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It is really tough to handle being fired or laid off. It is a major blow to the ego and to your overall self-esteem. You will go through the entire grieving process. I encourage you to grieve and deal with these normal feelings of loss.
I have worked with many people who were unexpectedly laid off or fired. I even went through it myself– twice. It is a bummer and can take a long time to get over. I have a few tricks that might help you as you move forward after a real-life crisis like a layoff or termination.
First, get it out of your system. You have a lot of emotion to deal with— hurt, anger, frustration, fear, shame, and even confusion. I have found that it is critical that you tell your story. Share your perspective with whomever you want (well, not just anyone, and definitely not during an interview). Let me rephrase that. Make sure you tell your side of the story outside of the interviews. In fact, get it out well before you have an interview. You want to get past your anger, frustration, shame, and hurt. Tell your story as many times as you need to and get it all out. It is important to share your perspective.
Then, stop telling it! You must stop telling your story and move on. I recommend setting a date to stop telling your story. Tell it as often as you want until that deadline. But once you hit the deadline, you must stop sharing the story. When you continue to tell the story, you and you alone are keeping it alive. You have to eventually let it go.
Finally, develop your answer to the tough question: why did you leave your last job? Consider all the others versions of that same question. I recommend creating an open-and-shut answer to the question. You need to answer the question clearly but without a lot of words. Answer the question succinctly and truthfully, and then be quiet. We tend to want to keep talking and tell all the details, sharing more than we need to share. Don’t do it! Just briefly, very briefly, explain what happen, and then stop talking. I call it the Open-and-Shut Technique. You need to be brief, and then let it go.
These three simple ideas have saved numerous friends and clients a lot of heartache and unnecessary worry.
So, tell, stop, and let go!