Fired – Oh, Man, Do I Have to Put That on a Resume?

There are many ways to categorize job seekers. For shucks and grins, I am going to do just that. I am going to break this group into two:
• Those with jobs
• And those without jobs
Now, I have no doubt that most of you have heard or read that it is easier to get a job if have a job. Not being a career counselor guru or a job getting Svengali, I am not going to get into the “truth” of that statement. I will just say that both groups have potential issues to deal with.
But for now, let us discuss the second group, those without jobs. When someone comes into see me or I get a resume plopped on my desk, I look to see if the individual is working, and if not – I begin to wonder why.
I wonder about the following:
• Was he fired?
• Was he laid off?
• Did he quit – Why did he quit?
These are questions you must have answers for. How well you answer these questions will get you the job, or at least to the next level.
But before you begin deliberations on whether or how to include this sort of information on your resume, take a good look at your attitude. Let us say that you were fired for being a no-good lazy bum. Regardless of the whether that was true or not, how do you, or would you feel about that? Would you get defensive or depressed?
If you are going to successfully explain all the negatives in your work history, you must first have a paradigm shift. The shift must go away from failure as being a “negative” or failure as being “neutral.” So, you were fired. That would qualify as being a failure, yet it need not be a crushing defeat. It is and should be a learning experience.
It is being more practical than the just tossing out the old clich?�, “looking for a silver lining.” It is a not self-justifying or a delusional denial of being fired. It is simply stating,
“Yes, I was fired. I was fired because, although that was a great company and its leaders were excellent, I lacked the maturity to be a team player. But having gone through that experience, I now understand that I must use my skills and abilities to help elevate the team’s performance. I understand that I am accountable for my own personal performance. But at the same time, I have to be just as committed to success of my peers. This is what I have learned and I am better prepared and ready to contribute positively to your team, because of that”
Or something like that. It is about seeing “failure” as just a result. Result was bad, so you do something else – that simple.
If you truly do take each “failure” as a learning experience, then you will grow and will be a better person for it. But the growth must be genuine.
Lastly, bad news is not like fine wine. It will not get better with age. If you have some negatives in your life, get it out front. Or at the very least, have prepared answers for why the negatives happened. Do not attempt to rationalize or justify the black marks on the fly or off the cuff. You must assume it will all come out and be prepared, accordingly.
Some information, you may not want to volunteer. That is fine; it is a judgment call, after all. Just be prepared.

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