Know A Frustrated Job Seeker? Please Share This

If you know someone who is out of work and they’ve become bitter, frustrated and just plain angry with their lack of success at getting interviews and job offers, consider doing them a favour and share this blog/post with them. Remember saying to them, “I wish there was something I could do to help you”? Well, this is that thing.

Hey there, hello. Please give this post a read. It might even help to read it over more than once. The person who has shared this with you cares enough that they brought this to your attention in the hopes of helping you get some results from your job search. I hope this is worth your time; 900 words so here we go…

First of all there’s this tool employers are starting to use more and more that’s keeping you from getting in to the interview stage called Applicant Tracking System software. Let’s call it ATS for short. You know as I do that for every advertised job there are an awful lot of people submitting resumes. Some resumes are from qualified people, some from desperate people who don’t stack up and of course there are overly qualified people too because they’ve become desperate too. With all these people hoping to get in and impress interviewers in person, they just can’t read over every résumé.

So this software basically scans the resumes – all of them – and sorts them into those that meet the needs of the organization and those that don’t. Your problem could be that even though you are 100% qualified for the jobs you are applying to, unfortunately the software is screening you out. So what’s happening is you see a job you really want and one that you’re a perfect fit for. You send your résumé and then wait with some confidence for the phone to ring and it never does. You don’t even get the courtesy of contact. The result? You just don’t know where you could have gone wrong, and you get discouraged, mad, extremely frustrated and it’s all because you can’t figure out how to get to meet people and sell them on your skills, qualifications and experience. You’ve become disillusioned and at times just want to give up.

Don’t give up on yourself; when you do feel like giving up remember why you started looking for work in the first place. It’s not YOU that employer’s are rejecting, it’s that résumé with your credentials on it; that resume or CV is the problem. So what you need to learn and understand is how to get past the software and on to the short list of people to interview.

So what employer’s are doing is making job postings which state what they are looking for in the people they want to interview. You may not want to do what I’m going to suggest – your choice of course – but please consider trying it. Grab yourself a highlighter. Now with the highlighter, pick out all the key words and phrases in the job posting – the things the employer has said they want applicants to have. Don’t highlight the entire sentence in the job posting, just the key words in the sentences. Do this now.

Okay done? You should have a job posting that’s now got many highlighted words and phrases. What you’ve just done is the key first step; understanding exactly what the employer has identified as their desired qualifications. The next step is just as crucial. Now what you’ve got to do is make sure that the highlighted words appear on your résumé. Here’s how. Every time you add a word or phrase to your résumé that matches what you highlighted, take a pen and put a check mark over the highlighted word on the job posting; not at the start of the sentence but right on top of the words.

As you do this, you’ll become more confident that what the employer’s looking for is now on your résumé; you’ve become a better fit. If you pulled out a résumé you’ve sent in for jobs in the past and you still have the job ads you replied to, I’ll bet that you’ll see that on paper you didn’t match up very well.

Now, so far good for you. You’ve improved your chances, but there’s more. That software they use can’t make sense of certain things you’re resume might contain. First of all it can only read certain fonts (the size and style of the letters you type). Ariel size 12 is one standard style and size it does read so even though it’s pretty basic, use it.

This software can’t read anything in italics, you know when the letters are slanted like this. Then there are things like putting boxes around certain sections or even the entire page – it won’t read anything in the boxes. Neither does it read underlined text and if you’re using a template anywhere in your résumé, remove it because it doesn’t read this either.

This means for each job you apply to you should be making up a different resume; one that addresses all the key words and phrases for that single job ad. Sounds like a lot of work but it really isn’t and you’ll start getting better results.

Look it’s tough getting ahead; which is precisely why I’m hoping you find this helpful. All the best in the job search.



Please Don’t Delay Your Job Search

Many people eventually experience a disruption in the continuity of their work history. That is to say they find themselves out of work either by choice or through means out of their control. Depending on why one is out of work, it is reasonable to take a break for reasons of physical and/or mental health; the length of which can vary greatly. Yet wait too long before jumping back in and you could have added challenges.

The most obvious problem that comes to mind is the gap of time between your last job and the present day. If the days turn grow into month’s, you should expect a prospective employer is going to question what you’ve done with your time. The reason this is of interest to them is because typically they like to hire people who use their time profitably; who keep up good work habits – often labelled as having a good work ethic.  You may not have paid employment it’s true, but how have you used your time to your advantage?

