Being fired can feel like the worst thing in the world, but it does happen. People who have been fired, justifiably so or not, have bounced back and you certainly can too. Although being fired doesn’t have to spell the end of your ambitions, you do have to be prepared to discuss it during job interviews until you land that next opportunity. Follow these steps on how to rebound after getting canned, and answer the inevitable question,”Why did you leave your last job?”

Swallow Your Bitter Pill

Being fired will be a red flag to hiring managers, but it isn’t a deal breaker— unless you combine it with bad mouthing your former employer. No matter how heated and absolutely unfair the circumstances behind your firing were, it’s absolutely essential to be able to discuss it in an objective manner. Practice holding back on venting or sounding bitter or overly emotional when the subject of your former employers come up. Until you can get to that point personally, you won’t be able to rebound effectively.

Control the Narrative

When you have an interview and the question of your previous employment comes up, be prepared to provide a balanced answer that is honest, while still keeping the dirty details to yourself. Summarize the overview of your exit in about two to three sentences (think of it as your “elevator pitch” for selling why your firing doesn’t make you a terrible employee).

For instance, if you got fired for personality conflicts with your manager, simply say that the position and company culture wasn’t a good fit, and you were let go. What you don’t say is that your manager was a psycho who was threatened by your talent.

Detail Your Rise Back Up

Upon learning that you got canned from your previous position, the hiring manager is likely wondering why they should give you a second chance. Hiring managers are people too, and may have even been fired themselves in the past. What’s important is being self-aware enough to take a failure (your previous job) and learn from it. After giving the basic story of getting fired, go into detail about what actions you’ve taken to rebound and be better than ever.

Guide the Conversation Back

Be a smooth operator, and seamlessly transition a potentially negative question into yet another opportunity to express your interest in the job and why you would be the best candidate. Talk about what you would do differently in the future at this company with the plethora of wisdom you’ve gained from the experience from your last employer.

Get back in the employment game with the help of experienced Chicagoland employment agency Mark/Ryan Associates, Ltd. We carefully match candidates to positions from area employers that align with their backgrounds and career goals. Search our administrative and accounting & finance jobs in Chicagoland today.

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