How To Handle Termination

I’ve recently been terminated – without cause – from a company where I’ve worked for almost ten years.  They simply told me I wasn’t fitting in.  They handed me a six-month severance package which is great but now I’m feeling apprehensive.  Do you have any ideas for me?
You are probably still feeling quite numb, especially if your termination came as a shock.  I presume you were called into an office at relatively short notice and HR had prepared the entire arrangement.

While you may have been surprised with what has transpired, on reflection, you can likely see some of the “signs” that led to your termination.
Your supervisor may have been reasonably pleased with your work, for example, but perhaps there wasn’t the level of encouragement or support that you might have expected.

Promotions may not have been awarded to you and it was rarely identified how you could improve your chances for advancement.

The word “chemistry” though rather indistinct, can often capture the difficulties that may emerge between employees and their supervisors.  There is latent tension and a sense that the people are not connecting well.

 “Chemistry” can also speak to the lack of compatibility between various people in an office: this can cause inefficiencies and a decline in productivity as people tend to compete rather than cooperate.

In any event, while reflection may be somewhat therapeutic, you now need to learn from the experience and move on.  Put aside the temptation to dwell in the past and second guess anything you may have said or done.

It is now time for you to become strategic in your career.  Although you don’t identify your age, I am assuming you are in your twenties or thirties – or beyond.  You have invested a significant portion of your life in service to this company.

Although you may be comforted with six months to secure a new position, the time will pass quickly.  Don’t wait to pursue job opportunities.  Begin networking immediately and visit career websites.

A career coach could be invaluable at this time and you should also review and revise your resume to ensure it is contemporary.

Be a disciplined time manager.  You recent job required that you be at your desk for at least seven hours a day.  Plan to spend a similar amount of time each day on activities related to finding a new position.

Stay emotionally and physically healthy with a sensible diet, plenty of regular exercise and spending quality time with family and friends.  Don’t give in to potentially harmful addictions such as smoking and excessive drinking.

Being terminated after a decade of work with the same employer can be upsetting.  Stay active, however, and look upon this time as an opportunity to take your career in a whole new direction.  Work hard at finding a position and seek advice from friends and a career coach to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Submit your confidential questions relating to work and office life to Simon through our contact page.

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