TAP In with Tristan : Getting Fired Isn’t The End Of Your Career

Tristan discusses getting fired from your job. Getting fired is not as much of a scarlet letter as many managers would love you to think it is. While you want to avoid being fired, if you find yourself in that situation, remember it is not the end of the road for your career.

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Tristan: What’s going on, Living Corporate? It’s Tristan, and I want to thank you for tapping back in with me as I provide some tips and advice for professionals. Today, let’s discuss getting fired from your job.

Imagine calling in sick to work and having your boss tell you, “okay, but we need you here tomorrow.” So, even though you aren’t feeling good the next day, you get yourself together and head into the office. As soon as you arrive, your boss calls you into a meeting, and sitting there with her is an HR rep. You’re caught off guard, and upon sitting down, the HR rep lets you know that they are letting you go. This was how my first big boy job ended. During that time, it felt like my entire career was over before I ever really got started. Believe it or not, this is a common situation for anyone who experienced being fired for the first time.

In the United States, there are 80 million people employed in the private sector of the American Economy. With only 20 million of these people being protected by unions, that leaves 60 million employees that are considered employed “at will.” Employment decisions for those workers are at the discretion of employers. They can be fired for any reason, whether it’s for something bad or no reason at all. According to the ACLU, 2 million at-will employees are fired every year. So, if you find yourself in this situation, you are not alone.

Getting fired is not as much of a scarlet letter as many managers would love you to think it is. Honestly, getting fired isn’t as large of an issue you think it is; it’s really just the end of a job. Try to reframe the way you think about getting fired; think of it as just waiting a little too long to say “I quit.”

One of the biggest worries people have when they are fired is, “What do I say in an interview for a new job after I’ve been fired?” Well, the first thing you don’t want to say is, “I got fired.” When they ask, why did you leave your previous company? You can say something like, “While I enjoyed my previous job, I felt I learned as much as I could there, and I didn’t want to job hunt on the side while still trying to do my work, so I left.” This answer doesn’t disparage you or your previous employer and portrays you as a candidate that is looking to still grow and learn.

Many people also become worried that their previous employer might tell their potential employer why they were fired. Can they? In most states, yes, employers can legally provide any truthful information about your past work performance. However, most employers will only confirm that you worked there and the dates you worked there because there is a risk that you might bring a defamation lawsuit that would cost a lot to defend.

So, while you want to avoid being fired, if you find yourself in that situation, remember it is not the end of the road for your career.

This tip is brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @layfieldresume, or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.

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