Losing a job: What next?MOORHEAD - After 25 years on the job, Val Tareski of Reiles Acres, N.D., was notified by e-mail that he was fired from his part-time position.
By: Tracy Frank and Teri Finneman, The Forum, Worthington Daily Globe
MOORHEAD - After 25 years on the job, Val Tareski of Reiles Acres, N.D., was notified by e-mail that he was fired from his part-time position.
“It was very hard to take emotionally,” Tareski said. “I had to work very hard at not dwelling on the personalities and issues involved in order to avoid becoming depressed.”
Richard Peterson of Moorhead also knows what it is like to lose a job.
“Hits you in two ways, a kick in the gut and another in the head,” he said. “There is the anxiety over money and questions of self-worth if you can pay your bills. But on top of that, you question whether you are worthy of another job. It’s personal.”
Darrin Tonsfeldt, director of the Village Business Institute of Fargo, said losing a job is a common experience.
“When there’s a downturn in the economy, whatever we call it, reductions in work force, being laid off, downsizing … there’s a lot of folks who have experienced that,” Tonsfeldt said.
Job loss is often a defining moment for people, he said.
“It’s a major portion of our life, and for many folks it’s how they identify themselves,” he said.
Peterson said finding and working a new job helped restore his self-esteem.
To move on after being fired, Tareski recommends focusing on other issues such as family, friends and looking for a new job.
“Try to avoid feeling sorry for yourself, as that will negatively affect your ability to put your best face forward in your job search,” he said.
Support from her mom helped Jill Schroeder of Hawley, Minn., get over being fired.
“It doesn’t feel good when you think you are doing the best you can and someone does that to you. It usually comes out of the blue, too,” she said.
Here are tips for how to personally and professionally move forward after being fired. They come from the Fargo Moorhead Human Resource Association, CareerBuilder.com, Job Service North Dakota and The Village Business Institute:
- Recognize that you will likely experience the five steps of dealing with loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance.
- Take care of your physical and emotional health by exercising, eating well and surrounding yourself with positive and supportive people.
- Realize a termination is not the worst thing that could happen. Sometimes terminations are for not being the right fit.
If this is the case, you were probably not happy with the position anyway, and there is something better out there you will be happier doing.
- Start thinking about what you could have done differently that might have led to another result and what you’ll do differently in the future.
- While unemployed, start each day with a plan of something to accomplish. Keep a forward focus.
- With the changing job market, getting fired is more common than you may think. Make it an opportunity, not a catastrophe.
- Realize you’ve gone through other life changes and made it through. You will this time, too.
- Talk to human resources of your now former employer to find out when you get your last paycheck and if you get pay for vacation or benefits.
- File for unemployment.
- Decide whether you want to stay in the same field, make a career change or start your own business.
Once you know where you want to take your career, take steps to make it happen. For example, you might need more training or education if you’re going to switch careers.
- Commit. No job search is easy – especially one that you weren’t planning – but don’t be deterred when you don’t get every position you want.
- Network. Let people know you are looking for another job, in case they know of any openings. If they ask why, keep it brief.
- Talk to former co-workers to see if they’re willing to be a reference for you.
- If you’re concerned about writing that you were fired on a job application, write “terminated, but will explain in interview.”
Or, leave it blank. An employer will likely ask about this during the job interview, which will allow you an opportunity to explain in person.
- During an interview, be honest about being fired from the last job, but keep it brief.
Share how you’ve learned from the experience. If you were fired over personality conflicts, talk about how you are able to best work with a supervisor.
- Don’t badmouth your former employer during an interview. Potential employers will see it as an indication of how you will treat them.
- Ask a new employer to give you a trial period in order to prove yourself.