How To Level Up After Getting Fired

So you’ve been fired?

Or maybe the company closed?

Either way, it’s back to the drawing board. We get it. But instead of seeing this as a loss, we like to look at it as a win. It’s time to level up!

  • Rule number one: Never. Burn. Bridges.

No matter the reason of being fired because after all, this is your reference that your future employer will contact. I think the scariest thing is getting to the stage of reference checks and you’re not sure if your past employer will have good things to say about you. So, walk away with your head high, remain professional and leave them with a good impression.


  • Keep an Updated Portfolio

Always stay on top of your projects and completed work, because honestly, you just never know what could happen. It’s important to be organized, have access and keep a record of your accomplishments and projects. This is your work to showcase so be prepared if you were to be fired tomorrow. This is also the key to freelancing - creating a side hustle as you search for your next position.


  • Take a break.

Understand that one door closing allows plenty more to open. Now is the time to revisit your strengths and talents. Reflect on what you’ve learned, what you enjoyed and the things you didn’t like. Think about your strengths and weaknesses, the changes you need to make and self evaluate. Once you’ve had time to do these things...it’s time to level up!


  • Relationship Building/Networking

Scroll through your contact list and check your connections on LinkedIn. These are the people you can connect with after getting fired. Let’s be honest, it’s about who you know, not what you know.

Think of the industry you want to target, then think of the contacts you have and work your network!

Be intentional. Start connecting with your contacts, letting everyone know that you’re available for new opportunities and actively seeking employment. Include your resume in PDF format and a short bio that highlights your most recent work and overall experience. Don’t forget to include the point of your email and a call to action!

Think of people you know who know a ton of people because even if your actual contact isn’t in the same field, they can share it with their network. It’s much easier to land an opportunity when you’re being referred by someone who is polished and successful. If they trust them, they’ll trust their instincts on recommending you.


  • LinkedIn

LinkedIn is like Facebook on steroids. Use it, use it, use it! Do your research on companies you’re interested in and connect with any employees you find, especially in the HR/Talent department. It’s ok to be honest and message them, explaining you’ve seen an open position and would like to gain insight. Remember, when networking, you have to be intentional. To be even more transparent, invite them on a call or a coffee conversation to discuss the open position, and your experience.


  • Resumes & Cover letters

I know, I know. This could be daunting but if you do it right, you’ll be efficient and successful (and if you REALLY want it done right: www.lakrishadavis.com)!

Here’s how you spend less time on resumes/cover letters and more time on submitting applications:

Choose 2-3 industries you want to target. Think about your experience and regardless of not having the exact experience or degree, you can always tweak your resume to match a new role that interests you.

Research every position that interests you and get a clear understanding of required experience and qualifications. Look for keywords, thoroughly read the job descriptions, and make sure your experience and resume aligns.

Tailor each resume to align with each industry that interests you and do the same for cover letters. To avoid clicking on every resume to find the one specific for a certain job, you want to save them with a specific title, maybe the role you’re interested in. If this sounds like too much, you’re better off going to www.lakrishadavis.com - just saying.


  • Personal Development

This is key! The greatest investment you can make is within yourself. Become certified, advanced and an expert. Sign up for webinars and take classes to receive certificates. This will for sure make you more marketable. There are so many opportunities and resources out there to help make your resume and experience standout.


  • Apply & Rest

It may be helpful to choose one industry a day. Be sure to take breaks during your search/applications and take time to reset. You may find yourself changing your resume the more you read job descriptions and that’s ok!


  • Job Boards & Networking Events

Alway check your desired industry job boards- this is a good place to start. Networking events are also a good place to start. Make sure you always attend with business cards, a short pitch and a very social personality. The more people you meet, the more opportunities you can possible land. Again, be intentional.


  • Say no.

Just because you’re looking for a job doesn’t mean you have to settle. Walk in with confidence. Maybe you settled in your last role, but not this time. It’s important to know what you want and what you don’t want. More importantly, don’t ever think you have to accept the first offer that comes your way, choose wisely because employers do too.


  • Negotiate!

Don’t be unsure when quoting your desired salary. You know your worth and if you’ve interviewed well, they’ll know it too. With confidence, state your desired salary and be ready to negotiate if you need to.

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