It’s always a two way street. Your employer might not be content with your work and you may not be feeling motivated at your current job either. But, if you suspect you may be getting laid off, or the moment has arrived, don’t panic. You can still use the situation to leave your company on the best terms possible and even help land your next job. Compiled from Reader’s Digest, here is a list of seven ways you can make the most out of getting fired.
1) Ask for a reference
Getting some sort of reference will help diffuse any worries you may have about explaining your exit to prospective future employers. In fact, your chances of walking out with a decent reference are better than you might think. These days, employers are so worried about possible legal issues that can result from giving a poor reference that you’ll find they’re generally very limited on detail. They will often just confirm your job title and dates of employment and only occasionally give details of reasons for leaving. So unless you’ve been fired for gross misconduct, such as harassing a colleague, your employers are unlikley to say anything negative about you in a reference.
2) Quit before you’re fired
Resigning before it gets to an unpleasant dismissal does make more sense if you’re truly dissatisfied with your job. Your boss may have noticed that your performance has been suffering recently, but you could be avoiding the truth: that deep down inside, you know you’re slacking because you hate your job. You may even subconsciously want to be fired. If that’s the case, the solution is to start looking for another job right away.
3) Ask for a promotion
If you decide that you’re so dissatisfied with your job that resigning is the best solution, your next move is to march straight into the boss’s office—not to say you’re leaving, but to air your grievances. Say how you feel, state clearly what you want and ask what plans, if any, the company really has for your future in the company. Voicing your desires provides a context when you do give notice and may even help to make what you’re seeking much clearer in your own mind, as you look for a new job. Sometimes an employer has no idea that you have any difficulties with your job and, if your work is satisfactory and valued, may make an effort to accommodate your concerns. You may end up not resigning after all.
4) Turn getting fired into an asset
The moment of truth has arrived, when an interviewer asks you why you left your previous job. Don’t panic. Spend some time putting together three or four sentences that sum up how you have dealt with, understood and moved on from your dismissal. Rehearse this little speech over and over again. If you put a positive spin on the situation, a prospective employer will usually accept it and may even be impressed by your ability to handle problems and to learn something from them.
5) Don’t plead your case
When discussing the unfortunate way your previous job ended with an interviewer—or anyone, really—don’t try to defend yourself with detailed complaints about what “they” did to you. Don’t be morose or express anger or bitterness over the situation. If you get caught up in the heat of the moment, use these tricks to calm down fast. And, most importantly, don’t badmouth anybody.
6) Ashamed? Get over it
You might never have imagined that someone as skilled and talented as you could possibly be without paid employment for an extended period of time. What’s more, the idea of filing for unemployment benefits makes you feel uneasy, like asking for a handout, when you’re not actually destitute. Get past that mental block and use this time to mentally recover from your layoff. So don’t feel embarrassed about accepting what’s being offered. Take it with a clean conscience—after all, you’ve worked hard for it.
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