As a software developer, losing a job you enjoyed can be severely depressing. It can be difficult to find the same job in your area. Even if you do, you may find the atmosphere just isn’t the same.
When you lose a job, you lose friends too.
Maybe you made a mistake that led to being let go.
Whatever the reason for being fired, the effects can be devastating financially and emotionally – often leaving people drained of their savings and their self-esteem.
But the effects don’t end there: for better or worse,
it’s much easier to find a new job when you’re still employed than when you are already out
because most hiring managers have negative perceptions about being unemployed.
There’s the idea that companies don’t let go of their best people, even in the worst of times.
So, if you’re unemployed because your company let you go, then the perception — and it’s not always right — is that you weren’t one of the top performers.
That is the stigma.
But that stigma doesn’t have to stand in your way.
The world around us is filled with people who were fired and who’ve been rehired — because they handled it well.
The following tips can help you best handle your job search after you’ve been fired, so that
- feelings of disappointment,
- self-doubt, as well as
- the negative perceptions of others,
won’t stand in your way as you try to find a new job.
1. Remember, You’re Not Alone
Getting fired is tough.
Some people will make erroneous judgments about you based on the fact that you lost your job.
you’re not the first person to be fired.
And you won’t be the last.
In fact, some employers see the ability to get passed a setback and land on your feet as a selling point.
It’s however important to reassess yourself; your skills and your goals. Take the time to evaluate where your success has been in the past, and head for a whole new change of focus.
Take the time to look within yourself and determine why the job really didn’t work.
This will provide an opportunity during your next interview for you to discuss
- why the job was not a fit for you or the company, and
- how you feel your strengths can be better served in the new area.
Essentially, look to take the negative of a termination and use it as a positive for your next position.
Companies hit speed bumps all the time and they need people who are resilient — so show your resilience during your job search.
2. Get Back on the Horse
Although you may think it’s best to take some time off after you’ve been fired, you should start your job search right away.
Remaining active is the best way to move past the bad experience.
You want to avoid having large gaps in your resume, so you should start your job search as soon as possible.
I don’t suggest putting your entire professional life on hold to grieve the loss of a job, it does make sense to work through your feelings during your job search.
You may need to vent to someone during this time through
- family members or
- even a therapist
so you can get negative feelings out of your system and out of your job search.
This is important because it will help improve how you feel, as well as how you project yourself to others.
No hiring manager wants to hire a negative person
So don’t badmouth the boss and don’t badmouth the company.
When you’re job searching, you can’t have that negativity because it will come through during an interview or when you’re networking with other software developers.
You have to contain it or it will taint the perception of even those who want to help you.
3. Sharpen Your Job Hunting Skills
If it’s been a while since you last looked for a job.
I suggest spending some time brushing up on your job search skills so you’ll get the best results.
Oftentimes people engage in what I term as random acts of applications, meaning they send out their resume to any company they can find.
This may stem from the job-hunting myth that you should take whatever you can get, as soon as you can get it.
Instead spend time researching companies so you can target organizations where you’re most likely to have success.
In addition, spend time reading blogs, courses and books from career experts in order to get some coaching on the best practices for job hunting in today’s workforce.
4. Fill the Void
In order to avoid having gaps in your resume, you may want to consider volunteering your time to an organization that needs help.
Although feeding the hungry at soup kitchens or folding clothes at the Salvation Army or Goodwill are worthy causes, don’t do voluntary work that doesn’t relate to your job search.
Instead, find volunteer opportunities relevant to your career, or job skills you’d like to develop for your next position.
It’s important to keep busy and not let the gap in your resume grow.
You could immediately enroll in a course, preferably an academic or technical course, to help eliminate complete gaps in employment.
Develop a list of professionals who you can trust, with a solid knowledge of your work ethic, who can connect you to opportunities without judging the fact that you’ve been fired.
5. Don’t Use the word ‘Fired!’
When you’re in a job interview, you don’t have to use the word “fired” when describing what happened at your last job.
Although you shouldn’t lie about it — don’t say you left a job voluntarily when you didn’t — you can frame the situation in a more positive light, so it doesn’t come off as negative.
Be careful about how you talk about having been fired.
Comments such as
- ‘differences in opinion,’
- ‘differences in working philosophies’ ,
- ‘differences in creative direction’ or
are all explanatory when you have been terminated from a previous job. After all, you were fired for some reason.
Whatever you do, though, don’t attack your supervisor.
If you had differences with your supervisor, that’s okay.
If you couldn’t deal with them, that may have been okay too, depending on the circumstances. But no personal attacks!
There are so many options of what people can say and it doesn’t even matter if you were fired for something bad.
You don’t have to share that.
Negotiate Your Job Offer!
After you shake off the sting of being fired and have a few successful job interviews, they’ll make you an offer.
That’s when you’ll need to negotiate, and Salary.com can help.
The first thing you should do is research, so you’re able to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth.
Use the free Salary Wizard tool to find out what’s a fair salary for your position.
You can enter your
- education level,
- years of experience and more
to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.
Good luck with your job search.
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