If you’ve heard an employer say this to you more than once, it’s time to do some serious soul-searching. In today’s job market, you can lose a job for any number of reasons. And if you work in an at-will state, an employer doesn’t need a reason to say “Bye-bye.” But if your last few employers said, “You’re fired,” you need to make adjustments to reposition yourself in the marketplace. Here are six ways to rebound in the job market and avoid getting fired in the next job.
#1 Apply for jobs that match your skill set
It frustrates employers to waste time scanning resumes or sitting in interviews with unqualified candidates. Don’t ever lie on your resume, this includes overstating facts. Once the lie is uncovered, the relationship will end—quickly. Be honest with an employer and yourself. If you lack advanced skills, take classes. There are cost-free alternatives. Visit the nearest career center, library or community resource center for a list of free classes and workshops. Other options for up-grading job skills include volunteer, on-the-job-training and mentoring opportunities. For more information, contact local companies and non-profit organizations.
#2 Examine your heart
Challenges encountered on the job could signal underlying emotional pain, personal turmoil or areas that require change and growth. Ask trusted former managers, co-workers or family members for honest feedback. Then, accept and apply the constructive criticism. Study ways to develop and foster healthy relationships through self-help books, articles, blogs, or by hiring a life coach. Efforts to increase strengths and diminish deficiencies will advance your career goals.
#3 Learn to “read” your boss
For years, I’ve studied my supervisors and managers to understand how they think, respond, deal with stress, reward, and celebrate. I’ve learned how to “tune in” to his or her frequency to operate at peak performance. This strategy will help you understand and flow with your leader’s work rhythm.
#4 Be team-focused
Even when you work alone, you’re still a part of the company team. Your actions on the job affect others as their actions affect you. With this in mind, stay focused on the department’s objectives and company goals. This will be a win-win for everyone.
#5 Find ways to de-stress
The affairs of life, plus the demands at work, can create stress for your body. Take time to do something fun. Exercise, read or take a short trip over the weekend. With your body at rest and your mind at peace, imagine what you can accomplish in the week ahead.
#6 Create a life and career plan
Focus on life goals and not just your career; no job can fulfill all your needs. Map out a 1 to 10-year plan. Then, detail daily and monthly plans for the current year. Life works better when you know where you’re going and how to get there. As you follow the plan, watch the progress you will make. You may even land that dream job!
Mistakes are a part of life, but in this economy mistakes can cost you more than a salary. When your actions cause you to lose a job, accept responsibility for it, then course-correct to move forward. Whether you’ve lost your job yesterday or a year ago, it’s not too late to start fresh.
The bottom line is: a little soul-searching and a few personal and professional adjustments now will help you avoid another employer pick slip and the devastation that follows after hearing those two dreaded words “You’re fired!” again.