Getting fired from your job can be an experience that brings out some of the worst emotions we carry as human beings. Feelings such as confusion, sadness, shame, and sometimes anger about how or why you departed from your previous job. A job is a significant part of your life. Regardless of how minor it may have felt to you, it is still something that you gave time, effort, and mental and physical energy to operate.
Getting up and going to work, all to find out that you are no longer needed, hurts, despite what your employer tells you. It is a life-changing event that disrupts a routine you found comfort in, forcing you to find something new. Getting fired from your job is not always a negative experience. Yes, it has its downfalls, but it forces you to find a new opportunity that can help you grow in your professional career and as a human.
Emotional Effects of Getting Fired from your Job
Getting fired can have you going through many emotions, sometimes all at once immediately, or sometimes different emotions will hit at various times. Either way, we need to recognize and control these emotions so they don’t take hold of us and cripple our way out of this temporary situation. Below you will find some of the most common emotions you may encounter as someone who has just been fired from their job.
Shame is a negative emotion that can be defined as a feeling of embarrassment or humiliation. It usually stems within, and it generally makes someone feel as if they are inadequate or unworthy.
As harmful as shame is, it’s essential to understand that you are worthy as a person and that you are not inadequate. If you were fired because of budget cuts or even a mistake on the job, it’s essential to recognize that none of us are perfect and that things happen. Every day people make mistakes. Knowing your worth is critical; an error or a job title does not define your identity. Life is much more precious than that; live, learn, and keep moving forward.
Guilt is an emotion that can be defined as having an induced feeling of responsibility for doing something wrong. When someone loses their job, feeling guilty is a normal emotion. Even if someone didn’t do anything wrong to get fired. They may retract the days they did work there to see if they could have done anything different that would have prevented them from getting fired.
However, suppose the individual wasn’t told anything specific about what they did to get fired. In that case, guilt is often a fruitless emotion. It will often drive someone to over-speculate. When someone has lost their job, it’s crucial to remain logical because not everything is within our control.
Anxiety is an intense emotion that gives people a sense of fear and worry about what is in store for them in the future. And, losing your job can very much do that to you—getting anxiety about the new reality of job searching, the ability to pay bills, and the feeling of an uncertain future. Losing your job can open all these thoughts without any resolution. But anxiety is the fear of things that have not happened yet; to counteract these feelings, you must be proactive and remain calm. Take time to collect your thoughts so you can make a plan with a clear line of sight to act.
Anger is a normal reaction to getting fired from your job. Still, it can be considered a positive emotion that can be used to help fuel and motivate you through your job search. A chip on your shoulder can help you get through those fearful and uncertain times. Still, anger can be a very volatile emotion that needs to be recognized and contained, so we don’t go overboard. Use anger to your advantage, but keep it contained.
Hindsight will always be 20/20; when one gets fired, it’s easy to think back and see the writing on the wall or the steps your organization took to fire you. Subtle things make you question why they did this or that; it all comes together when you are finally told that you are fired from your job. Your gut feeling, or tingling senses, and of course, that voice in your head, was ultimately correct. It can be a relief to finally find out so that you can move on in life and go to the next chapter.
The Pros and Cons of Getting fired from a Job
Getting fired from your job can be a hectic and negative experience, but it’s not all bad. Everything in life has pros and cons to every situation we are presented with. Luckily when we get fired from our job, there is a lot to look forward to. But it all depends on your personality and determination. Getting fired is sometimes what we need to do what we are truly meant to do in life.
Pros of getting fired:
- You get to choose what to do next: Losing your job can be an exciting time to reevaluate what’s next for you. Do you want to go back to school? Do you want to stay in the same sector? Or do you want to take a chance on yourself, put all the chips on the table and work for yourself? These are questions that you, and you only, can answer.
- Time for self-reflection: Getting fired may not be the preferred time to self-reflect on yourself, but what better time to do it after being fired. Self-reflection can be an excellent opportunity to find out what’s important to you. That way, you can propel yourself forward with a clear mind and get all of the cynicism out of your mind.
- Becoming a wiser person: Whether you see it now or later, getting fired will make you a more intelligent person; you know what it feels like, you know the subtle changes in your organization that may affect you professionally, and you have experience with the firing process. It’s all valuable experience that promotes growth within.
Cons of Getting Fired:
- Loss of Income: Losing your source of income so abruptly is such a setback that it may require instant life changes. Things may get uncomfortable temporarily, even if you have a rainy-day fund, but that fund won’t last forever. Depending on your state and why you were fired, you should research unemployment benefits to see if you qualify.
- The emotional aspect of losing your job: Getting emotional about losing your job is expected. However, it’s a con that weighs you down because not only will you carry the stress and emotion of being fired. But you may also have to carry your feelings looking for a job, which will get tiresome.
- The Job Search: Searching for a job is a job; it will take time, effort, and tons of energy. A lot of times, everything that you have put into your resume and the job application, and the interview process will not be reciprocated during your search in the job market.
To be blunt about getting fired, it sucks, but unfortunately, it’s part of life. It happens; the best thing anyone can do is brush your shoulder off, pull your bootstraps up and get back out there. But remember, you are more than an employee; your previous company does not define you, nor were you destined to work there by some divine entity. It’s a job; they have a plan to keep the business thriving; employees are and will always be expendable; just don’t let it get to you, and keep it moving.
How to Recover from Getting fired from your Job
Recovering from getting fired will always take time. Still, the burden of the negative feelings plaguing you will require discipline and patience. Getting fired is a harsh lesson for anyone, even if it’s unjustified. So taking time to let things sink in will help smooth the process for you to come to terms with your new reality naturally.
After you have taken the time to process the situation, taking it one day at a time is essential. You may have to restructure your day by balancing productivity and ensuring that you are taking care of yourself. That means eating right, getting on a sleep schedule, and being active. Take each day as its own, deal with things as they come, but lay out a plan for yourself and follow it.
Once the basics are done, everything is situated, and you have made terms with your new reality, it’s time to make moves. Again, the ball is in your court; it’s your time to shine, so will you enter the workforce, or will you take a leap of faith? Questions that deserve your honest answer.
Being let go isn’t fun; it’s an emotional experience that brings the worst side out of a person. But it can be a blessing in disguise. Human beings are more than a company’s image or logo, we are people on this earth, and every single one of us is destined for more than a desk job; retail, construction, assembly lines, drivers, etc.
There is more to life than we can perceive, and the fact that we humans get so thrown off course because of losing a job is absurd and ironic. The point is that companies are nothing more than an entity that solely relies on employees and customers to thrive; without us, they are helpless, but ask yourself, did you really want to work there? No, or yes, find something meaningful, and wherever you land, they will be lucky to have you.