Maximizing Outcomes: 5 Things To Do (And Not Do) When You Get Fired

No one ever imagines themselves being fired from a job. Being handed that termination letter can churn up a flood of emotions, from anger to embarrassment to sadness. Yet, how you respond after being fired can determine your future success. Maximizing outcomes takes thought and planning; here’s what to do and not do when you’re let go.

1. Understanding Why You Got Fired

Getting fired from a job is a traumatic experience. It can be difficult to cope with the shock of losing a job that you had worked for and enjoyed, especially if you don’t understand why it happened. Taking the time to properly process and understand why you got fired is the first step to moving on with your career.

The Benefits of Understanding Why You Got Fired:

  • You can learn from any mistakes you may have made at your previous job.
  • You can begin building a plan for your career moving forward.
  • You can adjust any job search strategies you may have been using.
  • You can gain closure and find peace of mind.

Having the big picture of why you got fired and accepting responsibility for your role in it will help you to work towards a successful and prosperous future. Seek help from a trusted advisor and use self-reflection to help you gain clarity.

2. Responding To Getting Fired

Gather your Emotions

Everyone’s experience with getting fired is unique, but it is always a difficult process to go through. You may feel isolated, disappointed, and uncertain about your future. Allowing yourself to take the time to grieve and process these strong emotions is essential during this trying time.

It is important not to feel guilty for feeling emotional after an unexpected job loss. It is okay and necessary to cry and express yourself in whatever way feels right at that moment.

Stay Organized & Take Action

When you are ready, start taking manageable actions toward finding a new opportunity. Make sure you have a clear head and an organized plan. Immediately begin updating any outdated sections of your resume or cover letter and start searching for similar roles that interest you.

You can also craft a unique way of reaching out to various contacts you know could provide advice or assistance. Furthermore, if you know the reason why you were fired, use it to your advantage for future job searches. Making connections and summarizing your experience in an interview can help you mitigate any missteps.

Responding To Getting Fired

3. Things To Do After Getting Fired

Accept the Reality and Move On
At this point, the best thing to do is to try to accept that the current job has come to an end and to move on. Don’t dwell on any negative thoughts or feelings.

Instead, be thankful for the experiences and opportunities you have had under this job that have taught you valuable lessons and have contributed to your personal growth. Focus on the future and make it a point to be prepared for any future challenges.

Develop an Action Plan
Having a strong action plan will help give you a sense of control in this situation and will bring structure to your job search. Here are some steps you can take to get back on the job market and find a better fit:

  • Create an up-to-date resume
  • Look for job postings online
  • Reach out to recruiters and HR departments
  • Network with friends, family, and professionals in your field
  • Keep your online presence professional and up-to-date

It is important to remember to stay positive and focus on your goal, which is to find the right fit and excel in your career choices.

4. Things Not To Do After Getting Fired

Getting laid off or fired is a tough situation to endure, making it even more important to think clearly and make well-thought-out decisions. To give you guidance and insight into this process, here are a few things you should absolutely avoid after being let go:

  • Don’t be hasty.
    Even though the immediate reaction may be to jump onto the job market, it’s important to take some time to assess your options rather than leaping into something that may not be suitable. Try to remain calm and do your research.
  • Don’t burn bridges.
    It’s always best to leave on the best possible terms, as who knows how you may come into contact with your former employer in the future. Don’t react out of anger or retaliation, no matter how wronged you may feel.
  • Don’t be negative.
    Getting fired can really ruin your day, but no matter the situation, it’s not a good idea to spread your woes throughout the office, online, or even on social media. Not only will it make you look unprofessional, but it can also hurt your chances of getting another job.
Things Not To Do After Getting Fired
Take The Lead Women

5. Moving On and Maximizing Outcomes

The end of a project may be bittersweet, but it’s important to stay focused on learning from the experience and maximizing outcomes. Here are a few tips for projects that are coming to a close.

  • Allow ample time for reflection: Take some time to sit back and reflect on all that has been accomplished, as well as the challenges you faced along the way.
  • Analyze and document the results: Analyze the insights and data from the project and make sure they are captured and stored somewhere accessible for future decision-makers.

Finally, think about what you can learn from this experience and how these lessons can be used to inform and improve your future projects. Then, don’t forget to pass on those learnings to your colleagues and the full team as well.

Taking the time to really appreciate the journey and use it to fuel future project success is the best way to maximize outcomes.


No matter how difficult or unexpected, being fired can be viewed as an opportunity to explore different paths and evaluate the work that you have been doing. Although no one can guarantee that taking our advice will result in the best possible outcome, we hope it will help you feel more prepared and empower you to make the best of the situation. Best of luck!

Leave a Comment