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5 Steps to Take After You’ve Been Terminated

Sometimes life gives you lemons. Other times life hands you your final notice when you’re least expecting it. But when the inevitable happens, how do you recover from it?

Before you start the healing process, first you have to understand the reasons that led to your termination. Bad personality traits such as frequent absenteeism, refusing to follow instructions, and complaining about your work on social media are some common reasons that lead to termination. So grab a pen and paper, and jot down the reasons you’ve been fired over.

Chill out! We’ve listed the steps you should take (just in case) if you want to land another job in Hong Kong after getting fired: 

1. Go on Linkedin!

The first thing to do after getting fired is to go on Linkedin and update your online CV. You want to inform your connections that you’re now on the lookout for a job on the market. Don’t be afraid to hit some of your Linkedin connections up and ask them about any job openings you’re potentially interested in. It goes without saying that you should avoid sharing about getting fired on social media. You want your connections to put in a good word about you if you want to get hired fast.

If you’re worried about your resume, we recommend leaving the job and/or position you’ve been fired from on your resume. Recruiters find any gaps within a resume as a big red flag, compared to someone hunting for a job as soon as they leave one.

Pro-tip: Unless you’ve been fired due to poor performance, remember to get a reference from your old employment that highlights your ideal work habits.

2. Find trustworthy recruiters (like BGC Hong Kong)! 

If your main priority right now is to find an income as fast as you can, you should hit up recruiters to find positions within your old field, or any other industries you’re interested in. For those whose finances are tight, we recommend taking up temp or part-time jobs to keep your resume updated. 

Recruitment agencies like BGC Group, are also a great place to start when looking for a new job to jump into.

3. Volunteer

For those who are not ready to jump back into the workforce, volunteering is a good way to fill in gaps in your resume, and pick up new skills (both soft and hard). There are a number of benefits to volunteering, some of them include;

A. Great way to network: New connections translate to better opportunities for more job leads.

B. Foster a budding interest: Volunteering is a good way to find new passions and foster any budding interests. This allows you to reassess your career goals.

C. It gives you purpose: Let’s be honest. Getting fired is a way of life. It is something that a large number of people will encounter at least once in their lifetime. But that doesn’t mean that being let go isn’t a depressing moment in life. Volunteering is a good way to fill your life with meaning by giving back to the community. Not to mention, it is also a great way to build your own self-confidence.

*Pro-tip: If you’re still on the lookout for a viable income stream, we recommend taking up internships instead. Just like volunteering, internships are a great way to hone your skills or pursue a passion in an entirely new field. Alternatively, consider taking up short courses to brush up on your skills. 

4. Don’t ask, don’t tell 

Unless you’ve been asked about the unfortunate circumstances that led to your termination, the best thing to do is to not mention that you’ve been fired. Unless you were retrenched, it’s best to not openly share the circumstances that led to your termination.

“Never tell your interviewers things you wouldn’t tell your Tinder date,” is a good rule of thumb to follow. Keep in mind that the, “don’t ask, don’t tell policy,” extends beyond the topic of getting fired. Other topics that do not belong in a job interview situation include your salary history, plans to switch careers.

Remember, there are no legal obligations for you to disclose whether or not you were fired from your previous job. 

5. Relax, take it easy

Getting fired will put you in a lot of shock, anger, and pain. The first thing you should do is to focus completely on yourself. Grieve, if you need to. It’s difficult to job hunt when you’re still filled with anger or shame from being fired. Soon, you’ll be ready to pick yourself back up and start the process of job hunting once again.

Besides wallowing in your emotions (just for a few days though), a viable option to get your headspace back into working order is by working out. Studies show that exercising can help perk your mood and mental health. Working out could be the boon you need to get you back on your feet and begin the daunting process of job hunting. 

Do you have some cash saved up? Consider traveling somewhere exotic to take your mind off things for a bit. Just do whatever it takes to help you get through – but stay away from alcohol and other unfriendly substances though! You want to heal in a positive way.

*Pro-tip: Avoid panicking, overthinking, and isolating yourself to prevent negativity from consuming your mind, body, and soul. Find out more about taking care of your mental health during this daunting period, in this Psychology Today article.

The thought of getting fired scares most, but despite the stigma associated with being fired, studies show that 91% of people who have gotten fired managed to bounce back on their feet.

To experience success, we must first experience the perils and difficulties associated with failure. Getting fired could be potentially useful for your career – more than 70% of executives fired managed to climb the corporate ladder to make it in the business as a CEO. You’ll be ok.