So let’s get straight to point, no chaser; you’re on the rocks and you feel the burn; you got fired. I’m not referring to those who got laid off due to company restructuring or someone who blatantly assisted with his own dismissal, although you can stay tuned if this applies to you. I’m specifically referring to those who got the proverbial pink slip, the ax, the boot; simply because you were not a good fit for the position you were hired for. Perhaps you meant well, but just weren't cutting it. Getting fired may have left you feeling defeated, embarrassed, sadden or downright mad. Allow yourself a brief moment to grieve, then pick up the pieces, reflect, learn and take action.
Guess what, it happened to me some moons ago, so you’re not alone. I was working in a sales position for a major multimedia company and was approached by a much smaller company looking to expand their magazine franchise in the United States. I was impressed. I wasn't even looking for a position at the time and they wanted me to work for them. But hindsight tells me that they interested in my connections and I was reeled in with an offer for higher pay. The informal interview went well and I even made a sale on my first day. Unfortunately, that was my first and only sale and 2 months later I was on the job market.
Failure teaches us a hard lesson, so take heed unless you want to do a retake. I learned that I really didn't understand what I was getting myself into. Being young, naïve, and overly optimistic I didn't realize how much tougher sales can be when working with a new brand versus an established brand. And essentially, I was hired to do hardcore grassroots direct marketing; not what I anticipated. Remember an interview goes two ways, so while you prepare for potential questions, be sure to prepare questions to ask. Do your due diligence and research as much as you can about the company and the position.
Begin making preparations for your next step. Be prepared to answer the question on why you separated with the company. Be honest without giving too many details. Explain that the position or the company was not a good fit, perhaps what you've learned and transition to what you want and how it aligns with the company’s needs. It could sound something like, “I quickly found out that phone sales wasn't a good fit for me and that I enjoy face-to-face sales, which is what attracted me to this retail sales position.” Notice by the end of the statement you just refocused the conversation and plugged in why you’re a good fit. (I’m not a bad salesperson after all…wink.)
And you’re not so bad yourself. Good people get fired all the time, so don’t let the experience kill your confidence. Take the lesson for what is and move forward by taking action and go from fired to hired!