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Fired! Now What?

A First Aid Kit in case you’ve just been laid off

· job loss,career transition,executive branding,Career SOS

If you are reading this, chances are you (or someone you know) have just been informed you’re out of a job. And if that is the case, there are things you need to do RIGHT NOW to minimize damage.


Being told you’ve been made redundant can make you have a series of reactions, which might range from begging, throwing assorted objects around, or hosting a Twitter tantrum dissing your former employers and calling it "venting" or "letting people know your side of the story". I’ve seen it all. It ain't pretty, and it decimates any chances of receiving positive reviews from any of their now-former colleagues.

Instead, try to gather as much feedback as you can as to the reasons behind your dismissal, (if you hadn’t already seen this moment looming on the horizon). This is information you can use later. But for now, gather your things and leave.


There may be circumstances leading up to your dismissal that are not fair to you. Some of these issues are time-bound and can be mitigated by sound legal advice. If you’re not sure where you stand, seek help immediately.


Being dismissed can bring about a disparate gathering of emotions. It is not uncommon to feel anger, fear, shame, relief and joy all at the same time. Acknowledge these feelings. What do they say about the situation you were immersed in, and about how you envision not dealing with it anymore? You may have been in a situation that was so stressful you were unable to see how valuable you are to the market, for instance. Or that the market has changed, and so must you.


Being fired can feel like a bad romantic break up. You might think, “Where did I go wrong? How are they handling the projects I left behind? Who took my place?” And so forth. You might even sneak a peek at the company’s job boards, or former colleagues’ social media.

Pro tip: don’t. 

You have much more important things to do right now. Don’t waste your energy being a cliché stalker. Move on, and go take care of yourself.


Your heart may sing about the wonderful things that you deserve right now: new kicks, a fun cruise, or to twirl in the hills and sing about your newfound freedom.

I get it.

You’ve gone through hell and you want some relief.

You’re also headed into a period of uncertainty, so until you’ve regained your footing, it’s best if you review your cash flow and your budget, and adjust accordingly. Hawaii will be there for a long time. your pile of cash will not.


You now have a full-time job, and that is: to look for a job. I do not say this lightly. Please don’t be that guy who squeezes a bit more info into their old CV, calls that “updated”, and sprays it all over the market in hopes that the perfect role will fall on their lap. In this global, connected market, you are now competing with people from all over the world.

Get strategic about your job search. A few pointers:

  • Figure out what your target companies are and why.
  • Pinpoint what you have to offer, and whether you need to develop any new skills.
  • Get your branding straight. What is your reputation? How will you communicate what you have to offer?
  • Network like there’s no tomorrow.
  • Most importantly: do all these things at once. The first thing I teach my Job Search Pipeline clients is how to get at least three simultaneous active selection processes going. This is a huge time saver, and gives you more comfort and leverage as you move forward.

Being fired can be a source of great grief, but it is also a huge opportunity. What would you do if you had the chance to shift your career into something that were truly fulfilling to you? That time is now. Let’s begin!

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