Quick action can help you get back in the game
By EUGENE MAHALINGAM
You’ve just been fired. Getting back in the game is never easy. On the bright side, it’s not the end of the world and it happens to the best of us.
The following are some tips on what you should do to get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
1. Financial implications
When we lose our jobs, we lose our income stream and a major lifestyle adjustment is needed, says licensed financial adviser and syariah financial advisory for Excellentte Consultancy Jeremy Tan.
“During your working years, you should always set aside savings that can cover your expenses or lifestyle for between six to 12 months, in case you lose your job.
“Though six to 12 months might be considered long, it provides the individual with ample time to hunt around for another job. Also during the unemployment period, one could also use the time to take on new skills to improve oneself,” he adds.
Tan notes that it’s harder on a person who has dependents such as children or elderly parents.
“Here you might be forced to take on a lower-paying job just to make ends meet – at least until you can find your ideal paying job again.
2. Getting over the mental anguish
Losing your job can be mentally challenging to get over. Accept it and move on, says Heera Training and Management Consultancy principal consultant Heera Singh.
“It is normal to be shocked and upset over a firing. The critical thing here is to be able to manage your negative emotions effectively and get over it as soon as possible.
“After a firing, many people start to feel resentful about their old company, their boss and fellow employees. None of this will change the situation. Accept the reality that you have been fired and that no amount of moaning or groaning will get you back your job. The quicker you get over the firing and look towards the future, the better it will be.”
Leaderonomics chief executive officer Roshan Thiran shares the same sentiment.
“While it is hard news to process, this is not the time to be in denial. Self-awareness levels have to be high. Take a hard and honest look at yourself and the situation and if needed, clarify the reasons for the dismissal with superiors. What can you learn from this for the future to ensure this does not repeat?”
Roshan adds that many times, we never take time to reflect on our failures.
“Taking time to reflect on them allows us to learn from various negative episodes in our lives. This is one of those times. It is critical to ensure we do reflect and make sense of what happened, how we can learn from it and what we should do differently in the future. So, start with reflection and alone time.”
3. Re-appraise your career
Losing your job is an ideal time to conduct a detailed appraisal on your career, says Heera.
“When you have a job, you are in a comfort zone and don’t usually bother about doing this. Hence this would be a perfect time to do this.
“Some questions to ponder are do I want to continue doing the same type of job or do I want to change? Can I do something on my own, like being be self-employed? What skills do I have that is marketable in the job market? What skills do I need to enhance?”
The more detailed the appraisal, the better will be the future plan, Heera adds.
“Never ever opt for easy solutions. Opt for options, even if they are difficult, that will bring you satisfaction and happiness in your career.”
4. Take action
Once you have finished your career appraisal, then you need to start taking action, says Heera.
“Action here could include updating and improving your curriculum vitae; contacting head hunters and employment agencies to inform them that you are in the job market; contacting your previous employers with whom you have a good relationship; and indulge in activities that will make you stand out, like going for industry functions or writing an article for an industry newsletter.”
5. Don’t burn your bridges
Instead, try and maintain a good repo with your former organisation, Roshan advises.
“Refrain from ‘letting loose’ even if you don’t agree with the circumstances of your dismissal. This is only one role in your long career, and if you continue in the same industry, chances are high that you will see each other again. Don’t leave in bad taste and be as gracious as possible, even to colleagues.
“If you get the opportunity of an interview elsewhere, don’t speak angrily about your previous company as it projects a bitter personality.”
Furthermore, Roshan says, one should consider working with the human resources individual from one’s previous organisation – if possible.
“Your new company will call them to get reference checks and also understand what happened – so if you leave in a negative way, you risk losing future opportunities.”
6. Be able to explain it
Telling others you’ve lost your job is never easy – but we know that it can’t be avoided.
“People will ask you what happened, so be prepared to explain it. Don’t lie about what happened because it’s very possible for your interviewers to contact your previous employer to ask questions,” says Roshan.
“At the same time, demonstrate that you have taken the time and effort to reflect on what happened, and explain how it has added to your character and abilities.”
Have a clear story, ensure you are consistent about it and show that you have learnt significantly from the incident, he says.
“Don’t blame your previous bosses as being stupid or unaware. Take personal responsibility for some of the issues, but show that you will never make such a mistake again.”