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Here are five tips to address dismissal from a previous job

Your head is swimming, your heart is pounding and you are breaking a serious sweat. You were just shown the door – maybe even escorted out. You’ve been terminated.

It happens to the best of us, and sometimes it makes no sense whatsoever. Don’t beat yourself up. What’s done is done, and don’t waste time pointing fingers, casting blame or wallowing in self-pity.

Your main concern is an obvious one: Getting a new job. A temp-to-hire job with AtWork is a sure bet to get you back on your feet. But how to explain away this low point in your career? How do you address the fact with potential new employers you were unceremoniously canned? Here are five tips for addressing the dismissal with a prospective employer:

1. Be honest. Granted, it can be easier to explain a dismissal without cause (i.e., your boss had a personal problem with you) than an explosive incident that led to your termination (threatening a coworker or subordinate). Don’t be dishonest or skirt the truth. Your story will be checked out.

2. Explain what you learned. Every negative incident in life can be a learning experience. Explain in the interview that you now know how important ample and honest communication is with your boss. Tell them you now know the full value of filing those TPS reports accurately and on time.

3. Don’t badmouth anybody. Display to your prospective employer that you are a reasonable person who holds no grudges or carries no bitterness. This can sour your prospects. Sure, you may still be steaming inside, but keep it there. It’s best for all involved, however, if you find true inner peace with what happened.

4. Highlight your strengths. You were hired at your previous job for a reason. Maybe you excelled at most aspects of your job but failed at one crucial juncture. Extoll your successes, and again reinforce the fact you learned from the experience or overcame the shortcoming that prompted your dismissal.

5. Brevity is best. Don’t launch into a drawn out explanation on why you were let go. Hit the high points (maybe rehearse ahead of time). It is also best to avoid the word “firing” as that could carry more negative context than more neutral words such as “dismissal.”

Stay positive. Stay honest. You’ve gotten a job before; you will get one again. Contact AtWork today so we can help. Who knows, losing that job may be the best thing that ever happened to you.

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