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Posted on Thu, Jan 20, 2011 : 5:45 a.m.

How to recover from hearing the dreaded words: 'You're fired!'

By Kim Kachadoorian

The words made famous by Donald Trump — “You’re fired” — are the words that no one actually wants to hear. Those that are fired by Mr. Trump often go on to lucrative deals if they played their cards right on the show. However for the average person that hears these two words — it can be devastating. So how do you recover?


Image by Adam Foster - Flickr - CC License

Thankfully most of us don’t have our jobs played out in the media as on “The Apprentice” or worse yet like Rich Rodriguez. There is something to be said for a little privacy when the worst happens and you are fired, but if you make the big bucks, your firing is often very public. Luckily, most of us will never have to face that kind of awkwardness. Some suggestions to help you over the hump:

You need to recognize that the world will not come to an end, although it feels like it. Almost everyone in their lifetime will be fired at least once — join the club.

Go ahead and grieve for your job loss. Even if you hated your job and were job hunting, getting fired took away some of your freedom of choice on how to end your time with your employer.

Get new business cards ASAP that are about promoting you. Put your website or LinkedIn profile on your card. Keep it simple: name and email (professional email address — nothing funny or cute), and put your strongest job skills on the front of the card with your name and your phone number. Don’t order 1,000s — 250 is a good start. You will likely revise the card to version 2.0 soon after you release card version 1.

Start networking as soon as you can talk about it. You do not want to network until you are ready to put a positive spin on the event. No one wants to talk to an “Eeyore” for any length of time. Look for that silver lining and figure at least three positive spins for discussion.

Go ahead and apply for unemployment — you might be pleasantly surprised to find out that they terminated you inappropriately and you can collect unemployment. Keep a copy of all of those employee reviews you have had.

This might be a great opportunity for you to finally start that business you have had percolating in your head. Get some great advice on the concept from people that know small business, your banker, the Small Business Administration and Ann Arbor SPARK. Be ready for open criticism, but also be ready for a very helpful environment should your business idea have real credibility.

Lastly do not under any circumstances blog, post on your facebook or tweet negative things about your former company or boss. No one wants to hire someone that does this kind of stuff. It makes you look terrible and immature.

Some further reading:

Kim Kachadoorian is also known as the "Geeky Marketer". She maintains a job hunting blog Jobs in A2 as well as her Geeky Marketer Blog and Web Site (resume web site with fishing analogies). She is currently looking for her next job and found that helping others was a good way to use her talents. She'll be sharing them with readers of's Business Review on a regular basis.


Kim Kachadoorian

Fri, Jan 21, 2011 : 8:31 p.m.

@GeraldBrennan - kudos for seeing not only a silver lining but a platinum one! Some people have indeed said that losing their job was the best thing that ever happened to them.

gerald brennan

Fri, Jan 21, 2011 : 12:42 p.m.

What to do: 1) Buy a bottle of champagne and drink it with someone you love. You are free from a place that sucked 8 hours of your life a day, that decided (rightly or wrongly, doesn't matter) either didn't want you or need you! Celebrate. There's ALWAYS another job. 2) Do not fret and moan away your time between jobs. There's ALWAYS another job. Enjoy this time without guilt. Very important this. Establish routines that make you feel good. And by "good" I don't mean trying to find out how much Scotch you can swill or pot you can smoke in a day without going to the hospital. 3) Stop working for other people, if at all feasible. You are getting paid as little as possible to make someone else wealthy. Discover what you like to do in your life, and go pro.

Kim Kachadoorian

Thu, Jan 20, 2011 : 7:53 p.m.

@JaneJane - thanks for the comments. Unemployment can take a toll, I wake up every day and start each day fresh. I try to remind people that they should stay busy, networking, volunteering, etc. to keep that skill set fresh. Glad to hear you found a good job, it is priceless!


Thu, Jan 20, 2011 : 5:03 p.m.

Please remember that when you lose your job, you are not alone. This has been a very challenging decade for many employees. Unemployment can sometimes last over a year. However, speaking from experience, do not pass up an opportunity because you feel you can earn more. It's a really cold world out there, and I passed up some pretty good situations, because I thought I'd "find something better". Applying for jobs is very different now, too. It's all internet. You become one of the faceless thousands. So, if you have developed relationships with local companies or stores or non-profits, go to them in person. The keyword is "local". I found after pounding the pavement for 2 years, I approached local smaller companies, and I found a good job. Be creative-network-buy local-apply local. Good luck to all of you searching for work! Kudos to you for getting out there, overcoming your depression and finding a job. Remember, you are worth so much! Don't give up.