How to Deal with a Job Termination

Losing your job for any reason is a very intense and overwhelming experience. Being terminated, whether through fault of your own or not, may be even worse.

It is always important to know how to handle a job termination, both in the moment it happens and in the time after. By remaining in control of the situation, you can make sure you leave on as positive a note as possible. This can benefit you greatly as you begin to search for a new job.

In the time after your termination, applying for unemployment benefits can help you bridge any financial gap. You will also need to know how to plan for reemployment, taking into account the reasons why you were terminated and your hopes for the future. If you believe the reasons for your termination were unjust, you may even be able to determine whether you could benefit from taking action against the wrongful termination. Use the information below to learn more about how to deal with job terminations.

Tips for Handling a Job Termination

Job terminations often bring out extremely negative emotions. Knowing what do in advance can help you to handle the situation in the best possible way:

  • Do not react emotionally, especially when it comes to the way you treat or speak about your former employer. It can be difficult, but you risk making a bad impression if potential new employers hear about your behavior.
  • Ask for the reason behind your termination, if your employer has not already provided it. If possible, you might make an official appeal to keep your job. You may also have the option to work under probation for a time.
  • Address the question of your future employment. What will your employer say to anyone who asks him or her about why you left the company?
  • Determine what you will be able to expect as a severance package. You may also be owed some other benefits like compensation for unused vacation days. You should also ask about your retirement funds and health insurance.
  • Take any personal documents or items that legally belong to you, including computer files, as you may not be able to return for them.

Wrongful Termination

When you are terminated for an unjust reason, it is important to take steps to deal with the situation. You may be able to prevent your career from being negatively impacted, or possibly bring a legal action against your employer. However, it is crucial to remain professional throughout this process, even during the moment of termination. It will be even more difficult than usual to do so when you know the action is unjustified, but you may hurt your case, or future employment prospects, if you behave angrily.

You will need to research the cause of your termination in order to judge whether the action was in any way illegal. As the laws regarding wrongful termination differ from state to state, this may affect whether you are able to make a case. Discrimination of any kind is always illegal, as is retaliation against you for asserting your rights. It is also a good idea to make notes on all the events that led up to the termination. If you think you can make a case, you should seek legal counsel and ask for further advice.

Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are intended to offer financial support while you look for a new job. The rules regarding these benefits will vary depending on where you live, so it is important to do some initial research into the laws in your state. To receive unemployment benefits, you must:

  • Have worked in an eligible position that paid into the state’s unemployment insurance program. For many jobs, you must have worked a certain amount of time to be eligible for benefits. Some states may base this requirement on the amount of income earned, or use a combination of both factors.
  • Be unemployed through no fault of your own. You may be eligible for UI benefits if you quit with good cause.

If you are eligible for assistance, the amount you receive is based on your prior income, state maximums and any other eligible income you may receive. You must also pay taxes on your UI benefits, but you can choose to have the taxes withheld when you receive the benefits. To maintain eligibility, you must make sure to follow state laws for job searches and availability and report any income you receive. The duration of UI benefits can vary by state.

Setting a Reemployment Plan

Looking for a new job after you have been terminated can be a difficult task. However, this could be a chance to take positive steps in your career. You can set a reemployment plan for your job search by using your past experiences and future goals as a guide. You may want a job similar to the one you last had, or you may wish to try something new. Your termination may have shown you areas where you need to improve, and you can take steps to learn and make changes as part of your plan.

Make sure you understand why you were fired and be honest with yourself about whether there are changes you can make to your job performance. You will also need to consider how you will address the topic of your termination in job interviews. It will need to be succinct and professional, as negative comments about your previous workplace will make a bad impression. Once you have a plan, find as many resources as possible to help you. These may include a professional network, friends and family, career centers and online training.

Going Back to School After a Job Termination

A job termination can be an opportunity to go back to school and qualify for another type of job or make yourself a more desirable candidate. It is a decision you should take your time over, however, as college can be very expensive and time consuming. If you are able to afford it, continuing your education can help you with unemployment woes. Before signing up, make sure you understand how to manage your finances and figure out if you would need to work at the same time.

If you have a specific job in mind that needs certain qualifications and credentials, this might make the effort and expense worth it. For example, you may considering moving into the medical field. These types of jobs, depending on the profession, can require specific education and qualifications but provide an excellent paycheck. Make sure you factor any required education into your plans for reemployment.

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