How to Bounce Back After Being Fired

See also: Dealing with Failure

Being fired is one of the biggest challenges you could face in your career.

Although the initial money worries may cause anxiety, the psychological effects of losing your job can be just as distressing.

However, suddenly finding yourself unemployed isn’t the end of the world. Although challenging, there are some simple steps you can take to help you get back on your feet.


Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune

William James

If you’ve been fired, you will probably harbour some resentment towards your previous employer. However, feeling bitter and angry is counter-productive and won’t help you find a new job.

Sit down and think about why you were fired - it may help to have an honest family member or friend with you. You need to develop a positive way of thinking about the situation, regardless of why you were asked to leave. Dwelling on your misfortune will only distract you from job hunting.


Being unemployed is even more disastrous for individuals than you'd expect... it seems to directly affect people's health

James Surowiecki

When you don’t have somewhere to be each day, it can be easy to slip into bad habits. However, don’t fall into this trap - failing to have a set routine can quickly lead to despondency.

It’s important to get into a daily routine as soon as possible. Set your alarm early each morning, try not to stay up too late on week nights, and make sure you get dressed and leave the house every day.

Don’t underestimate this - if you’re jobless for more than a few weeks, getting out and about is essential for your mental health.

Job hunt

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today

Thomas Jefferson

You should treat job-hunting like a full-time job itself. Spend the best part of each weekday researching and applying for jobs.

Identify the best areas to look for a new position, and create a rota for regularly checking each place.

Bear in mind that the job market may have changed since the last time you were job-hunting, particularly if you were in your last position for a number of years. Companies now use a variety of different channels when looking for candidates - newspapers, career websites, and social media platforms are all used as recruitment tools.

CV or Resume

Emphasize your strengths on your résumé … you'd be surprised how many people simply list everything they've ever done

Marcus Buckingham

Before you start applying to new jobs, you’ll need to update your CV or résumé.

Rather than just adding a section about your previous job, consider giving it a complete overhaul. Bear in mind that it’s also good practice to adapt your CV for each application, tailoring it to each position you apply for.

You don’t need to state that you were fired from your last position. It’s best to divulge this in the interview, when you have the time and space to properly explain the situation.

This is where you need to demonstrate your maturity - never complain about your previous employer in an interview, even if you feel you were unfairly dismissed.


It's about networking and being nice to people and not burning any bridges ... in the end it is people that are going to hire you

Mike Davidson

Being fired can feel like a shameful secret.

However, now is not the time to hide from the world - networking is one of the most important things you can do after losing your job. Again, you don’t need to divulge that you were dismissed from your previous position.

If you have profiles on sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter, update your employment status and inform your connections that you’re now looking for work. This might not seem like a priority, but remember - many companies now use social media as a recruitment tool.


Loneliness ... is the most terrible poverty

Mother Teresa

It may take a while to find a new job. In the meantime, it’s vital not to cut yourself off from your family and friends.

If you shy away from contact, being unemployed could become one of the loneliest periods of your life. Rather than sinking into misery, take this time as an opportunity to reconnect with the important people in your life.

It’s important to learn from your mistakes. Your boss should have given you their reasons for firing you - make sure you listen to their explanation. Take the opportunity to improve your working habits, and ensure that you don’t repeat the same mistakes in your next job.

Being fired is never enjoyable. However, simple steps - such as creating a regular job-search routine and socialising with family and friends - can help to soften the blow.

The Skills You Need Guide to Getting a Job

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Getting a Job

Develop the skills you need to get that job.

This eBook is essential reading for potential job-seekers. Not only does it cover identifying your skills but also the mechanics of applying for a job, writing a CV or resume and attending interviews.

About the Author

This post was written by John Philips from are a reseller of SSL certificates from the likes of Comodo, GeoTrust and VeriSign.