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Laid Off, Fired Or Leaving On Your Own

termination of employment, job transition, job search, on your, build confidence, jobs seeker, jobs, employment, owning, offshoring, labor, fired, lefts, layoff, leaving, job, mindset There are many ways to leave a job.  And to begin a job search.  Some are positive and productive.  And some are cruel.  Frustrating and bewildering.

Some of us are victims of the man.  True innocents.   Others are victims of mistakes we’ve made all on our own.  Or simply lacking the smarts.  To remove ourselves from a bad situation when we still could.  Under our own power.

This is a topic I cover in one of my favorite presentations.  On the psychology of successful job search.  You can see some of this presentation for job seekers on You Tube.

Being aware of your mindset as you begin a job transition is critical.  When your mind is positive, negative or somewhere in between, this will dictate the way you play with others.  Especially if you lost a job that really mattered.


For the most part, getting layoffs stink.  It is often without warning.  In fact, getting laid off is like experiencing a tornado.  And there is a definite re-building process that needs to happen as job search begins.  Physically and mentally.

But some who experience layoffs have an early epiphany that perhaps their termination was not such a bad thing.  They see it as a fresh start.  A chance to transition to something new.  Meet new people and experience a new company’s culture.  Until optimism around the job search leads to complacency.  And complacency leads to an extended job search.

For others any benefit from layoffs comes later.  Often much later.  Early on, though, there is a strong feeling of abandonment.  Separation from the company that nurtured you.  Provided comfort, friendships and a sense of work happiness.  You didn’t just lose a job.  You lost a community.  A culture.

And there’s pain in realizing that the community is still working without you.  That your participation was optional.  That’s a hard pill to swallow.

Especially if you felt you gave your life to that company.  The layoffs came.  And they decided to drop you at the curb.


Getting fired can be brutal.  And it really carries some different implications.  When you layoffs come, you are usually a part of a larger scale change in the organization.  You are not a bad person.  You are just being swept up.

Getting fired is personal.  It says that you are less than average.  Or that you did something wrong.  Damaged goods.  No matter the actual reason for your firing, there are some different questions in your head.  Things you need to process before you can head into interview land or begin career networking for job search.

Because when someone asks how you became available, you have to prepare a story.  Or at least a version of one.  That doesn’t shrink completely from the truth.  Yet allows you to tell it without feeling like a pariah.

And here there is a need to base your story in truth.  Because part of telling your story is coming to grips with it.  Recognizing that mistakes were made or that the fit wasn’t entirely good.  Or as good as you thought when you first accepted the original job offer.

Leaving On Your Own

If you quit your job or are planning to quit your job before you find another, you are sitting on a very different set of ideas and certainly fewer inhibitions.  That last link is to the beginning of a three part post on leaving on your own.  If you’ve done it or are thinking about doing it,  you should pop up two lines and read that series.  To help you really think through your decision.

Because it is a big one.  One that I made after months of deep thought.  I decided to leave to pursue a big passion.  Helping others.  Something I felt I had to do.  And saw my mid-40′s as the right time to do it.  You can read about my decision to leave a job and start a new one.

In the end, your job is to know yourself.  Your mindset.  And your influencing experiences.

Before you transition and begin engaging the job search community.

Photo Credit

Tim Tyrell-Smith is the creator of Tim’s Strategy. As a blogger, Tim has been a regular contributor to U.S. News and World Report, interviewed twice on NPR and is the author of two career books (“30 Ideas” and “HeadStrong”). Become a fan at http://facebook.com/TimsStrategy and follow on Twitter (@TimsStrategy). He lives with his wife and three kids in Mission Viejo, California.

Tim Tyrell-Smith – who has written posts on Tim's Strategy®.

Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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