Emotional Wellbeing

Mental Health


Self Improvement

Mandy Kloppers

How to Survive the Emotional Blow of being Fired

Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash

A very bad day at the office could happen to anyone. You return to your desk after a lovely lunch with a friend to discover a note there asking you to go to your boss’s office, and it’s not to shake your hand and tell you what a good job you’ve being doing lately, or to offer you a nice post-lunch cup of tea, instead – she’s afraid – your probationary period hasn’t worked out and she’s going to have to let you go.

‘What, like now?’ you splutter, rooted to the spot. 

‘Yes, please,’ she says, already moving onto her next bullet point of the afternoon, and, without any feedback, you’re gone. It’s a total punch to the guts. A body blow. You go and gather up your stuff. Slink down in the lift, head bowed. Take the number 34 bus home and shuffle miserably to your door. 

What on earth do you do now? How do you survive the rollercoaster you’ve reluctantly found yourself riding on and the aftermath of being fired?

1. Don’t panic.

Give yourself permission to safely express the maelstrom of emotions swirling around you. It’s ok to feel these things! The hurt, the anger, the fear, the shame. Possibly, even, the relief. Or the shame of the relief. Lie in bed wallowing, with a family-size packet of chocolate buttons and a box of tissues, if you must. “Meet up with your friends for a few therapeutic cocktails, if it will help. Resist the urge to have a good old rant on social media, if you can (definitely don’t do that). Then, when you’re ready, get out of bed, take a deep breath, and prepare to put your house in order” says Joanne Miller, a recruiter at Via Writing and Resumention.

2. Suss out your finances.

What implication does getting fired have for your pocket in the next few weeks? How will you cope financially? Look at your expenses and scrutinize your savings. Work out exactly how long you’ve got before you have to get a new job. Mark it on the calendar. Print out your savings account statement and make a spreadsheet of your expenses. There, you already have a plan. You feel better already.

3. Ask yourself some hard questions but remember the high points.

It may seem daunting, but it could be useful to have a thorough debrief with yourself. Why did you get fired? What were your failings? Where did you come up short? Be honest with yourself about what you think went wrong and how it could have been avoided. What did your co-workers think of you? What was your relationship with your manager like? Then, to balance out the misery, remember your triumphs, the times you got things spectacularly right. When your co-workers sang your praises or your manager made you the toast of the office. You’ll need these successful moments in your armory, as you move forward to your glittering new future.

4. Get some outside perspective. 

Talk to your friends, your family, maybe even a professional; a work-related counselor could help you dig deep into what happened. Get an objective view on not only what went wrong, but what your next steps should be. Imagining what you might say to a friend in the same position may also be beneficial. “Seeing a wider view of your situation may help you see your unceremonious workplace departure as something not quite so catastrophic, and, maybe, just maybe, a positive turning point in your life,” says Sarah White, a psychology writer at Write my essay and Writing populist

5. Make a change, going forward.

What did you learn from your past role? Was your last job really the environment you wanted to work in? Is there something else, something more suitable, something more fulfilling, or applicable to your skillset, you could be doing? Consider all your options. Use your enforced exit to really assess exactly where you want to go in your working life and how to get there. Maybe you need to go off on a tangent, or springboard into something completely new. 

Don’t lose heart! This is a beginning and not an ending, and a closed-door can open others. You never know, there might be a shiny new office door waiting just around the corner. 

Christina Lee is a manager at Dissertation writing service and Dissertation writer. She writes about marketing news and technologies for such services, as Australian Reviewer, as well as several others


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