Fired: 6 Steps To Restart Your Career

Clean out your desk! I never thought it would happen to me, but should have seen it coming. The medical products company had been cutting back. I was an ad writer, and just a month earlier all ten employees were fired from the discontinued video production offices next to mine.

This occurred decades ago, but the employment market today can be just as unpredictable. No matter how secure you feel in your job, many factors beyond your control can put you out on the street. Consider suggestions for restarting a suddenly interrupted career.

Put It Behind You

No matter why you’re fired, downsized, redundant, eliminated or outsourced, get over it quickly. I was resentful when I lost my job, but soon realized that anger wouldn’t help me get a new one. I needed to restart my stalled career as quickly as possible. Don’t look back; concentrate all your energy on finding positive ways to move on.

Why Am I Unemployed? 

Before you begin the search, be aware of why you lost your job. Mine involved a company cut-back that had nothing to do with my performance, but it didn’t make the job search any easier.

When it happens, be absolutely honest with yourself. In addition to some serious soul searching about what you may have done wrong, seek out a savvy friend, teacher or relative. Discuss your abilities, attitudes and work habits. Then do everything necessary to make yourself a qualified candidate for upcoming career opportunities.

Don’t Get Discouraged 

When I was suddenly out of a job that had paid well for five years, added to my anger was growing panic. When it happens, don’t waste time feeling sorry for yourself. Use every available moment to plan and be out there competing for new opportunities. The longer you delay, it opens gaps in your resumé, and the less marketable you are.

Compose A New Resumé

My resumé was several years old. I scrapped it, and adjusted information on the new edition each time to the specific company where I applied. I did serious homework to study potential employers’ structure and products. With that knowledge, I could state clearly in interviews how I could fit in.

I also secured solid references. If you’re out on the street only because of cutbacks, be sure to get favorable endorsements from company management. It helps make you a more viable candidate.

When Job Interviews Fail 

Before I landed another job, I struggled through a dozen interviews over six anxious months. I believe the best way to combat rejection is to explore reasons you didn’t get the job. Immediately after each failed interview, give yourself an honest appraisal on how you can do better next time.

Winston Churchill: Never, Never, Never Give Up! 

In 1940, when England fought alone against the Nazis, he always emphasized the spirit of overcoming every obstacle to final victory. In your search, no matter how many rejections you get, continue to believe in yourself and never, never give up.

For the motivated job seeker today, a lifetime opportunity could be out there tomorrow after just one more try. My lucky 13th interview resulted in an offer that established a successful management career of 25 years with the same company.

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