Getting fired can be one of the best things to ever happen to you. Sure, it rarely feels good at the time, but in many cases, being fired can be the kick in the pants that you need.
Think about it. Were you disengaged, bored, and/or frustrated prior to being fired? If this was the case – and it’s likely that it was – being fired is a chance to drag yourself out of a career hole you may not have even realized you were in. It’s an opportunity to improve your career for the better.
Besides, if you get fired, you’ll be in good company: Oprah, Mark Cuban, Steve Jobs, and many other massively successful people were all fired before reaching the pinnacles of their careers.
Getting fired is a wake-up call. If you want to use it as an opportunity to rise from the corporate ashes and get onto a more rewarding career path, you can’t wallow in self-pity. You need to take action.
Not sure where to start? Try these ideas:
1. Go Freelance
The freelance economy is growing, and plenty of people have been able to land lucrative work thanks to freelancing gigs. Furthermore, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have to explain to your potential clients that you were fired – something that would definitely come up in a more traditional work environment.
By doing some work in the freelance gig economy, you’ll be able to rebuild your employment history, pay your bills, and eventually step up to bigger things.
2. Start Your Own Business
Many successful entrepreneurs swear that failure – and some would say countless failures – are necessary steps on the way to long-term business success. While you may see your firing as a red flag, it can actually be a badge of honor, a prerequisite that preps you for the entrepreneurial life.
Starting a business isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve ever felt the entrepreneurial urge, now could be the perfect time to unleash it.
3. Check in With Your Former Employer’s Competitors
If neither freelancing nor starting your own business appeals to you, then your only other option is to get back on the employment wagon. A good place to start will be with your former employer’s competitors. You already know their industry niche well, which will be a huge plus for you.
That being said, your dismissal may still present a hindrance. In order to overcome this issue, you’ll need to show your potential new employer that the firing has actually been a positive step in your life. You can do this by preparing an “elevator pitch” of sorts that you can share when the subject of your firing comes up. In this elevator pitch, you should:
- accept responsibility;
- avoid blaming or bad-mouthing your former colleagues or bosses;
- clearly communicate the lessons you’ve learned;
- demonstrate how you have applied the lesson you’ve learned and how you will apply them in the future;
- and commit to further improvement, development, and success in your career.
No matter how good your elevator pitch is, it may take you longer than normal to get hired. Let’s face it: Being fired doesn’t look great on a resume. Still, that doesn’t mean you’ll never get hired. You just need to find the employer that can see beyond this blemish and find the skilled professional behind it.
4. Go in a Totally New Direction
If you find you are not at all motivated to rejoin a career that just ejected you, it might be time to jump on a different wagon altogether.
Ask yourself if it’s time to move in a new, more satisfying, more invigorating direction. Are there any careers you’ve always been interested in but too scared to try? Any hobbies you want to turn into jobs? Now is the perfect time to take the leaps you used to shy away from.
Being fired can feel like the end of the world. However, I hope that you can see from this list that it doesn’t have to be this way. All is not lost. You just need a plan of action, and getting fired can become a life-changing event – in a good way.