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You're fired! Surviving getting the sack

Getting fired from your job could be a major blow and a hard one to overcome. Once the first shock has worn off, here's how to deal with being sacked.

Have you been unfairly dismissed? Firstly, ask yourself if you've been fired legally. Unfair dismissal includes: Being sacked for union membership Asking for the minimum wage Blowing the whistle on someone Carrying out health and safety measures If you deliberate you've been dismissed unfairly and want to produce a complaint you must act quickly, as there's a three-month time limit for taking your workplace to an employment tribunal. However, if you've done some of the following, your boss may have a fair reason to fire you: If you've broken your work's rules of conduct Stolen things from the enployer Lied outrageously on your CV Or you haven't been doing your job properly

What should I do if I've been fired? Firstly, ask for a written explanation. You're entitled to a written statement explaining why you've been dismissed if you've worked there for at least a year, or you're under a fixed-term contract that has expired, or you've been dismissed whilst pregnant or on maternity or adoption leave. Try to come to an agreement with your workplace if you promise to improve your performance. They might give you one last opportunity. If you belong to a union explain your situation – they might be able to negotiate on your behalf. And if none of these work, here's what you should do. Try grovelling. Admit that you confirmed mistakes and learn from the experience Sign on. Get down to the Jobcentre as soon as you can and register as unemployed Keep your P45 as your next workplace will need it to type your pay and tax Don't, bear in mind though upset you are, seek revenge as it's probably to backfire. Above all, you might need a reference Going for another job after being fired

Should I lie? It's tempting to lie about it when you're filling in application forms, but it's not wise. Damn-straight lies are often uncovered and many employers are now using checking agencies to be certain that applicants are not being dishonest.

How could I phrase that I got fired? You don't have to put the reason you left your last job on your CV, but it's probably to come up at interrogation. Sometimes it's acceptable to say that you had a ‘difference of opinion', but it depends upon the situation. Place more emphasis on your achievements and what you learned from the job rather than your reason for leaving.

What about getting a reference? If your ex-workplace writes you a reference they're allowed to include accurate information, e.g. if you were disciplined whilst working for them. They could as well choose to give a reference that only confirms your dates of employment. Once you start working for a new workplace, you could ask them for a copy of some reference they've been given about you – they should supply it under data protection law.

Ask yourself why you lost your job If you really hated the line of work you were in, think of this to be an chance to look around for something you might relish more. Getting sacked might seem like a catastrophe at the time, but many individuals have found that it helped them establish a more fulfilling career. In the long run, you may discover things turn out for the greatest.