Catherine's Career Corner

December 12th, 2023
How to Deal with Getting Fired

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How to Deal with Getting

By Elliot Owens

Getting fired from a job is a common occurrence in the working world. According to HR Magazine, about a quarter (26%) of UK organisations are making redundancies within the year, with almost half (49%) expecting to cut costs. Whether it’s due to downsizing, restructuring, or simply not meeting performance expectations, being let go can be a blow to one’s self-esteem and financial stability. However, there are ways to smoothen the experience and navigate the aftermath in a positive and constructive manner.

As such, below are some helpful steps that can be taken after being fired from your job.

Negotiating an exit package

In the UK, it is a legal requirement for employers to provide a notice period or pay in lieu of notice to employees who are being dismissed. The notice period typically varies depending on the length of employment, and employees are entitled to a minimum of one week’s notice for every full year worked, up to a maximum of 12 weeks. Additionally, workers in the UK are also entitled to a statutory redundancy payment if they have been employed for at least two years and are being made redundant. Because understanding legal terms and handling negotiations can be difficult for some, consulting legal advisers like solicitors for specialist legal advice may be helpful to better understand the baseline for what you are entitled to receive.

On top of this, be sure to carefully consider the circumstances of your dismissal and the reasons behind it. If your firing was due to reasons beyond your control, such as an economic downturn or company restructuring, you may have more negotiating power in terms of securing a favourable exit package. On the other hand, if your termination was due to misconduct or performance issues, the process may be more challenging, but it is still important to approach negotiations in a professional and respectful manner.

Accessing outplacement services

One of the first steps in accessing outplacement services in the UK is to communicate with the employer or HR department. In many cases, companies provide outplacement services as part of their severance packages to help outgoing employees with their career transition. These services often have experienced career coaches and professionals at the helm, and individuals can expect to receive guidance on various aspects of their next job search. This may include career counselling to explore alternative career paths, coaching on effective job search strategies, and assistance in crafting a professional resume and cover letter. Outplacement services can also provide access to networking events, workshops, and online resources to help individuals stay competitive in the job market.

In addition to practical support, outplacement services can also provide emotional and psychological support for individuals who are dealing with the loss of their job. The transition out of a job can be emotionally challenging, and outplacement services can offer support to help individuals cope with the stress and uncertainty of unemployment.

Updating your résumé

As you update your résumé, focus on highlighting your past achievements and responsibilities in your previous role. Use quantifiable examples and results to showcase your impact in previous positions, and consider adding any new skills or certifications you have acquired since being fired. Emphasise any successes and contributions you made to the company, and be honest about the circumstances surrounding your departure. Unlike quitting a job out of your own volition, being fired often comes with negative connotations especially while applying for new jobs. You do not have to disclose the reason for your departure on your resume, but you should be prepared to discuss it in a job interview if asked.

Transparency is key when it comes to addressing your firing during job interviews. Networking and seeking support from professionals in your industry can also be beneficial when updating your resume after being fired. Consider reaching out to former colleagues, mentors, or career coaches for guidance and advice. This can help you gain insights on how to present yourself in the best possible light to potential employers.

Author Bio: Elliot Owens is a freelance writer with an interest in business and HR. He believes that in today’s current job crisis, employees need to be equipped to know every aspect of taking on a job, from joining to leaving. He hopes his articles prove useful for every type of employee. In his free time, he loves to sail with his wife.


Catherine Adenle
Founder, Catherine's Career Corner. The career site empowering and inspiring ambitious candidates of all ages and professions to thrive and work smarter on their careers. Gladly helping all career-minded people worldwide to explore their career, manage change and understand how new technologies are changing and enhancing the future of work.
Catherine Adenle
Catherine Adenle

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