Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Many people have been laid off through no fault of their own because their company has downsized or closed completely. These people have done nothing wrong except to be in an unfortunate set of circumstances. Getting fired is something totally different. There may be circumstances in which you were wrongfully terminated but thatís not what we want to focus on here today.
Being let go from a company is an excellent time to take a good look at you. Itís also a time when you may want to think about re-inventing yourself or changing some of your habits. Re-inventing yourself is the best option to ensure success in your next place of employment. Letís take a look at some of the things you can look at to begin your transformation.
1. Did you go around thinking that your boss was a horribly mean, micromanaging tyrant? The world would be great if everyone in it was nice, even tempered and got along. Unfortunately, the world does not operate that simply. There are many supervisors and managers out there who could probably learn a thing or two about people skills. There are those that could learn a thing or two about people skills but yet run very productive departments. Chances are your supervisor is not going to change unless something catastrophic happens to them. Remember, they are the boss. It used to be easy to quit and find work elsewhere. There are two major problems with that line of thinking. First, finding a job is really difficult these days. Second, there is no guarantee that your next boss is going to be any better. In other words, why jump ship if the lifeboat has a hole in it too? While every management self help book tells managers that they need to adapt to their staff, the best thing that you can do is learn to adapt to your bossís style. Be sure that you have an understanding of your supervisorís expectation. While it may seem that your supervisor changes their mind on a dime, at least youíll learn the art of flexibility and going with the flow.
2. Did I make any enemies? Sometimes we make enemies without realizing it. Unfortunately, who we make an enemy might have a direct impact on our job. While weíre not asking you to be a ďyesĒ person, sometimes you have to pick and choose your battles. It may be tempting to make a big deal out of every little issue that you feel slighted over, but ask yourself what if I were to just walk away? Do I really need to argue that point? Will I win anything besides bragging rights, if that? If you find that you have accidentally made an enemy by offending another co-worker, try offering a sincere apology.
3. Does anyone like working with me? It is easy to pick out everyone elseís faults. It might never have occurred to you that perhaps you were not exactly a pleasure to work with. If you find yourself always the last one to be picked to work on a project, ask yourself why. Do you come across as an aggressive, know it all or perhaps youíre too pushy. Examine your personality, speech and demeanor. If management can not count on you to be part of the team because no one wants you on their team, then your time on the team may be cut short.
4. Did I follow up and follow through on my commitments? Volunteering to serve on every committee or offering to take on every new project means nothing, if you do not follow through on your commitment. Learn to be counted on to say what youíll do and do what you say.
5. Did I keep my game face or was my discontent visible to management? Did you participate in the rumor mill? Were you too outspoken about issues, policies or procedures that you didnít like. Portraying a constant negative attitude about management and the company will not get you looked on as a team player. If you create too many unnecessary, unprofessional waves, you may end up being asked to leave the party.
There are so many reasons for termination. Can you find any trap that you possibly fell into? Are you willing to change before working for your next employer? Here are a few questions that you need to ask yourself:
Did I procrastinate in getting my work done?
Did I produce quality work or was it sloppy work?
Did I try to get additional training or resources to perform better?
Was I a proactive self starter or did I wait always wait for instructions?
Did I bring my personal life to work?
Did I spend too much time socializing?
Stop placing the blame on everyone but yourself. Take the time to explore each of these questions and answer each one honestly. A good hard look is the only way to find the answer to your termination. Think about ways to make changes in these areas. A good honest look will also be the only way that you can start to identify changes and reinvent yourself so that you will be successful in your next job.