It's no secret that getting fired from your job is awful -- it can makes you feel insecure and out of control of your life.
But bouncing back is easier than you think, our experts say, and maybe even put you in a better situation than the one you just lost. We can't take the pain away, but these tips can help you navigate the aftermath.
David Fagiano, COO of Dale Carnegie Training, an employment resource center, said that a typical first reaction after getting fired is feeling that the company was wrong, and the second is that you are worthless. It can take a month to emotionally recover, he warned.
"The recovery key is to be realistic: Look at yourself and say, 'what happened?'" Fagiano said.
You have to be brutally honest with yourself: Think about the mistakes you made and whether you were motivated to try harder, or if you were bored. "For the most part what you're going to find is was a lousy fit," he said.
Once you've come to terms with that, it's time to try to move on -- bills have to be paid, after all.
Networking is always key to finding a new job, but before you put yourself out there, get your story straight, said Karen Elizaga, a Manhattan-based executive career coach and author of "Find Your Sweet Spot: A Guide to Personal and Professional Excellence," out next month.
"Make sure you talk about your last job in a productive way," she advised. "If they say, 'well what happened?' you can say 'well my job was really great but now I'm looking for something else. I'm really looking to create a new opportunity for myself."
Fagiano agrees with putting a positive spin on the truth. "And that is, 'you know what, it turned out to be a not great fit for me and the company recognized that, so we parted ways,'" he said. "I didn't say I was fired, I didn't say I left on my own."
And don't worry about a reference, as most companies today will only confirm dates of employment anyway, regardless of your reason for leaving.
One more major decision to tackle, Fagiano said, is whether to look for another position in the same field, or consider changing careers. A career change can mean a salary cut, but it can turn this experience into the catalyst for a happier life.
"It's a decision point that's extremely painful, extremely, but it has to be faced," Fagiano said of pledging to try something new. But, he added, "your next choice, and there will always be a next choice, will be a better fit."