How To Get A Job After Being Fired: 3 Steps To Success

how to get a job after being fired

Being fired is difficult, really difficult. And the first thing you think about the moment is happens is, what am I going to do? Ideally, you want to get a job right after getting fired, but how do you do that?

First things first, remain calm. Try not to let emotions take control right now. You are going to feel rejected, weak and powerless. That is a natural feeling after being terminated. Try not to let that impact your ability to think positively about your future.

Let's go ahead and get right into how you can get a job right after getting fired.

Understand You Were Terminated And Not Let Go

The first thing you need to do in your journey to getting back on track is knowing whether or not you were terminated or let go. If you are feeling as though you were “fired” then that means you were terminated.

Being terminated means that you do have the option to be able to file for unemployment in order to help you bridge the gap between your old job and new job. You have the ability to file for COBRA (The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) in order to bridge the gap on any health insurance policies that you may have had from your prior job.

Related: Laid Off vs. Fired: What’s The Difference?

Get References And Letters Of Recommendation From Previous Jobs

Before you start your next job search, a critical part of ensuring that you’ll get a new job is to combat the recent negative feedback you received. Being terminated is in essence, negative feedback.

By asking previous employers for letters of recommendation, even if it’s been a few years, you can use that to your advantage when explaining to your new employer that this one job “just didn’t work out.”

You can ask previous employers for letters of recommendation as long as they are still employed at the company that you worked for.

The Emotional Part About Being Terminated

Being terminated is incredibly emotional. It makes you feel weak, powerless and scared. This is a natural feeling. You woke up every day and went to your job. Then suddenly, one day, you no longer needed to go.

This can be drastic and that feeling of uncertainty can be a powerful one on your ego. Here’s the best thing to remember, being terminated doesn’t mean you aren’t valuable.

Try to remember to:

Can Future Employers Check If You Got Fired?

Yes. Future employers can absolutely ask you for references and they can contact your previous employer if you give them the opportunity to do so. And if they contact HR departments, they will mention that the employee was terminated.

They may not go into an incredibly large amount of detail regarding the matter. But the fact that you were terminated will be a negative indicator to your future employer.

Related: Answering “May We Contact This Employer?” In An Interview

Can You Lie About Being Fired?

Lying about being terminated is not advised. This is because the potential employer that you are interviewing with could easily ask to contact the prior employer and they could learn about your termination.

The best thing you can do is be honest and take accountability for your actions. That shows leadership and taking responsibility for actions that may have led to your termination.

Positioning the termination to your future employer is going to be a challenge but is one that we’ll cover in this guide.

Can Former Employers Disclose The Reason For The Termination?

Former employers are not suppose to disclose the reason for the termination unless it is one that is public, anyway. That means if you were terminated for being late to work too frequently, this is not something that a prior employer is going to share.

But if there was an issue that was in the public eye, then they might indirectly communicate the reason for the termination. Generally speaking, prior employers are not trying to hinder your future job potential, even if they terminated you. Because of that, they don’t often share the reason for the termination.

Examples Of Communicating Why You Were Fired

Like mentioned, it’s really important that you take ownership over the fact that you were fired. The best thing you can do is position to your employer the reason why. Here’s an example of how you might communicate that to an employer:

“I was terminated from my last position. I definitely made some mistakes that I learned from, I’m happy to go over those with you if you feel compelled to find out. Ultimately, there were signs that the chemistry simply wasn’t working out early on and I didn’t listen to those signals. Regardless, I take full responsibility for my performance and feel confident the next employe who hires me will see the change I’ve made.”

3 Steps To Finding A New Job After Being Fired, Fast

Here are three steps to take to quickly get back on track and find a new position.

Reach out to previous colleagues

This is the best thing you can do. Reach out to previous colleagues and tell them honestly, the job didn’t work out. And that you are looking for new opportunities. Start tapping into your personal network as soon as you can.

Quickly revamp your resume

If you were at your job for less than 6-months, then it’s recommended that you remove that job from your previous work experience. Revamp your resume so that you can show the work experience that matters most. If you have letters of recommendation, be sure that you are listing job experiences that align with those assets.

Take a moment to calibrate yourself

Being fired isn’t easy. It has an impact on your ego. Be sure that you take a moment to decide what the next best path is for you before you make too many actions. Future employers or even friends can usually see when you are frantically making decisions. Be sure that you aren’t acting on behalf of emotions and that you have a clear and calibrated plan for yourself after the termination.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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