5 essential things you must do if you get fired

According to an HR expert, the reason most people get fired is the same reason most people get hired: their personality.

I genuinely believe everyone should get fired at least twice in their careers. Once to get familiar with the professional sting of rejection and then again to remind themselves that they’ll never be immune to it.

Getting fired can be great because it’s like a vacation that forces you to do homework. You have the spare time to catch up on The Good Place, but chances are your mind will be elsewhere. The reflection process isn’t always a scary one. In the cases wherein a firing is due to incompetence, some seriously uncomfortable reevaluations need to be considered, sure. But according to Tara Talbot, who is the Workopolis VP of Human Resources, the reason most people get fired is the same reason most people get hired: their personality.


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In a time where everyone basically has the same set of skills, surviving in any given workplace comes down to compatibility. So, if a firm concludes that you’re not a good fit, a departure will ultimately be beneficial for both parties.

In the meantime here are some ways to take advantage of the mandatory time off.

Finish up some passion projects

This one is tough because it usually comes with unreasonable expectations.

Irrespective of its quality, merely finishing a thing can be incredibly rewarding in addition to instilling skills of self-motivation. Utilize your newfound free time to dust off some unfinished manuscripts. If halfway through you realize your absurdest satire isn’t quite The Truman Show, finish It anyway. Dedicating yourself to a tough creative challenge promotes multitasking and determination; especially when you’re working under the assumption that said project isn’t going to go anywhere.

The authors of 2018’s The CEO Next Door, conducted a study of over 2,600 executives over the course of ten years. They found that 91% of those fired ended up at a new position that was a much better fit than the last. Chances are you’ll be on your feet again and you’ll have much less time to finish that spiritual sequel to Gigli, or your dumb grunge album (it’s okay that it’s dumb.) The last thing you’ll need at your new job is the buzzing “What if ?” distraction.

I finished a novel a couple of years back and I sleep much better knowing that I’m a hack beyond a reasonable doubt.

Go see The Breeders…or whatever your favorite band happens to be

What’s a better way to ward off the internal pillory that comes with a fresh firing than rhythmically hopping around like a maniac?  According to a study published in The Journal Of Public Health, attending live music shows produces reductions in heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rates, and general stress levels.

Additionally, the pain of rejection and isolation often felt after being fired can be significantly lessened by the communal experience of being surrounded by a hoard of like-minded people and their significant others. On the topic, internal medicine specialist, Dr. Steven Eisenberg states: “You’re with your tribe, and you did what you had to in order to get there – whether it was lining up a babysitter, paying exorbitant ticket prices or fighting traffic…you feel better if you are connected to other people, including people at a concert.”

Seeing your favorite band can be a nice break from professionalism. It’s important to occasionally resurrect juvenile hyperbole-that feeling of listening to albums like Surfer Rosa, or Exile In Guyville in your bedroom as a teenager, back when great albums felt so monumental because your scope was so small. Demanding careers have a way of obscuring our taste. Before you jump back into the sludge, spend some quality time with your inner child.

Catch up on book recommendations

Reading anything is great obviously, but getting through a book that was recommended to you by a close friend or family member is particularly productive. It takes just a hair more discipline. Also, there’s something fun about working your way through a book you might not have considered picking up otherwise. One of my favorites is an admittedly obvious one for most, but I would have never read The Pearl if it wasn’t pushed on me.

It doesn’t hurt that reading has been proven to make you live longer. Yale researchers studied 3,635 people older than 50, discovering those that read more than 30 minutes a day lived about 23 months longer than non-readers.

Before you start the grueling grind of a heavy work week, make sure you have a pocket full of quotes to impress your new coworkers with.

Reflect

This is the least fun way to spend any provisional period between jobs, but it might be the most important one. Job dissatisfaction is a pervasive problem.  A recent Gallup study, reports that 51% of U.S. workers don’t feel any kind of meaningful connection to their jobs. Our aspirations have become beclouded by social demands and stigmas.

It’s difficult to devote time to reflection when you’re financially comfortable. So sometimes a firing can be a well-needed red light. Figure out which way you want to turn and how quickly. Ensure that next job that awaits you will be a good fit for you and your personal goals.

Whatever you want

A survey conducted back in 2017 professed that 52% of Americans don’t use their vacation days. Another independent study found that 41% of American workers feel shame at the idea alone.

After a recent firing, the temptation to look back at our previous gigs with rose-colored glasses is insurmountable. But assuming your provisional lack of work doesn’t leave you in a hand to mouth position, try to enjoy the liberty of unemployment. Spend time with your loved ones. Go to dinner without the burden of work emails. Sleep in or wake up early and make your favorite breakfast. You’ll live to be stressed at work again.

In the meantime wear rejection like a warm-stake-less blanket.


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CW Headley|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at cheadley@theladders.com.