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By Anne Holub / PayScale
December 29, 2015
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There's nothing good about getting fired … or is there? We think there are actual life lessons to be learned when you get the boot, and if you take them to heart, you'll likely be a stronger, better, more attractive person (or maybe just the first two). Either way, there are good things to learn from a horrible situation.

Today: Stay Calm

The worst thing you can do in the moment of the ax falling is to freak out and do something irrational and unforgettable. Don't turn over any desks, don't set anything on fire, don't poop anywhere you shouldn't be pooping. Not that you should be ever-vigilant that you're getting fired, but look at these tips for keeping calm.

Tomorrow: Make Some Appointments

Things you should do in the immediate aftermath are pretty adult-y. If you have 30 days of health insurance, take advantage of them. Make those doctor's appointments you've been putting off, get your eyes checked, and fill those prescriptions (for 90 days if you can). You'll also want to take a look at your finances. See what you can cancel or cut back on (you might need to say goodbye to cable or eating out for a while). You'll also need to file for unemployment. Procedures vary by state, so you'll want to check with yours to see what paperwork you'll need. (And yes, you can still file if you get fired.)

Next Week: Take a Test (or Three)

You know those "what color are you" kind of quizzes that HR is always trying to get you to take seriously? Maybe you should. It isn't a bad idea to find out a little bit more about yourself. Take introspection to heart and try to figure out what kind of worker you are. Do you prefer big groups or to be left alone? Do you want a boss whose hands-on or -off? There are a lot of test options out there, and some of them might be a good use of your afternoon. Even if you never share the results with anyone but your dog, they might not be a good idea for the hiring process, but they should be a good idea for your personal job-vetting process.

Down the Line: Don't Make the Same Mistakes Next Time

Your wounds still might be pretty raw, but sitting down and assessing what just happened can be great therapy, and preparation for your next job. Write down exactly what just went down. Try to not think about "faults" but instead, just write a narrative of what started the train off the rails. If you can start to digest the storyline, you can start to spot potential dangers at your next job.

Next Job: Rehearse Your Story

When you're filling out an application, you'll want to know exactly how to respond to that "reason for leaving last job" line, and how to deal with the inevitable questions during an interview. If you have former co-workers (who weren't your boss) you can call on for recommendations, do it sooner rather than later. You might need to discuss with them why you left, as well, so have that straight before you reach out to them.

Ultimately, getting fired doesn't have to be the worst thing that ever happened to you. It happens to people all the time (even famous people). Try to relax and get back on your feet, sport. We believe in you.

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