Getting fired is a huge blow to us, not only in terms of our career as nurses but personally as well. If you’re not able to get past the experience, you’re likely to get stuck on the same page in fear of experiencing rejection.
1. Put things into perspective
For nurses who have worked so hard to earn their licenses, getting fired from work can be a bit difficult to take in. There’s the fear of not being able to work again, losing their license and the anxiety of committing the same mistakes.
Before you can rebuild your nursing career, it’s important that you gain a proper perspective of the things that happened and what may happen. You need to overcome your fear and anxiety to be able to gain back your confidence in your skills. If you won’t be able to convince yourself that you can do the job, employers may also find it hard to believe and hire you.
2. Find a support system
Depression is a common reaction among people who got laid off from work. However, although normal, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can just let it consume you. Most of the time, depression can be accompanied by mood lability, anxiety attacks, and even anger. The effects of being unemployed can make things a lot worse for you, too.
There’s no definite timeline as to when these emotions will put to a screeching halt. It can take weeks or even months before you can get back to your normal self. While adjusting, you can try to be an active member of your nursing group or join one in case you’re not affiliated with any group yet.
“When I was terminated, the first person I reached out to was my clinical instructor from my nursing school. We’ve been friends right after graduation and I was able to work with her sometime in my career. Although I was not able to get my job back, my instructor helped me cope and find a better work,” a 2-year head nurse shared.
3. Seek a volunteer position
Finding a paid job straight after getting fired can be difficult. Instead of hunting for such jobs, you can try applying for a volunteer position. This can help increase your work experience which you can talk about in your next interview. It will also help you adjust to the situation better than sitting at home and feeling frustrated about yourself.
“A few weeks after I got fired, I applied for a volunteer nursing job in one of our local clinics in the area. I decided to apply to the position just to get my mind off of overthinking. I didn’t expect it to happen, but I got hired formally by the same institution just after two months of doing volunteer work for them,” a 28-year old male nurse said.
4. Stay positive
Termination doesn’t always mean you did something bad. Employers can terminate their nurses if they’ve been with them for too many years already. They can also fire employees who are already on the high end of their pay scale. No matter what brought your termination, it’s essential that you keep a positive outlook about your job.
5. Own it
Whatever the reason is for your termination, it’s important that you take responsibility for it. If you don’t own it, you’re likely to blame other people and the situation for what’s happening to you. As a result, you’ll find it hard to talk about your strengths since you’ll be busy badmouthing your previous work.
Take for example the effects of short staffing. If you failed to give or you gave the wrong medications to one of your patients, you can’t put all the blame in your working condition. You should own up to your negligence.
What’s the best way to cope with termination? How do you rebuild your career after a downfall?