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You’ve been clocking in day after day then “BAM!”—you’re fired.

Many employees, just like you, find themselves with a portfolio packed with credentials, only to have employers slam the door in their faces. Getting fired can be very discouraging and leave you feeling stressed and depressed. Here’s what you can do to turn that pink slip into a job offer.

Tell someone

Let professionals in your desired career field know you’re job hunting again. You don’t have to spill the beans on every detail of your termination, but you need your network to keep their eyes peeled for opportunities.

One mistake for job seekers is keeping quiet out of embarrassment and fear of judgment. Utilize social media sites to connect with professionals or learn about job opportunities. Visit LinkedIn, Facebook groups, Twitter, and industry-specific professional organizations for job postings.

Sitting at home applying for jobs isn’t always enough. Finding a new job is a lot about who you know. Focus on connecting with 3 new contacts each week.

You’ll also need to lean on your family and friends for support to keep your sanity intact. Have them refresh your memory of how great you are and what qualities you have to offer your next employer. Rallying the troops to help vouch for your performance will bring you a few steps closer to landing your dream job.

Refine your skills

You’ve been off the job market for a little while now so you’ll want to brush up on your skills. Since you have some time on your hands, participate in continuing education in your desired industry. Research a few webinars, workshops, or articles to learn up-to-date information to help you stand out and maintain a competitive edge. Technology, laws, and best practices change by the minute and an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude about your career lessens your chances of raking in the big bucks with your next salary.

Also, don’t pass on volunteer or internship opportunities simply because they don’t pay. Keeping busy gives you less time to sulk and gives you purpose. Think of your volunteer experience as a possibility to broaden your portfolio versus a way to pad your pockets. Key decision makers for major companies are members of volunteer boards so never pass on the chance to rub elbows with your future supervisor.

Ask for references

Reach out to previous colleagues or supervisors who can vouch for your past performance. You’ll need all the kudos you can get to help counteract the unfavorable situation at your most recent job.

But never list someone as a reference without permission. The last thing you need is to have a potential employer contact a reference who has no idea who you are or the type of work you’ve done. Give your references a call and remind them of that next to impossible deal you closed or the award-winning project you spearheaded last year. If a previous supervisor can provide information from your annual reviews or customer satisfaction surveys, it could help substantiate outcomes and achievements you’ve listed on your résumé.

Be sure to ask for feedback—good and bad—so you know where you stand and where you need to improve.

Seek professional help

If you haven’t interviewed or updated your career documents in the last 6 months, you’re probably a little rusty. Hire a professional such as a career coach, interview coach, or résumé writer to help develop a strategy to enhance your marketability.

Times have changed and so have job search trends.  A professional will help you stay on top of your game. Because this person isn’t connected to you emotionally, they can offer candid critiques of your shortcomings and tell you exactly how to adjust. A coach can assist in establishing goals and provide tips and a checklist to monitor your progress toward a rock solid game plan. You must enter this relationship with an open mind. Being terminated is a delicate situation, and although your wounds are fresh, you have to remain focused on the work you have cut out for you.

Leaving your job involuntary can throw you for a loop if you don’t have a plan to bounce back. Go ahead and cry but you must get over it. Creating a solid financial and career blueprint for success will be your best bet for a major comeback.

Ashley Watkins, of Write Step Resumes, LLC, helps job seekers and career changers find the career of their dreams by creating the perfect résumé, providing interview preparation and career coaching. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or via


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So, You Got Fired: Now What?  was originally published on