Getting fired isn’t exactly fun. It throws a spanner in the resume, and a big one. It also leaves you trying to make up ground with having to explain your situation to prospective employers. That’s awkward, and needs some management. Finding a job can be tough enough without added difficulties. We’ve got a few tips for defusing this situation.
The resume situation
The immediate problem is that your resume now has its most current entry as a job from which you were fired. That is fixable, quite easily, but it requires some effort. There are several ways of relegating the firing to ancient history on your resume:
- Volunteer work: This is a real job, with real work, and it takes the top spot on your resume. It also proves you’re motivated, and can self start as an employee.
- Part time work: Part time jobs fit the bill very well as resume material. It’s paid work, and it’s a definite proof of employability.
- Studies: Moving from a position of “fired” to one of “student” is another resume-reviver. It’s hardly wasted time, because you’re adding skills and improving your chances of getting other work.
- Self employment: If you can operate your own business, you’ll get at least some respect from any potential employer. Self employed people are often excellent employees, and have a wide range of additional skills, which makes them good value as employees. Self employment looks very good in many professions, particularly the “portfolio” professions like media, web design, architecture, landscaping, and some of the academic professions.
- Contract work: Contract jobs in their various forms can be considered very good employment options. They can also enhance the resume considerably, particularly if you do a lot of short term contracts. The job from which you were fired recedes into irrelevance.
Note: All these jobs have the added benefit of providing current experience, invaluable when job hunting.
The “fired” issue in finding a job
People sometimes freeze up when having to discuss the issue of being fired. They lose confidence, and in some cases go backwards. This is really counterproductive. As a matter of fact, a very large percentage of the workforce has been fired at some time, usually early in their careers. The fact is that people are fired regularly, and a percentage of people looking for work at any given time have been fired.
- Do not allow being fired to stop you: The only way is forward. Get moving, and don’t look back.
- Be honest, both with employers and yourself: If you were in the wrong, admit it, and learn from it. Don’t invent excuses for stupid mistakes, and you’ll make fewer mistakes.
- Think objectively: Stick to trying to achieve your goals. Anything else is wasted time.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things: The loss of confidence can also mean regularly missing opportunities. That’s definitely not what you need.
- Don’t allow yourself to drift: The real danger in unemployment is time spent unemployed. You can find a huge gap opening up in your resume. Make sure you have a plan, and real, tangible, goals.