WOMEN
08/25/2011 10:58 am ET | Updated Oct 24, 2011

How To Make Getting Fired Into A Good Thing

By Kourtney Jason | Life2pointoh

Getting fired isn’t just a shock, it’s a HUGE blow to your confidence. Along with the stress of finding a new job right away, you also must face the realization that you’ll have to explain why you were fired in your future interviews. Awkward.

How do you make yourself still sound hireable and desirable? To get those answers, we chatted with Jim Camp, author of Start with No and a renowned negotiations trainer and coach.


Tip #1: Analyze and understand your responsibility in the situation.

“If you are in the dark and this firing seemed to come from nowhere, you should request that the leadership team provides the necessary feedback,” Camp tells Life2PointOh. Get a full explanation of the situation and reasoning behind the decision. With that, you can build upon it and not allow such a thing to happen to you again. “Get them to see that providing you with a detailed account of what they were unhappy with will be of benefit to them, as it creates goodwill and will help you be a more valuable employee at your next job,” he says.

Tip #2: Turn it into a learning experience.

Getting fired can be a positive thing. No, really. There is a lesson to be learned and new/better opportunities to be grabbed. “There is no such thing as a perfect employee with a perfect performance history,” Camp explains. “The greatest employees analyze their mistakes and weaknesses, and then work hard to overcome them and be better at the next job. The ability to create that for a new potential employer is priceless.”

Tip #3: Know what NOT to say in your next job interview.

Any language that puts the blame on your former employer (i.e. “They didn’t like me.” “They were crooks.” “They were not fair.”) shows that you have not moved past the real reason you were fired: your performance. Don’t go down that road, or you’ll raise giant red flags during the interview.

Tip #4: Know what to say to still look hireable.

“This interview is about you–your talents, your development, your ideas, your attitudes, your lessons, and so on,” our hire-me-guru says. “And it’s about your new employer–how your four or five best assets will benefit them.”

Don’t avoid the elephant in the room (the fact that you were fired from your last job) by trying to hide it because you’ll risk looking dishonest. “What you need to do is explain the steps you have taken since that mistake to be a better, stronger, smarter job candidate for them, and how this learning and growing process is a plus, an asset for them.”

Tip #5: Practice your explanation for getting fired.

Use this sample script and form it to fit your personal situation. “I was fired and rightly so. I take full responsibility. Here is what I have done to strengthen my skills/attitude/performance since then.” And practice your answer over and over and over until you can say it with confidence and honesty.

This post originally appeared on Life2pointoh.com.

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