Written by: Toni Foot
Do you dread going to work in the mornings? Are you worried that you may lose your job in the near future? If so, these points may help you to make the most of your situation.
Test the water
If you have concerns about getting fired a good step forward may be to ask some careful questions of those around you. This is particularly important if you are worried about your performance and how it is perceived by others. You never know; you may be worrying over nothing. If your fears are justified, at least you know where you stand and can make a decision about what to do next.
Ask for promotion
Doing a job that makes you unhappy can have a big impact on your life yet making the decision to leave that job can be more difficult than it sounds. If you are considering leaving, or you think you are about to be fired, try asking for a promotion. You have nothing to lose, so why not? You may be pleasantly surprised if your employer agrees and offers you a better situation.
If the end is in clear sight then perhaps leaving your job could be the best option for you. By taking the initiative to leave you could avoid excruciating conversations with your employer. This is great for you as it means you can leave with your dignity in tact, and great for your employer because it saves them having to make the decision for you. However it is worth remember that finding a new job is often easier if you are currently employed, so it may be a good idea to hold off until you have secured a new job if at all possible.
Ask for a reference
Before you leave a job (voluntarily or otherwise) ask for a reference. When asked for a reference most employers will avoid being openly negative about an individual as they will not want to risk legal repercussions should their words have a detrimental effect on their employment opportunities. Use this to your advantage and ask for a reference directly. Of course it would be prudent to choose your referee carefully! If there is someone you have worked well with or have built a good relationship with at work then ask them to write a reference for you. Even if they are not your employer or even your manager, a good reference may well help you. They may agree to be a contact should a new employer wish to speak to someone about you personally.
There are many reasons an employer may want you to leave. Sometimes you make one too many mistakes, sometimes your efforts are not as good as they could be. Of course doing a job you really don’t enjoy is not going to make you work to the best of your ability! If you have not worked as hard as you could or if you did something significant enough to justify dismissal (such as theft) then it is perfectly reasonable to expect to be fired. However, sometimes an employer wants to fire you for inappropriate reasons including your race, gender or age. If you think that you are really being asked to leave because of something other than your ability or willingness to do the job then seek advice on whether or not you should take legal action. Speak to the HR department or union representative as a starting point, or instruct a lawyer to advise you.
If you find yourself getting fired from a job, try to get over it rather than mulling over what happened endlessly. You may not have had a choice about leaving your job, but you can choose what you do next. If you go for a while without employment, take any help on offer. You may be entitled to benefits or training that could help improve your chances of employment: take these opportunities. A potential employer may not be put off by the fact that you were asked to leave your previous position if you can be positive about it. However, if you complain and insist upon deconstructing the reasons why you should not have been asked to leave, a potential employer will be far from impressed.
The impression you give in an interview is very important so make sure you leave them feeling positive about you rather than wanting you to stop moaning! Although you should be honest to an interviewer, you can present this information positively if you plan what you want to say before the interview. For example, if you got fired from a job that you did not enjoy, you could say that you are not upset by the situation because it gave you the opportunity to find something that you enjoy more, or that gives you more opportunities to progress.
Everyone makes mistakes. Try to use getting fired as an opportunity for a change rather than a reason to be angry or sad. If you were fired because you made mistakes, think about what you did and how you could avoid doing so again. If the job was so uninspiring that you struggled to get out of bed then perhaps you need to consider a different type of job. Look into training or opportunities to be self-employed: anything that would improve your job satisfaction.