HR 101 - So You Got Fired

Getting let go sucks and to be completely honest, most of us have been there. It’s like a bad breakup and can seriously take a toll on both our emotional and financial well being if we don’t take proactive steps to move forward. Keep reading to get some tips from our team on saying “Thank You, Next” when this situation arises.

Step 1: Don’t Panic!

Practice slow, deep breaths to signal your nervous system to calm down. Pack-up your personal belongings, keep the goodbyes short and sweet, and exit as gracefully as possible without causing a scene. Remember – you can follow up later.

Step 2: Take a Day Off

Take at least 1 full day off to reflect and be nice to yourself. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Write down how you’re feeling in a journal (or try an app such as Reflectly or Daylio).

  • Get moving for some feel-good endorphins.

  • Talk to a loved one who can offer words of support, a meow, or a bark.

  • Indulge in some self-care.

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Step 3: Termination Paperwork

Review your termination paperwork for your contractual entitlements. Don’t be afraid to get legal advice if you don’t have all the information you need. After all of the payments have been made to you, you should receive a ROE (record of employment) from your employer. If, you are eligible for EI benefits (employment insurance), apply right away to avoid delays as it can take about 21 days to kick in. If you had other company benefits, look into conversion options before your coverage lapses. Make the necessary arrangements to return any company property, collect anything you’ve forgotten, and ensure the company has the correct personal information (i.e.: mailing address) on file.

Step 4: Preparation

Follow-up with your direct manager and any colleagues you had a close working relationship with to see if they would be willing to provide you with either a letter of reference or to be your reference when applying for new roles. Log into LinkedIn and supe up your profile - get skills endorsed, get recommendations, update your employment history. While you are at it update your resume, too.

Step 5: Spread Your Wings

When you’re ready, start rebuilding your network. Don’t be afraid to reach out to former colleagues, classmates, someone you met an event or who you admire – just make sure you establish who you are and why you’re reaching out.

For example: “That article you shared last week about X really got me thinking about Y... I’d love to keep in touch, get you a coffee, and learn more about your work sometime” sounds way better than “I don’t know you - but I want to know if you can help me find a job.”

Pro tip – never ask a complete stranger for a job over LinkedIn. Build the relationship first!

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Melisa DiPietro