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What should I do after I get fired?

Nobody likes to be on the wrong side of the table when jobs start getting cut. The trauma of getting fired could stir up many emotions — it can be difficult to know what to do next.

The job market in California is relatively healthy at the moment, and, if you were to lose your job, it could be easier than you think to get a new one. However, there also could be legal issues involved. It would be prudent to investigate your options before you make a decision — whether to look for a new job or pursue legal action against your former employer, for example.

If you were to be fired, the first thing you should think about doing is collecting all of the information relevant to the event. Whether or not you believe there is an obvious case of wrongful termination, strong evidence is often tantamount to success during negotiations and litigation. It would probably be wise to exercise extra caution if your communications were taking place over your employer's private communications systems — you might want to make personal copies if it is not a violation of your contract. 

Generally speaking, the first thing you should do when you get fired is take a step back. Ask yourself some questions:

  • Do your employer's reasons for firing you make sense?
  • Did you underperform somehow?
  • Were your employer or your duties bad fits for you, personally or professionally? 

The goal is not to dwell on the past, but instead to guide the development of your career in the future. This information could also help you determine whether or not you may have a wrongful termination case.

If you got fired, you might want to simply move on — this is a viable strategy in some cases. However, it would typically take only a simple overview to determine whether you would gain some benefit from pursuing legal action against your former employer. Every case is different, so please do not view this as legal advice. It is meant only to inform.

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