Posted by: Donna Cunningham | January 10, 2010

How to Lose Your Fear of Being Fired

Donna Cunningham Skywriter astrology blog©by an Anonymous Author at WikiHow

The risk of being fired is the biggest axe a company or a manager holds over an employee’s head. Yet despite its commonness, we have tacitly accepted the idea that being fired is not only costly and disruptive to employees, their families, and their communities, but is also a shameful thing which should be avoided at all costs. For this reason, many of us will accept untenable conditions at work and go to extraordinary lengths to keep our jobs.


Adopt a positive attitude that overcomes the threat of being fired. Fear is oppressive and threatening, and it can cause one anxiety over many of one’s actions or thoughts. Anxious employees are less productive, because they fear making the wrong decision or saying the wrong thing and because they avoid complaining about any problems they encounter. Moreover, chronic stress hits employees’ health hard. Make a resolution that you will not tolerate working in a state of fear.

Learn not to feel as if being fired is such a horrible or embarrassing situation. Do not walk around with your head hanging down, fearful that someone will find you sitting in the park instead of being on the job. Many are fired for reasons other than their job performance or ability to function in the office environment. Often being fired is a blessing, as it actually enables you to get out of a rut and find a job more to your liking and better suited to your abilities.

Understand that many common reasons people get fired are often not as a result of the employee’s own faults or behavior. The only major exceptions are situations where a person is fired for harassing or abusive behavior, or if a person has a history of repeatedly being fired or plain lazy and uncooperative. Even then, it is possible for a fired person to get another chance if he or she is confident and can make the appropriate (or strategic) changes in his or her approach to working life. If you are fired for one of the following reasons, you have been unlucky, but preparing for contingencies can help you move forward.

Donna Cunningham Skywriter astrology blogPersonality mismatch – You remained because of the money, but actually you were not happy with the surroundings. The attitudes of the people around you were not compatible with yours. The work was repetitious and became boring, the staff were not friendly and the entire environment was not comfortable. Being fired is probably a blessing, as it frees you to search for employment that is a better match for your experience and personality.

  • Skills mismatch – When you applied for the job, you were not fully aware of the full responsibilities of the job or the potential hardships it contained. This might be because the person who hired you did not accurately judge whether your skills and experience would match the job description or was lax in making things clear enough. Another possibility is where the job duties were switched on you after you were hired. If so, while it did not work out, at least you tried. Think positive as you will have better luck elsewhere.
  • Refusing to go along – Standing up for your beliefs, refusing to be dishonest or to overlook faulty business practices and being fired for it is not a slur on you; you should be proud for standing up for what is right.
  • Downsizing – Thousands of people are downsized every day. It’s not their fault. It’s an impersonal technique by which companies raise the value of their stock. The company itself may be moving to different countries to lower expenses. In this economic state, it could happen more often. The bosses don’t take great pleasure to force a closure of a company with so much history behind it.

Unreasonable – If you became pregnant or needed to take time off to tend to a sick child, and if you put in a request for a short leave of absence and were fired, it had nothing to do with you. Do not blame yourself. You might even be able to sue the company in this case for job discrimination.

Make being fired less of a problem even though it creates more problems. Economic uncertainty is the most difficult result of being fired. Not knowing how you will pay the bills or how to tell the kids you cannot buy them the new computer they wanted can cause many sleepless nights. Suddenly your mortgage payment seems even larger, and you are concerned about your kids’ college savings.

  • Increase your work options by developing your personal and professional skills and cultivating a solid network.
  • Diversify your resources. Increase your investments, start your own business, or organize with the labor movement.
  • Keep your consumption as low as you possibly can, so that you’re not 100% dependent on that pay check every month. That means not eating out or going to the movies for awhile. Cultivate healthy and cheap avocations instead, such as hiking, walking, gardening, reading, and getting together with friends to play music. You may even have to give up smoking. That probably would be the best thing that could come out of being fired.Donna Cunningham Skywriter astrology blog

Re-invent yourself. Being let go grants you an opportunity to let go. A forced break from work can provide an chance to change the course of your life. Changing directions might might entail additional training, education, or apprenticeship, and probably resets your position on the pay/position ladder. Perhaps these are changes you wanted to make anyway, but could not because you had seemingly stable employment.


Explaining to a prospective employer that you were fired is a lingering concern. If you are ashamed of losing your job or believe that having been fired reflects badly on you, such low self-esteem will be evident in your job interviews. It’s much better for you to hold your head up high and explain the circumstances exactly, without emotion and factually. Convey an attitude of: “I was fired for X reasons but I have gathered myself together and I move on.” Employers will make an issue out of it if you do not demonstrate the truth, clear facts and a responsible future-projected attitude. Provided you explain it correctly, an employer is more likely to see a person with the right attitude and get-up-and-go needed in the new company, along with someone who has had experience of hardship and moved through it successfully.

       It is not smart to be willing to spend your work life going along with just about anything simply to hang on to a job that isn’t good for you.

       If your career field has a heavy turnover you shouldn’t be ashamed to move forward with your head held high. You can always explain to future employers that the field had heavy turnover and termination and downsizing were common. Emphasize that you are looking for a career at a stable company where loyalty and good work are appreciated.

       If you are in a heavy turnover career or your company has started increasing the number of terminations, you should start looking for something more stable if you fear your job is in danger.

Just because firings are happening all around you it doesn’t mean your job is in danger. They may appreciate you more than you think. If morale is low around the company because of layoffs, go to your boss and let them know. Offer to help plan a office party or other morale builder.


 If you’re miserable at work, don’t wait to be fired. Do yourself a favor and quit! There is a better job out there for you. Free yourself to find it, but always remember to be careful in how you go about changing your employment. Ensure that you have a minimum of three months pay in the bank and that you have good references in place before leaving in a huff.

       All legal claims have time limits, and some are surprisingly short. The time limit for environmental whistle blowers to file a complaint against retaliation is just thirty days. Some public employees have time limits as short as ten days.

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  1. Donna, I’ve had jobs since I was 10 years old. When I was 12, I was pulling 14 hour shifts as a carhop at a drive in. I’ve worked hard and dedicated all my life, whether it be cleaning toilets as a professional housecleaner or writing a front page newspaper article. So when I was fired without warning, no write-ups except positive valuations, etc. — I was devasted and came close to having a ‘nervous breakdown.’ [Moon in Gemini in the 6th house — suppose that makes me emotional about my job??!!] Re-inventing myself has been slow but as this article points out, with hindsight we often look at getting fired as a blessing. A year later, my husband, who worked at the same company as I had, was fired after pulling a double shift no less! He said he was finally glad he could sleep through the night:)

    • That IS devastating. It sounds like a place with very little in the way of management standards and an autocratic boss. Donna

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