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Picking Up the Pieces: I Just Got Fired, Now What?

Picking up the piecesHave YOU ever parted ways with your employer?

Were you an unfortunate victim of circumstance, corporate restructuring, new boss bringing in their own people, workforce reduction, offshoring, mutual parting of ways, or just got fired?!

These situations have been encountered by everyone and can be viewed in a variety of different ways. We’re often angry, pointing fingers, nervous, scared, and sometimes relieved.

Let’s be real though…job searching on the rebound isn’t fun, but I'm here to help.

Below are 10 things to consider in your job search and will help you to differentiate yourself from the competition:


  • Nothings Perfect - A resume is well-crafted, flows, and keeps the reader engaged. Unfortunately, we are often judged on a single sheet of paper so make sure that you put in the effort because it’s going to show. What you need to remember is that your resume will never be perfect. It’s an ever evolving document that can always be strengthened and a lot of what you include and where you include it is personal preference.
  • New School - The idea of keeping your resume to one page is an old way of thinking. If you have relevant experience include it but try not to exceed 2 pages unless your experience and/or years in a particular field warrants it.


  • KISS Principle If the interviewer asks you why you’re looking for a new job or why you are no longer there, keep it short and sweet. No one cares that you and your old boss didn’t get along or had differences in opinion. Craft it however you see fit but don’t complicate things. The last thing you want to do is spend 45 minutes of your time talking about your last employer in an hour long interview.
  • Do Your Research Come prepared with at least 10 questions to ask that probably won’t come up in the interview process. Avoid asking about timeframe to hire, salary, and benefits. Instead, inquire about company culture, what they’ve found successful in past hires, reference articles, ask about organizational goals, professional growth, etc.
  • Every Meeting is Your First Meeting –Treat every interview like it’s your first. Just because you’ve spent countless hours interviewing with these people doesn’t mean that you should get too comfortable or let your guard down. Always be sure to have a new set of questions prepared.
  • Evaluate and Evolve – If you haven’t had much luck in the past few months, I recommend refreshing your resume. It doesn’t need a complete overhaul however make some changes that give it a fresh new look and give you some confidence.


  • Its Not What You Know, Its Who – Try and think outside the box because signing up for daily updates with particular job titles or keywords isn’t enough. YOU need to dig around to find the right job. Create a spreadsheet to document the companies you’re applying to, the date, and the job title. Posting jobs on the major job boards is expensive so you’ll see companies post jobs on their websites and LinkedIn. Target specific companies or run a search within a particular radius from your home and continue to check the sites a few days/week for new postings. One thing I highly recommend is to obtain a copy of Business First’s Book of Lists. You’re given numerous companies in a variety of industries that are financially sound and growing at your fingertips. Take advantage of it!


  • Help Them Find You – Make sure you have an updated profile on LinkedIn. Some are reluctant to put forth any effort on a completed and thorough LinkedIn profile. By having a profile available to the general public you make yourself accessible to recruiters, talent acquisition teams, and line managers. You never know when someone is going to reach out for someone with your particular skillset.
  • No Time for Games - Make sure your LinkedIn profile mirrors your resume. Another thing to be mindful of as companies will do their research. If something doesn’t match up don’t be surprised if it comes up during the interview process.


  • Foot-in-the-Door Technique – Taking a temporary or contractual opportunity opens doors. For starters, it’s going to get rid of a gap in employment. It also allows you to experience a different professional environment. Treat every temporary role as if you’re going in there to earn a job. It happens all the time so be sure to give the company a compelling reason to never let you go. By taking a temporary role, you can still go on interviews but this allows you to be a little more selective regarding permanent roles because you at least have something to fall back on.

Keep in mind, you're not alone. Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, J.K. Rowling, Madonna, and Oprah Winfrey were all fired at one point in their life and it was the unfortunate experience of loosing a job that motivated them to pivot, adapt, and rebound to achieve great success. Who's to say you won't be the next Thomas Edison or Sallie Krawcheck? We don't have a crystal ball, so take my advice and only time will tell.  
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