By Michelle Wanjiku
I had been working at the advertising agency for over two years when the company started experiencing financial difficulties. Because I was a low-level employee, my position was deemed redundant. The company had a choice of either firing me or my direct supervisor.
I was devastated; after all, this was not something I expected. I felt like all the hard work I had put into the company was a waste. As I started looking for a new job, I came to the realization that getting fired is not the worst thing that could happen to my career.
Here are some of the lessons I learnt from getting fired
1. Be open to learning
You have to be willing to learn new skills if you want to land a new job.
I was fired because my role was declared redundant; this meant that the company had no need for my skills anymore, as heartbreaking as that was, I needed to move on and started applying for jobs immediately.
One of the things I quickly learned after job searching for a few weeks is that even though I had the experience, I did not have the skills other job seekers had.
This put me at a disadvantage. While I was working, I was not interested in learning new skills and that is why I was struggling to compete with others in the industry.
So I enrolled for digital marketing training, public speaking training as well as leadership training. These were also the skills I found were requirements in most of the jobs I applied for.
Learning these skills helped me in various ways; I improved my interviewing skills but also made myself more employable.
As a job seeker, you need to find ways of having an advantage over other job seekers and this is where your skills come in. You need to be willing to learn new skills and stay updated on what is happening in your line of work.
2. It’s about how you present yourself
How do you package yourself as a professional?
Companies hire people because they have a need to fill a void or are looking to solve a problem.
When hiring, employers are usually looking for people who are going to add value to the company. Therefore, if you want to get a job, you need to present yourself as a solution to the problems the company is having.
Remember there are probably hundreds of people applying for the same job you are applying for and they have the same qualifications as you, some are even more qualified. So in order for you to stand out, you need to package yourself in a way that attracts the employer.
The trick here is to figure out what you bring to the table and present it in a nice way when applying for jobs.
Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter how qualified you are if you cannot show the employer how you will benefit them you will not get the job.
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3. Sometimes getting fired is a good thing
Getting fired is often viewed as a negative thing because people think of it as a failure. However, just because you were fired, doesn’t mean that you will never have a successful career. In fact, you can use this as an opportunity to actually propel your career to greater heights.
When you lose your job, you get the chance to evaluate your career and see where you are headed as a professional, which will make you look at your career goals.
In my case, upon re-evaluating the job, I realized that I had outgrown the position because I was no longer being challenged and I wasn’t learning anything new.
So I took it as a nudge in the right direction and started looking for jobs that were more senior than the one I was fired from.
Losing your job is hard especially if you had no backup plan or were not expecting it, however, it is not the end of your career and it all depends on how you choose to handle it.
You can choose to view it as an opportunity to grow and this will help you land your next job faster as opposed to viewing it as a drawback and spending most of your time complaining and mourning.
This is not to say that you shouldn’t take a few days to feel sorry for yourself, it is okay to do so, in fact, it is advisable that you take some time to mourn the loss of your job. But don’t do it for weeks on end.