I Have Just Been Fired From My Job: Now What?
Being fired from your job is one of the most stressful things to go through in your life. Not only does it take an emotional impact on you, but it could have huge financial repercussions too. There are a number of reasons why one might be terminated from their position; including wrongdoings of the employee like theft and illegal activities. But, there are also other reasons like financial difficulties and perceived lack of performance.
What every employee has to realize, is that they do have rights when it comes to being terminated, and you are legally allowed to question or challenge the decision if you find that it was a wrongful termination. So, we thought we would take a look at the actions you need to take as soon as you are fired, to not only ensure your financial stability, but to maintain your reputation too. We have not included the first step as a point, but our first piece of advice is to breathe! Take a breath, relax and sort the issue out one step at a time!
Was it Legal, or Was it a Wrongful Termination?
Your first step is to ascertain whether you were rightfully terminated by the company. If you have been fired due to wrong-doing on your side, this should be expressed in the termination letter, and possibly following disciplinary action. However, if the reasons are unclear and the lines are blurry, you can request a full explanation of your termination. Despite being terminated, you are still allowed to make an appointment with HR to discuss the reasons and your next steps.
If this has been a wrongful termination, your next stop is the US Department of Labor. There, you will be able to lay a grievance against the company after consulting with an officer. They will be able to examine your case and advise you on your rights and how to proceed with your case.
Know Your Rights
The first thing to check is what your contract states. There is a clause in every single contract that defines how redundancy and termination should be handled by yourself and the company. It will provide you with the length of period still to be worked, any compensation to be given and what steps the company should be following.
If this is not enough, there are various sources of information for you. Research the company policies as well as the severance package policy. If the company is doing mass lay-offs, you will need to receive some kind of severance from the company. If this is still failing you, it is time to turn to the federal or state law to unpack your statutory rights. If you are fighting a wrongful termination, you will need all the information and assistance you can get!
Research Unemployment Pay and Benefits
The third step is to know whether you qualify for unemployment pay. In some cases, you could still be entitled to various things like continued health insurance coverage, extended benefits, severance pay, and unemployment compensation. If you have been fired from your job for wrongful actions, you might have to forfeit this, and simply move on with finding a new job.
In many cases though, especially with mass-layoffs, you will be able to apply for unemployment insurance. To receive your weekly unemployment wages, you will need to fit certain criteria. The criteria does differ from state to state, so it is important to know the limitations of your particular state. You will have had to have worked with the company for a certain period of time, and earned a certain amount of money. There might also be certain other requirements laid out by your particular state, but what is important is that you will need to have lost your job through no fault of your own.
Get the Next Job Lined Up
Let’s face it, a lot of things are not guaranteed and your job is certainly not one of them. You should be regularly updating your CV and your online profile to make sure that you are current and available for the market. The last thing you want is to be taken by surprise by an unexpected termination.
Platforms like Wanted are a great way of passively keeping your name on the job market and keeping an eye open for positions that will suit your skill-set, experience and salary requirements. Keep researching what your worth is on the market and make sure that you keep your profile updated. You never know when the right company will come in and scoop you up.
Last Thoughts ...
As stated before, don’t panic if you are terminated from your current position. Just be prepared at all times to make a smooth transition to something else. You can also make the transition easier by being open to remote work while you search for a full-time position.