No matter how good of a worker you are, no one is safe from being fired from their job. It’s the last thing you want to hear at work, but sometimes factors beyond your control are at play and you may be fired through no fault of your own. Before you start fretting over what people might think and how you should explain this in future job interviews, here are 8 things you should focus on doing first when you get fired.
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There is no need to wallow in depression. Life goes on. It’s not the end of the world. Bills still have to be paid so don’t allow yourself to despair for more than a few weeks.
Read the letter of termination and your employment contract carefully
Make sure you don’t get the short end of the stick. You can contact the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for advice or refer to the guidelines on their website, but bear in mind that private companies can choose not to follow it because it is, after all, a guide. Try negotiating with your employer instead of threatening to complain to MOM.
Don’t burn bridges
So you didn’t part on the best terms. But that doesn’t mean you have to make it worse. After all, your future employer might just call up your old firm to run a check on you. Don’t throw a tantrum on your last day or badmouth your boss because everything will eventually come back to haunt you. Karma bites.
Find a common ground with your (ex) employer
Some employers don’t fire outright; they prefer to ask you to tender your resignation. It’s a win-win situation: They don’t have to fork out money for your severance pay, and you don’t have a bad employment record. Speak to your HR and see if you can work things out, so you don’t have to tell your prospective employers, “I was fired.”
Declare that you’re unemployed
If you’re still paying off your student loans, contact the bank or Central Provident Fund Board to alert them that you are out of a job and would not be able to make payments for a period of time. This will ensure that the financial institutions don’t continue deducting money from your bank account during that time because trust us, every cent counts when you don’t have an income.
Figure out what you want to do next
Sometimes, being forced to leave a job can help you grow, especially if you were too comfortable in your previous job and your career has been stagnant for the past few years. It can also make you realise that your dream job might not be suitable for you. Take this time to rediscover your passion and skills, what you want to do and can do. Narrowing down your career choices would help greatly in your job search.
Start looking for a job
Yes, you’re upset, sad and feeling blue. But that doesn’t mean you should lock yourself up in your room for the next few months. Jobs are not easy to come by, so start looking early. Some companies, especially big firms and civil service, can take up to six months to get back to you, so begin the job search earlier.
Pick up freelance work
Becoming a freelancer not only provides you with an income, but it also allows you to remain in touch with industry people while building up your portfolio. More importantly, it shows your prospective employer that you weren’t bumming around during that time. Alternatively, take up a part-time job, which affords you the flexibility of time so you can still go for interviews.