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How to Bounce Back After Getting Fired

Maybe you botched a major project at work, and that made your boss unhappy. Or maybe, despite your best efforts to excel on the job, you just didn't end up meeting expectations. Getting fired can be a blow to your self-esteem, and it can also put you in a tricky position as far as getting rehired goes. Here are a few things you can do to recover from this unfortunate scenario -- and come away with your career unscathed.

1. Limit your sulking window

Losing a job can be shocking, and you may need some time to process that information. But do yourself a favor and limit that "woe is me" period to a week, tops. Wallowing, through perhaps necessary on a limited basis, isn't productive, so don't spend too much time feeling sorry for yourself, and instead focus on taking action.

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2. Assess your resume

If you've been fired, you need a new job, and your resume will generally be the ticket to it. To that end, you'll need to make sure that document reads well, is in good shape, and reflects your most recent experience. Spend some time reviewing your resume and making changes as needed, as it'll increase your chances of getting hired again.

3. Network aggressively

When you're recovering from the blow of a lost job, you may not be feeling your most social. But if you're eager to get a new job quickly, then you'll need to push yourself to get out there, talk to people, and engage in some serious self-promotion. Networking is a great way to learn of different opportunities, and if you have contacts who can talk you up to their hiring managers, it's a good way to compensate for the fact that you're coming in from a place of having been let go.

4. Devise an interview strategy

Once you start landing job interviews, there's no getting around the fact that you were fired from your last job. (Lying about it won't do you any good, so don't even think about it.) Your best bet in this regard is to be honest, but also, emphasize some of the things that experience taught you.

For example, you might discuss the fact that since being let go, you've been exploring different ways to better manage your time, or that you've signed up for a course to improve the tech skills your last boss felt you were lacking. There's a good chance that if you're open about what happened and are otherwise qualified for the role at hand, your termination won't be held against you.

Another important thing: Do not, under any circumstances, badmouth your former boss or company during an interview. If you were fired over a personality clash between you and your previous manager, you're allowed to say that you didn't mesh well in a work setting -- but leave things at that.

Getting fired is a pretty lousy experience, but if it happens to you, know that you're not alone. With any luck, it'll serve as a learning opportunity that ultimately makes you stronger and better at what you do.

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