Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

What to Do When You’re Fired

Have you ever seen the movie The Fifth Element? If you haven’t, I would highly suggest you check it out because it’s one of the most awkward, futuristic, funky, and entertaining movies ever. Of course, this is just my opinion, but the intertwining talents of Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich is just great- but alas, I digress. The reason I bring up this awesome sci-fi flick is because there is a scene where Bruce Willis is eating some food with Mr. Kim, a man who travels around in a flying boat delivering Chinese food to his customers. During their talk, Willis, or Korben Dallas, receives a piece of mail and ignores it. Mr. Kim asks him why he doesn’t check it and Korben proceeds to tell him that every piece of mail he gets is bad news.

Mr. Kim says, “no, no it could be great news!” and bets him lunch on it. He opens up Korben’s mail and reads with heightened anticipation “You are fired! Oh.” Ouch. It happens to the best of us and hopefully not in this way. However, no matter how it happened, you were fired and now you are left to pick up the pieces of your disheveled career.

If that’s how you think though, then that is your first mistake. Getting fired is definitely not fun and can throw any sane person into a fit of anger and sadness. However, you can also view the situation from an optimistic point of view and choose not dwell on the pessimism. It’s not easy, but if you expect to get another job- and soon- then you have to get back on the bandwagon right away.

Understand Why
There may be a number of reasons why you were fired and some may not put the blame completely on you. In order to deal with this hurdle, you should first fully understand why you have this hurdle in the first place. Was this a result of a string of mistakes you made? Did this job not turn out to be like you thought it would? Was your relationship with your manager or boss sour? If you have no idea why you were fired, then you should certainly ask for a reason. If you aren’t given one and you feel as though you were wrongfully fired, then you should consider your legal options. According to statistics nearly 250,000 people are wrongfully terminated every year.

It sounds really difficult right now, but when you’re fired it is important to try and stay optimistic. Of course, you’re allowed to wallow in your sorrow for at least a day or two, but don’t let it spiral out of control. Losing your job is difficult, but remember that you did not lose your life. There are a lot more opportunities out there for you and if you sit around feeling sorry for yourself then you’re only doing yourself a disfavor. After you’ve wallowed for a day or two, start thinking about what your next moves are going to be. Yes, it may be difficult to deal with the fact that you now have “fired” on your record, but there are ways to deal with this elegantly and professionally.

Hit the Job Market Hard
It’s difficult to find a job, yes, but the bigger the gap is between your jobs the less desirable you become. I read somewhere that after four to five months of being unemployed it starts to negatively affect your resume. Of course, if you are using all of your efforts to find a job and still can’t find one, then there isn’t much more you can do. You can do this by starting to apply for jobs right away. As I stated earlier, take a day or two to get yourself in the right mind-set and deal with this immediate life-change, but I’d say within the first week of being fired you should start applying for jobs. You should know that Spark Hire is one of the newest and most advanced job search platforms out. On Spark Hire you can create Profile Video to supplement your resume, interview online with companies and hopefully find your dream job!

Be Prepared to Talk About It
The fact of the matter is, you were fired. It’s going to come up in the interview for your next job, so you should be prepared to talk about it and know what you are going to say. First off, though, know that you don’t have to put that you were fired in your resume or cover letter. If you were in fact fired, save the conversation for your interview. When the time comes and an interviewer does ask you why you left your last job- because they will, it’s a staple question- then know what you should and should not say. If you were fired for a reason that was out of your control, such as the company was downsizing and couldn’t afford you, then say just that. If, however, you were fired because of mistakes that you made be honest about it. Lying in an interview isn’t the best way to start of a new potential business relationship, so tell the truth. In this case, it’s a good idea to tell the interviewer that you have learned from your mistakes and offer them ways you have attempted to change and better yourself. Talk about what you learned from the entire experience and focus on being positive. Stay away from any negativity or hostility.

It’s a difficult hurdle to jump, but if you were fired you are going to be OK. You will find another job and chances are it will be better than the last. Stay positive and don’t give up on your job search.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Daily Tech

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter