So you’ve been fired. Now what?


Kena fired izzit?  That’s gotta hurt. But while you wallow in self pity, why not also read this handy list to help you make the next step:

 1.    Ask for a reference

Many employers will give a written reference after termination. Even if it’s just the dates you were employed and your job scope, it’s the least they can do right? If they refuse, approach a manager or colleague who you are friendly with, and ask if they’ll be your reference on your CV. This will show future employers that you relationship with this organisation wasn’t completely sour.

 2.    Ask for constructive feedback

It might have been hard to swallow, and yes, you may be defensive at first. But see this situation for what it is – a teachable moment. Ask your immediate superior, or department head for constructive feedback. If you explain that you are trying to move forward and learn from this experience, they will likely give you their time. Unless they are heinous heartless a**holes, in which case, it probably wasn’t you, it was them. They’ve done you a favour. Now get outta there.

3.    Reflect, take responsibility, learn

Whatever feedback you get, take some time out to really think it through. See where you could have done better. (It always takes two hands to clap) The lesson may be about changing your attitude or upgrading your skills, or it may just be to choose a better employer next time(see point 2 about heinous a**holes) . Reflecting and taking ownership of your role in this will help you move on, and be useful when you get back into the job market.

4.    Prepare to explain

At your next interview, they may ask you what happened and why it didn’t work out. Using all you gleaned from your reflection, plan a spiel to explain and rehearse a couple of times out loud. We strongly advise against badmouthing your last employer. Instead, state the facts of what happened, accept responsibility and show how you’ve changed your attitude or upgraded your skills since then E.g. “My skill set was not the right fit for the organisation” or “The role evolved into something different from when I started and I wasn’t able to cope with the changes and became overwhelmed. What I’ve learnt from that experience is to be more adaptable and be very clear on the job description, and cultivate good communication with my supervisor to avoid this happening again.” Any good interviewer will probe with questions so be prepared to answer them. Be as matter-of-fact and un-emotional as possible. Remember, it’s just work. If you can’t speak about it without getting upset, perhaps you need to go back to Number 3 to get some closure.

 5.    Don’t be ashamed

More people get fired than you think. Often, employers just let terminated staff say they quit to save face (and to save having to pay the severance package – cheapskates!). Everybody falls off the horse, it’s more important to get back up. By all means throw a (short) pity party. But when you’re done, take a breath, dust yourself off and get back in the game.

6.    Plan the next move

This could be an opportunity to change course, and pursue something you really love. Figure out what feels right, and then charge ahead! Play your cards right and years later you may look back and think losing this job was the best thing that happened to you.


If you need help in job placements, why not visit these places for assistant?

The e2i, a training and employability institute –

PME Centre (also located at the e2i) –

WDA’s Career Services Centre –







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