We spoke to the experts to discuss some comeback strategies for bouncing back after being fired from your job.

Work through your emotions
Toy Joubert, founder of Career Change, says that being fired for misconduct is more traumatic because of the mountain of emotions you may experience. “The first and foremost thing to do is to work through the emotional impact that being fired has on you. It can be especially difficult for men to recover, because we unfortunately still live in a culture where ‘cowboys don’t cry’. Being able to forgive yourself will bring about healing and make is easier to move forward.”

Time to eat humble pie
“Regaining your credibility, integrity and reputation after bad behaviour means eating humble pie,” says Modise Mogotsi, an occupational therapist and lifestyle consultant. “After being fired, you don’t have to make it known to the world. However, depending on your position, the world may already know. Irrespective of whatever position you’re in, you would have to start building trust by being prepared to go the extra mile to prove your worth to yourself. Once the humility prevails, then the humanity will praise and protect you.”

Paper trail
There’s always a paper trail and if references are required for a new job, it will be difficult to cover up your past, says Stefano Vermonti, a registered counsellor.

Don’t lie
“When applying for a new job, don’t lie about being fired,” says Joubert. “When filling out the application, write a simple but honest reason, for example: “My service was terminated”. Lying on an application can be grounds for dismissal, should the truth become known once you are employed at your new job.”

How to recover
Vermonti offers the following advice when recovering from misconduct:

  • If the misconduct is serious and you realise what you did wrong, then you should go for counselling – ask the counsellor for a report as proof when you are applying for a job.
  • Do some voluntary work or community service to show your remorse and get reports for everything you do. When you approach your new employer or go for an interview, you can say that you know you have done wrong and have followed the necessary steps to show that you won’t do this sort of thing again.
  • Research your new job, company and prospective employer and show them you know all you can about what the job entails. If you show them other strong qualities, then they may be able to overlook the misconduct.

Sound advice
Joubert says that before going for interviews, go for interview skills coaching. “This can help you build confidence and assist in getting comfortable with the interview process. It is also an opportunity to work on exactly how to explain why you were fired, what you learned from it and how you plan on moving forward.”