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What To Do When You Get Fired

Posted: 06/26/09 04:00 PM ET

Have you been fired? Do you think you see it coming? Do you know someone who has been hit?..... we're here to help!!!

The first week is the easiest. Most of us are in a state of shock and there are a lot of people telling you how great you are and that this is "the best thing that ever happened. "Not to worry," they say. And mostly, you don't.

The second week is pretty much the same as week one.

The third week - that's another story. The people are gone and it's getting scary.

The normal, and very human tendency,is to withdraw and feel sorry for yourself. DON'T.

"Hello in there!" Here are 10 random tips for weathering the storm and getting back on your feet.

1) Apply for unemployment insurance.
You won't want to - there are many excuses: "I'll have a new job before I get the first payment." "It's embarrassing, a stigma." "It means I really was fired." Some people think they are ineligible for a variety of reasons from receiving severance pay (you are still eligible) or length of tenure. Find out. It is your money. You earned it. The process is easy and in most states can be handled online.

2) FedEx Office is your new best friend
Now that the expensive machinery of corporate America is no longer available, you have to find another way. FedEx Office (formerly known as Kinko's) can do anything in any amount of time. It will look professional and they can even deliver it for you. Drop by the one near you and take a look. You will feel better when you realize you are not helpless.

3) Buy a computer and a PDA
If your computer and Blackberry were owned by your employer, you have to buy one. This may not seem like the best time for a big cash outlay but you must have a computer and high speed email access or you might as well be in Siberia. Luddites do not find new jobs.

4) Write 3 different sentences that begin with the words "I got fired because I..."
Then put the list away. The point is to own the experience - not be a victim of it. "I got fired because my boss was a jerk..." doesn't cut it. Even if your boss was a jerk. You need to understand that there were options. And you need to take responsibility for what happened to you or you can't take responsibility for what's going to happen.

5) Don't make lunch dates with people who have jobs.
They will inevitably cancel (because they have to - don't take it personally) and you will have planned your whole day around a non-happening event. If you want to network (and you should), make it easy for the other person and meet them at their office. Offering to "take them to lunch" or "buy them a cup of coffee" is not enough inducement to interrupt their work day.

6) Write a new resume.
Send it to one person you trust for review and comments.

7) Commit to learning something new.
Try something difficult that requires a commitment of time that would not be possible when you were working. Preferably, choose an activity that is not directly work related - like yoga, or karate, or cooking. It will help you structure your day and give you something to say when people ask what you have been up to. Making productive use of your time will make you feel proud.

8) Get dressed and leave the house every single day.
In the morning...even if it's just to have a cup of coffee. The world is an interesting place and you will need the stimulation.

9) Pick one person to whine to.
More than this is unnecessary and potentially dangerous.

10) Take a vacation.
Although this may not seem like the right time to spend money on leisure activities - it is. You have the time. And going on holiday shows confidence. Plus it's far better to look for a new job when you look tan and rested.

More tips to follow. And please tell us what has worked for you!

 

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