By Kate Sullivan
So you’re had the awkward conversation, packed your box and changed your employment status to “actively seeking new opportunities”. Eish, job loss is scary.
Here, how to light a match under your butt and go from fired to hired. Breathe and use these pointers:
Appoint your advocates
Reference- checking company Allison & Taylor estimates that 50 percent of its reference comes back as “lukewarm” or “negative”- evidence that you should hammer this out during your exit interview. Fortunately, many human resources departments won’t completely trash-talk fired employees because they don’t want to be invited to a sit-down with the CCMA. Ask a peer or client to be the voice
of your time at your last company.
Educate yourself by researching the company and the job itself and spend time thinking about what you can bring to the table. Try and have smart answers to smart-and dumb questions…What? Yes, someone will ask you, “What do you do in your free time?” The more interesting answer, the better, because your potential employer is also considering you as someone with whom she’ll be spending eight-plus hours a day.
Be honest when asked, “what’s your biggest weakness”? Don’t disguise strength as a weakness. You know where you excel and where you could use some work. Think ahead of time about how to present that.
Be upfront about what you want
Employment is a two-way agreement. If you’re looking for a job that doesn’t include certain factors, speak up. That way you won’t arrive on day one and discover that the job you though you wanted was not it at all.
Answer the tough question
Prepare a short response about why you parted ways with your previous employer and try to spin it somewhat positively towards yourself. If it was a bad fit, say what you learnt (“The isolated environment helped me discover I work better on a team”). Practise until it comes out sounding natural. The interviewer is going to pay as much attention to how you come across as she is to your answer. “If you’re embarrassed or bitter, it’ll show”, says career transition expert Louise Kursmark, author of Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed, Get Hired.
Take a cue from these celebrities who found success after being given the boot…
- You might not be able to sing like her but you could channel her determination…she continued to perform in New York City clubs-where she allegedly created her Grammy-winning persona.
- If you need some local inspiration, Zenande Mfenyana who was part of the 16 actors sacked from Generation, was snapped up to play Reva on et.v’s Ashes to Ashes; and the word on the street is…she seems happier than ever.
- Kerry Washington would not have been able to play everyone’s favourite mistress and sip red wine on Scandal if she hadn’t been recast on at least one other show.
Consider that interview, nailed!