for your position, so now you have the opportunity to find a job that better suits your skills and qualifications. While you reflect, think of what this job taught you. You may have learned more about yourself and what you want from a job.

4. Reassess your wants and needs

Think about what your ideal job looks like. Make a list of all the things you want and need from your next job. Some things you want may include a casual dress code, a laid-back work environment or a pet-friendly office. Examples of things you need may include flexible work hours, full health insurance coverage and a retirement savings plan.

5. Set new goals

Use your time off of work to set more goals. Consider separate goals for your personal life and work life. Decide what you want your life and career to look like. When setting goals, consider the SMART method:

  • Specific: Narrow the focus of each of your goals.

  • Measurable: Figure out how you're going to measure the progress of your goals.

  • Attainable: Choose goals that are realistic for you to accomplish.

  • Relevant: Make sure your goals are related to what you want in your life and career.

  • Time-bound: Create a deadline for your goal.

Related: SMART Goals: Definition and Examples

6. Make healthy decisions

After you get laid off, make an effort to stay in shape. Continue healthy habits like eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, having a full night of sleep or doing meditation. When you take care of your body, your mind can benefit as well. Exercise can boost your endorphins, which can put you in a better mood. Likewise, healthy decisions can help you continue to be your best self.

7. Take a break from social media

Although social media is a great way to stay connected with friends, it may also lead to you comparing your life to others. Keep in mind that people mainly share the most exciting and happy moments of their lives on social media. It may be smart to take a break from social media as you cope with your job loss. This gives you a chance to focus on your own life rather than others' online.

Tips for what to do when you get fired

Use these tips when your employer informs you of their decision to let you go:

Find areas of improvement

Rather than assuming your employer is at fault, figure out why they made their decision. You may discover that there are certain areas where you can improve. For example, if your employer's reason for firing you is your time management, you can make it your goal to improve this skill. When your employer shares this reason, ask them to elaborate. This can help you make better decisions throughout your career.

Related: 10 Ways To Improve Your Performance at Work

Get the reason in writing

When you learn about your firing, ask your employer to write you a letter of termination. Make sure they include the reason why they are letting you go. This can be a useful document to have if you suspect a union or contract violation. Likewise, if a future employer asks about your termination, you will have documented proof of the reasoning.

Related: How To Explain Termination on a Job Application

Remain professional

You may want to tell your employer how you really feel, but it's probably best to refrain from doing so. When you learn the news, try to remain polite and professional. Continue to treat your coworkers with respect, as it's likely that they have little to do with your termination anyway. This can help you leave the company on good terms. By maintaining a cordial relationship, you can continue to have a positive reputation even after you leave.

Find closure

If you have some time before you need to leave, find a chance to get some closure. This means saying goodbye to coworkers and finding ways to thank them for their work. Rather than quickly leaving the office, try to clean your workspace and save any files you need.

Ask for an exit interview

Some people feel that their termination is unjust. If you feel like this is the case, then you may want to ask your employer for an exit interview. During this meeting, continue to remain professional and polite. As you share your point of view, remember that your employer needs to make the best decisions for the company. An exit interview may help them understand your thoughts better. Likewise, it gives the employer a chance to elaborate on their decision.

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