Getting Over the “I-was-Fired” Hurdle

Looking for a job is almost always a stressful, uncertain time. That stress is compounded if your reason for searching for a new position is a recent termination. That is, if you were fired. It’s awkward, explaining to potential new employers that your last boss thought you weren’t a good fit. But don’t worry, it isn’t the end of the world. You can get over the “I-was-fired” hurdle and get your career back on track.

Come To Terms With Your Firing

A firing is a traumatic event, filled with a lot of emotion. Going into an interview unprepared to calmly explain your termination is a recipe for disaster. Before the interview, you need to make peace with what happened and get past that emotion, so that when the time comes, you can simply state the facts behind your firing and move on. Talk to someone you trust and work through your emotions, or write them down to organize your thoughts.

You’re Not The First 

Other people have been fired before you and found new jobs, and you can be certain that plenty of new hires in the future will have felt the sting of the pink slip at one point. There are plenty of valid reasons why an employee just didn’t work out – personality clashes, personal issues, inability to fit in with a company’s culture – and employers know this. Chances are, the person interviewing you has, at one point, been fired, or knows someone close to them who was.

Explain Yourself And Use The Experience

Obviously, any new employer is going to want to know why you were fired. Unless you were fired for some sort of egregious misconduct, you can probably explain what happened and use the firing as a learning experience. Keep your explanations short, calm, and honest — there’s no need to dwell or prevaricate. It’s important to strike a balance. Giving away too little can come off evasive, while going on about why a firing shouldn’t matter can sound like you’re making excuses.

Once you’ve done the explaining, talk about what you’ve learned from the experience, how you would approach the job differently, and what lessons you can use from the experience in a new job. Employers are willing to overlook mistakes and misunderstandings. They aren’t willing to hire someone who doesn’t admit their mistakes or is unwilling to improve.

A firing doesn’t have to kill all your employment prospects. We can help you. Talk to us today to see how we can help you move past a firing and find a new job that’s a better fit.