The day began like any other. You went to work, sat down at your desk, logged onto your computer, and started planning for the day.
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Then your boss called you into his office. You sat down. His face was expressionless. You couldn't tell what was coming. The buildup was agonizing.
"You've done some great work here," he said. "Your projects really pushed this company forward. We thank you for your time – but it's not working out. We're letting you go. You're fired."
You almost didn't hear that last, most soul-sucking part. You were still hung up on his blank stare. Then the anxiety kicked in. You felt a pit in your stomach – just like when your high school sweetheart broke up with you right before heading off to college.
You probably walked out of the room feeling worthless, all your confidence shot. And maybe you still feel that way.
But you have to realize this is not the end. This is simply the conclusion of one chapter in your life – not the whole book.
What you do next is the most important part of your firing.
Immediately after being let go, you deserve to have yourself a little pity party. What just happened to you sucks. But you only get one day to sulk. Tomorrow, you're going to punch up your resume and focus on you! When one door closes, another opens – and you need to position yourself to walk through it.
The morning after your pity party, eat a good breakfast. You'll need the energy to tackle what will be a very full day.
Here's your to-do list, both today and in the coming days and weeks as you hunt for a new job:
Update your resume
Ask for recommendation letters
Job search, job search, job search
Fill out applications
You may want to throw a few other things into the mix that aren't directly related to your professional journey. Exercise is a good way to get yourself out of your rut. Journalling can help you process your emotions.
Get those doctor, dentist, and vision appointments in pronto! Many employers will keep you insured for a month after your last day.
Hobbies, too, are important. Play some Xbox. Paint. Write. Bike. Cook. Start a Netflix series. Finish a Netflix series. Work on that side gig – now may be your chance to turn it into a full-time gig.
Ensure that you budget out your money wisely. If you're highly proactive in landing your next role, things won't be tight for long, but you need to take precautions nonetheless.
Spending your unemployed time in this way will give you confidence and a sense of empowerment. The days will fly by, and next thing you know, you'll be onto a better opportunity.
Even the Mighty Fall – but They Get Back Up
If you're still feeling lousy, remember that many others before you have dealt with similar setbacks only to later rise to extreme success:
Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because his editor felt he lacked imagination.
Oprah Winfrey was fired from a Baltimore television station because her superiors believed she was too emotionally invested in her stories.
Steven Spielberg was rejected three times by the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film, and Television.
Your perseverance in the face of unfavorable circumstances determines your success. Never give up.
Derek Herman is a member of Phenom People's content marketing team.