What to Do If You're Fired and Skills for Getting a New Job

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 5, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Getting fired can be a devastating experience for most professionals, despite it being a normal occurrence. While it's the end of a journey, getting fired also offers you another chance to start afresh. Understanding what to do if you're fired can help you develop a more appropriate and productive response to it. In this article, we discuss what to do after getting fired and outline the essential skills for getting a new job.

What to do if you're fired

If you're wondering what to do if you're fired, here are some measures you can take:

Ask why you're getting fired

After receiving notice of the termination of your employment, it's essential you ask why. Knowing why can help you determine how to plan your next move. For example, if your boss fired you due to a lack of skills, that tells you that professional development is a priority. Knowing why can inform your future interview answers, such as when interviewers ask why you left your last job. To make your inquiries, approach your employer and have a personal and cordial relationship with them. Next, ask them for the specific reasons behind the termination of your employment.

Inquire about other opportunities in the organization

Depending on why your employer fired you, they may have other opportunities for you in the organization. For example, if the company downsizes its department, there may be available roles in other departments. If your termination was due to misconduct, it may be possible to request a second chance. Also, you may inquire if your employer is willing to take you back after professional development. Remember that if the manager doesn't have any positive responses, ensure you accept their answer politely.

Return all company property

Depending on your role, you may have some company property. Such properties may include laptops, smartphones, or cars, which the organization gave you to aid your duties. If your contract requires you to return these items, it's essential you do so before leaving. Similarly, it's important to return any security clearances or identification cards to avoid a security risk to the company. Ensure you clear your working space and prepare it for the next employee. This can communicate professionalism and respect for your employer and colleagues.

Leave on positive terms

While getting fired can be a frustrating experience, it's important you leave on positive terms. Doing so can help you preserve your work relationships, which may be useful in the future. An effective approach for leaving on good terms is showing gratitude. This communicates professionalism and maturity, which can endear you to others. You can show gratitude to your employer by seeing them in person or sending an email. In your appreciation message, ensure you reference specific relationships you're grateful for and how they aided your professional development. Also, remember to thank your mentors, supervisors, and close colleagues.

Related: How To Write an Appreciation Letter (With Example)

File for unemployment benefits

After getting fired, it's essential you immediately review your employment insurance benefits. As you're out of a job, it's vital you have a steady source of income until you can get a new one. You can calculate your unemployment benefits by finding 55% of your average insurable weekly earnings. You can receive these benefits for up to 45 weeks, depending on the rate of unemployment in the region and the amount of unspent insurable hours you have. To qualify for employment insurance benefits, it's important you satisfy the following requirements:

  • your job was under insurable employment

  • the termination of your employment was due to no fault of yours

  • you haven't worked or received pay for at least one week in the last 52 weeks

  • you have worked for the necessary number of insurable employment hours within the last 52 weeks or since your last claim, whichever is shorter

  • you're ready, capable, and willing to work each day

  • you're actively searching for work (it's necessary you keep a written record of your employment efforts)

Take some time to rest

Losing your job can take a toll on you mentally. Before you begin the next phase fully, it can help to take some time to rest. Resting gives you the time to reflect on your career and develop a strategy for the future. It can help you recuperate from your previous work, helping you feel more energized for your job search. To rest, you can spend more time doing your hobbies.

Similarly, you can increase your participation in extracurricular activities and use the opportunity to build some valuable skills. Ensure you don't spend too much time resting so you can get back to work.

Consider improving your skills

Whether or not your employer fired you due to a lack of skills, you can benefit from professional development. Doing so may make it easier for you to secure a new role. Similarly, it can give you access to more rewarding roles than your previous one. To improve your skills, decide what kind of job you want to do. Next, create a list of the relevant skills for the role and identify those you don't have. After that, you can look for options to learn those skills. Common options include an online course, vocational school, or advanced degree.

Update your resume

A resume is a brief document that highlights your professional qualifications. Most employers request a resume, making it an essential tool for job applications. As you may not have searched for any jobs in a while, it's essential you update your resume. You can include any new qualifications you obtained since your last update. Ensure you update your work experience section to reflect any new achievements you recorded. Also, remember to update your resume to align with new industry standards and practices. You can consider using professional resume review services for the best results.

Leverage your network

Finding the right job may be difficult, especially if it's during a period where hiring managers are receiving numerous applications. To make it easier, consider leveraging your network. For example, as your previous colleagues have an idea of your qualifications, they can recommend the right role for you. Similarly, you can skip some of the application processes on the strength of their recommendation. Ensure you reach out to your mentors, supervisors, and colleagues and tell them you're searching for a job. You may send a copy of your resume to make it easier for them.

Apply for jobs

Now you're ready to start searching for a new job. Now is a great time to decide if you want to switch careers or maintain the same field. If you want to switch careers, you can list all the information you need and check items off the list. If not, you can go straight to searching for a new role. To find job opportunities, you can try reviewing your favourite companies' websites and social media pages. You can consider sending a cold email to their hiring manager or other executives.

Also, you can consider job websites or professional sites that often have job listings. Remember to consider factors like your qualifications, location, and salary range when searching for a job. Consider other factors like the company's work environment, corporate culture, and whether you have access to professional development opportunities.

Related: How To Apply for a Job in 6 Easy Steps

Prepare for your job application

While applying for jobs, it's crucial you start preparing for other stages of the application process. Beyond submitting your resume, most application processes comprise interviews and assessment tests. You can prepare for assessment tests by downloading practice questions and solving them. You can prepare for your interview by researching likely questions. After doing that, you can prepare your answers and practise your delivery. You can ask your friends or family to help you rehearse. Ensure you pay attention to your answer, composure, delivery, eye contact, and body language.

Essential skills for getting a new job

Here are some of the essential skills for getting a new job:

Effective commmunication

When applying for jobs, you may encounter several interviews. These interviews involve answering questions regarding your competence and knowledge of the role. To answer these questions properly, you require effective communication. Effective communication also helps you understand the hiring manager's questions and provide insightful answers.

Related: How To Become An Effective Communicator

Commercial awareness

Commercial awareness is knowledge of how your company or industry works and generates income. In most interviews and assessment tests, hiring managers ask questions relating to the company or industry. Commercial awareness can help you provide insightful answers.

Persuasion and negotiation skills

The entire job application process is to persuade the hiring manager to hire you. Candidates require negotiation skills to discuss sensitive matters like salary or work arrangements. Having these skills can aid your job application.

Problem-solving skills

During job applications, you may encounter various assessment tests and interview questions that require solving problems. Similarly, it's necessary you solve these questions quickly as you likely have limited time. To do this, you require excellent problem-solving skills.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

Research skills

Throughout the job application process, you can encounter questions relating to the company. In such cases, the hiring managers expect you to research the company beforehand and provide insightful answers. To do this effectively, you require research skills.

Explore more articles