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If I have been fired from a job, how might that affect my chances of getting work?

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Being fired from a job is always difficult. For many it can be a huge loss. It can also come very unexpectedly. Feelings of anger, rejection, and humiliation can set in, and the recovery phase takes time.
While no employee wishes to experience this kind of rejection, experts say that most people should expect to be either fired or downsized at least once in their working life. The days when our grandparents had one job for their entire life are gone.
Aside from the negative emotions, losing your job means losing your income. In many cases, unemployment insurance can help, but you must now consider re-entering the job market and what type of work you can do.
Being fired can hurt your chances of finding new work because you must explain your firing to any new employer. And how do you handle references from your past employer?
Here are eight important steps to rebuilding after being fired:
1.  Expect to grieve.
As with any loss, a certain amount of grieving needs to take place. Don’t ignore your feelings! It will take time to adjust to this new reality. Talk to someone about your job loss, and think about how best to put this experience behind you.
2.  Don’t take it personally.
Getting fired does not make you a bad person. Many times, people are fired because they are not the right fit for the job. Even if you know that you were at fault, don’t waste time indulging in self-pity. Pick yourself up and treat this as an important learning experience.
3.  What can you learn?
Take time to analyze what really happened. Was there a personality conflict? Was there a work performance issue? What can you learn from the situation to ensure it never happens again? These answers will help you explain your dismissal to new employers.
4.  Think of the opportunity.
While grieving is normal, it is important not to harp on the negative. Consider some of the positive aspects as well. Being fired can mean a push in the right direction, toward a better and more fulfilling career. Being fired forces us to sink or swim!
5.  Create a new plan.
Once you have come to terms with the situation, get back into the job market as soon as you can. It is empowering to know that you are in control of your own destiny. Create a new job search plan. Prepare daily tasks that will keep you on track.
6.  Be positive.
It is easy after a job loss to hang on to a certain amount of negative energy. As well, there may be a tendency to “bad mouth” your former employer. Do not fall into this trap! Your personal contacts and new employer will pick up on this right away. Rid yourself of any feelings of malice or regret. Channel this energy into positive action!
7.  Network, network, network!
After losing your job you may want to bury your head in the sand. However, it is imperative that you get out and network as much as possible. Let everyone know that you are in the job market again. Attend a few networking events or meetings each week. You don’t need to discuss with everyone the specifics of how you left your last job.
8.  Stay in shape.

Being fired from your job can be a huge blow to your self-esteem. Nothing works better than exercise at building your self-confidence, stamina, and energy level. Whether it is going to a gym or a nice long walk every morning, you’ll start your day feeling confident and motivated. 

How to explain getting fired
Now that you have decided to move forward with your job search, there is one important thing to consider. What are you going to say to a potential employer about being fired? How should you answer an interviewer’s question about leaving your previous job?
There is no need to mention you being fired on your resumé or cover letter, but the topic will probably come up in a job interview. Experts all agree on how to handle this difficult situation. You should be honest and candid. Do not place blame on your former employer. Be as objective as possible.
Practice giving a reasonable answer that suits your situation. Put it in two or three sentences that explain the situation and put a positive spin on it. Here are some sample questions and answers that might work for you:
Question: Why did you leave your previous job?
Answer 1: I have to admit I didn’t have a clear understanding of my employer’s expectations, and some aspects of my previous role. I have learned that communication is of utmost importance within any successful company.
Answer 2: Certain personal problems, which I have now solved, prevented me from doing my job to the best of my ability. I have learned a great deal from this experience and am eager to exceed expectations in my new job.
Answer 3: A new manager was hired who wanted to change the company structure and the current roster of employees. While he had every right to do this, I don’t think I had enough time to prove myself in my role.
As you can see, these answers puts your dismissal from a company in a more positive light. It is important to keep your answer as factual as possible.
Getting a reference

An interviewer may wish to call your previous employer. In some cases, you may be able to discuss this with your previous employer and ask for a reference. If he or she will not give you one, try to find another person in the company willing to talk about your positive attributes.

For many people, getting fired can be the best thing that ever happened.
In fact, most people, asked several years after they were fired, say it was the best thing that ever happened to them. If you are honest about the situation and explain what you have learned from the experience, most prospective employers will be impressed with you.

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