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Jun 27, 2017
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One of the most life-changing things that can happen to a working millennial is getting terminated from work. Even if you see it coming from a mile away (see: always getting heat from your boss or getting memo after memo from the admin), it’s still surreal when it actually happens. And while most millennials will sulk and try to “find themselves," we don’t want that to happen to you guys. Here are some tips to get you back on your feet even after getting canned.

1) Know why you fucked up

In the Philippines, getting terminated is one of the rarest punishments an employee can face. In fact, this is true even if there is substantial and strong evidence against the employee. Thus, “statistics show that only less than 0.01 percent of the employee population gets terminated every year,” explains Mara, a senior banking executive from the banking industry.

You can actually categorize it into two main reasons why a person can get fired: first, not following the company rules and regulations, which is pretty straightforward, and the second being a bit trickier, because it’s somewhat subjective: performance and behavioral evaluation.

According to Claire, an HR-assistant from a leading publishing company, performance-based and behavioral-based cases are pretty sensitive and a lot of investigation needs to happen before the HR can act. “The company goes through great lengths to try to help the employee learn how to keep up with the company’s standards. For some, may probationary period pa sila to see if kaya pang i-improve performance.”

2) So who gets to be Trump?

It’s important to know who you pissed off enough to actually warrant getting fired. This will help you improve on your future relationships.

The bosses or higher ups play a big part, but contrary to what The Apprentice may suggest, the process is a lot more complicated than you can imagine. According to Mara, “The bosses need to ensure that any offense/violation to the company's Code of Discipline is reported to the proper body in the company. In coordination with HR, due process should be given to the employee through the issuance of a notice of intent to dismiss specifying the grounds for which termination is sought, providing the employee an opportunity to be heard. They should also make sure that the decision to terminate should be communicated to the employee and the Department of Labor and Employment within a prescribed period.”

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But why do you need to know this? Well, to put it simply, if you do ever want to appeal for a reconsideration about your untimely dismissal than you would need to send an appeal within this grace period.

“After the termination decision is issued to the employee, he/she may file for an appeal for reconsideration within a reasonable period of time. This may be addressed to the Appeals Committee/Grievance Committee, or its equivalent, in the company. Further, the legality of a dismissal decision may also be raised by the terminated employee through a formal complaint filed before the Labor Arbiter of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC),” says Mara.

3) The aftermath

It’s no surprise that getting terminated from your job doesn’t only affect your present living state, but might also affect your chances of employment in the future.

It’s all a case to case basis though. According to Mara, in some industries and companies (including banking and finance) a termination record usually results to “an automatic disqualification in the hiring process,” which is a tough pill to swallow if you had plans of pursuing jobs in the same industry.

Sadly, you might have to set your standards a bit lower. “You have to admit that the chances of getting a job with the same pay, at this point, are slimmer than when you were first hired by your previous employer,” says Mara.

But before you get too disheartened by all this real talk, it’s important to know that all of this still depends on the company you’re going to try to get into.

Some companies value your resume rather than your previous work experience. Francis, a guidance coordinator who got fired from his previous job was let go because of moral differences with his employers.

“I think [getting hired] will depend on the context of why you got fired in your previous job. If the grounds for you getting fired are valid and really bad, say you stole from the company, then of course they're probably inclined to shy away from you. In all honesty, I think my resume made up for whatever negativity the incident might have caused, and I do interviews rather well. I think part of it is because of the prestigious school I graduated from. While I feel like the stigma does exist, good companies  are willing to hear the applicant's side,” Francis explains.

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4) Improving yourself

We all know that getting fired is a very stressful and traumatic experience, but keeping yourself together in this ordeal is the first step in developing yourself into a better employee in the future.

A) Work at it

The best way to show your employers that you’re dedicated to doing a better job after your negative experiences with your previous work is to show them your willingness to learn and adapt. Investing your money into further education is an awesome way to build up your skills and your resume.

“After I lost my job, I really made it a point to improve myself. I joined seminars that would be super helpful for the line of work I want to be in. I joined psychology and counseling seminars, and I even went to Taiwan to learn about Buddhism and life education. After that I just sent out my resumes, went to all the interviews, and just chose from the ones that wanted me. I was pretty confident after everything that happened actually,” Francis relates.

B) Cover your bases 

There isn’t really a specific guide on how to make yourself marketable again because there are so many companies out there that are hiring, so the best thing you can do is be flexible enough with your skills sets to cater to the different needs of your possible future bosses.

“The length of time you will be out of work really depends on you. The number of job hunting days will rely mostly on how well you market yourself,” says Mara.

C) Keep your street cred up

Getting positive reviews from your peers (or even other bosses) in your old jobs can also help in convincing new employers of your credibility. “Your different supervisors can have different opinions about you so you better pick your character references wisely,” says Claire.

What’s on paper can only tell you so much. Getting fired from a job doesn’t define you. Your past mistakes don’t get to dictate what you can achieve in the future. Things may look bleak right now, but it’s your prerogative whether you still have the guts to try and achieve success. 

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