I Just Got Fired from My Job: What Do I Do Now?

Being fired is really tough and can make you feel lost. However, that doesn’t mean you can't turn it into an opportunity to re-invent yourself and grow!
I Just Got Fired from My Job: What Do I Do Now?

Last update: 29 June, 2020

We want you to imagine something. You show up at work and your boss tells you they want to talk to you. You can tell they’re acting weird, and you realize what’s about to happen. After they talk to you, they ask you to sign a document that states that you’ve been informed that you’ve been fired from your job. You’re in shock. What do you do now?

Being fired is almost always unpleasant and hard to assimilate. You could have been fired because your company needs to dwindle down its workforce, you aren’t performing well enough, you aren’t getting along with your team members, or have had some differences with your boss.

It’s normal to feel sad, angry, and even lost when this happens. Today, we’re going to talk about what you can do to get through this difficult situation. Interested? Keep reading!

What to do if you’ve been fired from your job

Getting over the grief of being fired

This is the most important phase, as it’s when you have to come to terms with the fact that you’ve lost your job. All kinds of loss involve a grieving period.

You had gotten used to your job and the routine you built around it. Thus, getting fired can make you feel distressed or like there’s nowhere for you to go. You might even start to think you’ll never find another job or that you’re worthless. But those kinds of unrealistic thoughts just lead to anxiety.

You have to fight back against denial, anger, feelings of guilt, and sadness. You have to overcome each stage of grief until you reach acceptance. This is the only way you’ll be able to begin a new journey, whether with a new job (doing the same thing or something else) or your own project.

A man sitting down on a set of stone stairs with his face in his hands.

Make decisions

If you’ve been fired from your job, the main thing you need to do is make decisions. Here are a couple of examples of the ones we think are the most important and can help you get through the grieving process:

  • Assert your rights. If they wrongfully terminated you, you should file a complaint. If you qualify for unemployment, apply for it. If they’re supposed to give you severance, make sure you get it. The important thing is to make sure you resolve these legal issues as soon as possible.
  • Decide what to do in the short-term. For example, whether to look for another job, get some more training, or to use the unemployment or severance money to take a trip. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s proactive and will make you feel better.

Nothing happens until something moves.”

-Albert Einstein-

Take advantage of the change

We know it can be extremely sad to lose your job, but just think of it as a perfect opportunity to change, re-invent yourself, and grow. Maybe you found your job boring anyway, and now you have the chance to find one that’s more interesting.

Being fired from your job can also be a great opportunity to do something on your own, like start your own business or work freelance. If you have an idea and the resources to make it happen, losing your job can actually be a good thing!

Lastly, being fired can also give you the opportunity to invest in your education and follow a different career path or build some confidence before you start on your own. Just make sure you have all the necessary resources and don’t make these decisions lightly.

A woman sitting down against a wall with her hand on her forehead, looking concerned.

It’s natural to feel out of whack if you’ve been fired, but you should only take a couple of days to unload and talk about how you feel. After that, you need to get back on the horse and make some decisions. Although you may not see any way out at the time, there are many options.

Processing your grief means overcoming irrational fears about not finding another job and moving on until you can finally take the reins and get back on your feet. The important thing is to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • de Empleo Estatal, S. P. (2015). SEPE. 2016a). Informe del Mercado de Trabajo de las Personas con Discapacidad Estatal. Datos.
  • Salazar Alvarado, Luis Fernando. (1997). La nulidad como consecuencia del ilegítimo despido de la trabajadora embarazada. Medicina Legal de Costa Rica13-14(2-1-2), 207-220. Retrieved January 21, 2019, from http://www.scielo.sa.cr/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1409-00151997000200019&lng=en&tlng=es.
  • Vicente Pardo, José Manuel. (2017). No apto pero no incapacitado. La controversia del ser o no ser. Medicina y Seguridad del Trabajo63(247), 131-158. Recuperado en 21 de enero de 2019, de http://scielo.isciii.es/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0465-546X2017000200131&lng=es&tlng=es.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.