If you walked into your office one day only to find out that you have terminated without reason, you will likely be consumed with questions. However, the most important question that matters is “what you can do after being wrongfully terminated?”. During this challenging time, you might already be dealing with lots of stress, but you should know there are options and things you can do to get your career back on track. In this article, I am going to highlight eight things that you must follow if you have been wrongfully fired so that you can remedy the situation as much as you can.
1. Keep Yourself Cool and Professional
The very first thing that you must do despite how stressful you are is to keep your cool. I understand that suddenly losing your job can take a very hard toll, but you have to keep the bigger picture in mind. If you act hastily or act unprofessionally, you may burn potential bridges, or worse, you may dilute your potential wrongful termination case. If you have to go back to the office to get your stuff or your last paycheck, ensure to keep your emotions in check and not let them overcome you.
2. Consult with an Employee Rights Attorney
The very next step that you should take is to contact an employee attorney. Employment lawyers are skilled in many areas of law and have experience with many types of cases, including wrongful termination. An attorney who has been working in the field long enough should be able to provide guidance and reassurance that may help you de-stress. They can help you understand the validity of your case and the claim that you can make depending on your situation. If you do decide to pursue the case, they will also fight for you in court.
3. Find Out the Reason You Were Fired
Now that you have an attorney at your side, you should begin making a case for yourself. In such cases, the more information you have, the stronger your case is. If advised by your attorney, you may be able to collect some information regarding your case. Oftentimes, there may be discrimination or harassment at play and any events that have happened previously should be recorded.
4. Don’t Discuss the Severance Package with Anyone
If you have been fired wrongfully and your company knows it, they will probably try to please you with a low-ball offer. It is advisable to speak with an employment attorney to get an understanding of what an appropriate severance package may be for your situation. If you want to get the best possible deal, you need to make sure that you research company policies on severance packages so that you are prepared to fight on your behalf. In some cases, the company might even offer you a package during the termination process, so you should also be on the lookout for that.
5. Negotiate the Terms of Your Departure
Now that you might have some idea of why you are being fired, you have the ball in your court. If you think that you are being fired wrongfully, you have all the right cards in your hands. Ideally, you can easily negotiate the maximum amount of severance package. On top of that, if you rely on your company for health and other benefits, you need to make sure that such things are extended for a longer period. Before you sign any documents, you should get these details down in writing and speak with a qualified attorney. Your attorney can help you with the process so that you do not lose out on any well-deserved benefits.
6. Reach Out to Your Network
If you are certain that the decision for your termination is solid, you need to take some steps to get back on your feet as soon as possible. Besides finding jobs on online platforms like LinkedIn and Glassdoor, you should let your friends know that you are searching for a new job. Depending on your peers, you might be able to secure a good job in no time if you have the right qualifications. Take some time to consider how you are going to present your story to the new place you are interviewing on why you were fired in the first place.
7. Start Brushing Up Your Resume
While you may not have paid any attention to your resume while you were gainfully employed, you need to start prepping for new job applications. For that to happen, you might have to brush up your resume and update the projects and jobs you have done over the years. You should clearly highlight the skills that you have obtained over the years so that you can showcase that you are qualified for the position. Remember, if you were wrongfully terminated, the termination should not impact your future career outlook. Speaking with an attorney can help you to protect your reputation in your field.
8. Take Action Right Away
Last but not least, time is of the essence in cases like these. You might be at a very low point in your life because of losing your job, but you should know this is just one setback and you can overcome it. Working with the right lawyer to seek justice will pay off in the long run. Although filing a wrongful termination claim may seem intimidating at first, exploring this option recommended.
Instead of getting bogged down, raise your spirits and fight for your justice. And remember, although you can’t change the past, the future doesn’t have to be determined by this event. Your skills are still valuable, and you will find a new job. Getting fired is by no means the end of your career but only a setback. If you look at it from a greater perspective, in many cases, getting fired can also give you the time to make an assessment of your career and re-evaluate any career moves you have been considering.