One of the most stressful situations you can ever experience in your life is getting unexpectedly fired from your job. Working is essential to making money and sustaining your way of life, so a sudden change can leave you wondering what to do.
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Finding any means of financial assistance should be your priority and unemployment benefits are your best option should you qualify. The eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits after termination entail that you must have been fired without good reason and earned a significant amount of money to claim benefits for.
While finding a way to financially survive is key, you should also figure out how you can perform better and prevent future job loss. Below, we have some great suggestions for how you can best handle getting fired.
Understand Why You Were Terminated
The most important place to start is understanding why you were terminated.
This matters because the grounds for your termination will dictate how you should proceed and whether you are eligible for unemployment benefits.
If you didn’t ask for a full explanation of why you were being fired while it was happening or perhaps you couldn’t focus on what they were saying well, you might not know what went wrong.
As painful as it may be, you should consider emailing your former employee and asking for honest feedback. You should ask for a written letter detailing the reasoning for your termination for personal reference and also in case a future employer asks for it.
When you know why you got fired, you can figure out how to improve.
Correct Unproductive Behavior
Should underperformance be the cause of your termination, you’ll need to stop any unproductive behaviors and form better habits instead.
A good example of this is getting fired for habitually arriving to work late. This is something you can fix by sticking with a regular bedtime to ensure you are adequately rested in the morning to get ready and still leave with enough time to arrive at work early.
When something becomes enough of an issue for a former employer to fire you, it means that it is a serious issue you need to address if you want to maintain a job in the future. Doing so can also demonstrate to a future employer that you are serious about being a better employee.
The last thing you want is to get fired repeatedly because this can greatly reduce your ability to get hired going forward. Focus on fixing your mistakes now and your career will benefit greatly.
Process Your Emotions
It is also imperative that you fully process your emotions after losing a job.
Getting fired is a miserable experience and now you have to scramble to figure out how you can still afford your lifestyle. This is extremely stressful and you’re bound to have a lot of feelings and emotions that can overwhelm you if you don’t embrace them.
Getting fired from your job is a loss – and it takes time to drive and recover from a loss. It is common to experience feelings like anger, sadness, frustration, confusion, desperation, hopelessness, and even apathy.
Allow yourself to feel however you need to and don’t feel guilty about it. At the same time, it is important to avoid self-destructive behaviors during your grief that can make it difficult to heal and find work to fix your situation.
When you let yourself fully experience the loss of a job, you can operate with a clear mindset moving forward. Mental clarity is mandatory if you want to perform at your best.
Reevaluate Your Goals
With a better headspace, you should now reevaluate your career goals.
Even if you disliked your old job, it can be very difficult to get the motivation to find a new job and start the process of leaving. When your job is taken away from you, now you need to find a new job.
This means you have an excellent opportunity to figure out a line of work that suits you better. Do you want to continue in the same field? Maybe it’s time to head back to school and work towards something else entirely.
Now that you have plenty of time to think, ensure that you don’t get yourself into another bad situation where you might underperform and get fired. With better work satisfaction, you’re more likely to excel and impress your employer, meaning greater work stability.
Apply for Unemployment
Lastly, you’ll want to apply for unemployment benefits.
This is the quickest solution to receiving significant financial help after getting fired, but it has requirements regarding how you were fired and how long you worked.
The exact requirements vary depending on which state you worked in, but you’ll generally need to have earned at least a few thousand dollars over the last two years and are now actively looking for work.
Additionally, you mustn’t have been fired for something you did wrong. This means nothing that violated the terms of your contract. On the other hand, getting laid off or fired because no more work is available are good situations where unemployment benefits are available.
Should you lose your job at no fault of your own, file for unemployment benefits immediately to get the process started. There is often a strict time limit of a month or less to file for benefits and you do not want to lose access.
If you’ve been fired from your job, you suddenly have a lot of difficult responsibilities to handle. Most importantly, you’ll need to find new work and ensure that you perform well.
Effectively handling the loss of a job begins with understanding why you were terminated. With this information, you can correct unproductive behavior, fully process your emotions to clear your headspace, reevaluate your goals, and apply for unemployment should you have been fired without a good reason.
While getting fired may seem like the end of the world, it’s the perfect opportunity to head your life in the direction you want to go. Learn from this painful experience and you’ll be far better equipped to handle work in the future and increase your value to employers.