Now while it’s no one’s business but your own, another key reason to get back in the hunt for paid employment is to shore up the financial bleeding that unemployment accompanies. Sure you might have employment insurance of some kind where you live, but the weeks you are entitled to receive these benefits does go by quickly. True, you might also have severance pay from your last employer, but the sooner you get working, the more you can see these as additional funds and not your only funds.

You could also find – although you would never have thought so in the past – that you come to find certain aspects of being out of work attractive. So much so in fact, that giving what it takes to find work, often described as a full-time job itself, is more work than you’re ready to put in. This isn’t good! You could be falling into a bad situation where you’re rationalizing that your new-found free time is your right to enjoy; that you’ve had it all wrong up to now.

If you’re in a situation where you’ve got a second income in the family from a partner, could be that you’re immediate need to contribute financially to meet payments isn’t that urgent. While this is the case, your partner might now be caught in a very uncomfortable situation of wanting you working to contribute financially, but also not wanting to put too much pressure on you to get a job. Caught up in this predicament, they might be feeling increasing pressure at the same time you seem to be feeling very little pressure at all. This isn’t a good recipe for a happy partnership.

Of course as many people find, conditions in the job market change from time to time, as does how to even go about finding work. Many people who have to suddenly find work after decades of having held jobs find they don’t know how to go about it. The memories they have of handing out resumes in person and their personal experiences of having found getting a job easily are soon replaced with current realities; the job search experience has shifted and continues to evolve.

I need not tell many readers that the issue of age crops up often too. I’ve got people in their mid-forties telling me they are feeling their age is working against them. If 20 somethings are saying they aren’t being taken seriously because they lack experience, have we got to where only the 30 somethings are the ideal age to find work? Let’s hope not!

Despite all the above, there is another reason – the most troubling quite frankly and the hardest to overcome – that you should get back into the job search earlier and not later. You could develop a very unattractive attitude of bitterness, resentment or anger. Without even being aware of it, you might not be able to help it showing on your face, in your sighs of exasperation, your body language etc. Suddenly you’re at risk of becoming a prematurely old and bitter person who may have the skills to do the job and the experience, but the attitude you’ve come to own makes you a bad hiring choice.

It’s only natural to look at ourselves and see what we’ve got to offer an employer. We know more than anyone what skills and experience we have and how these could benefit others. Unfortunately, what we may fail to see when we look at things from this perspective is the people we are up against for employment and what they offer. Employer’s don’t have this dilemma. They have the benefit of having many applicants from which to choose for the jobs they interview for. They therefore look not just at the skills, education and experience applicants have, but at the intangibles too; the feelings they get from the conversations they have.

These feelings – call them gut reactions if you will – they pay attention to. They are trying to address the chemistry that will exist if you’re hired. Will you add to something positive or bring negativity and disrupt the current situation. A growing period of unemployment can make coming across as upbeat, positive, happy and enthusiastic harder to do, if not downright impossible.

Sure take a reasonable break after your employment ends to refocus on finding your next job; but do get going!

Fed Up Being Unemployed

Okay let’s start with the premise that you’re fed up. I mean you’ve grown so frustrated with trying to get a meaningful job that pays well that it’s left you confused on how to succeed and bitter. It seems no matter what you tried in the past, no matter who you applied to for a job, in the end the result was the same; you’re not wanted.

Seems to me that hearing the message, “Just keep trying” rings kind of hollow. How many times can you be expected to keep at it hoping for a better result? So you give up. Then after having packed it in you start feeling that it’s worth it to try again. Why? Usually it’s because the life you’ve got at the moment isn’t the one you want for yourself; you deserve better and you’re motivated to try again until you ultimately succeed or you give up once more.

Maybe you’d be open to hearing a few words of encouragement? If so, I’d like to offer you some. I suppose the first thing I’d like to say is that it is a good sign that you aren’t content to keep living the way your are now. That feeling that you want more is the seed of Hope that’s buried deep in your core. ‘Hope’ my dear reader, is at the core of so many people’s thoughts who push off from some known shore for the great journey’s they embark on. Hope is what causes them to leave the safe and known for the uncertainty and yet-to-be discovered.

Now keeping with that image of some adventurer embarking on a journey; the early stages of a journey involve traveling through the norm. The sailor who sets to some unknown land far away first has to get beyond the waters that are well chartered. The hiker deviating from some known path had to first hike what they knew to get to the point where they chose something previously passed up on.

It’s the same with you and your job search. You rely on what you know when it comes to looking for a job until you come across some better way of going about it. This makes absolute sense. However, just like the hiker and the explorer decided at some point to do something they’d never before done, it also stands to reason that you should do something you’ve never done if you expect the results to be more satisfying than you’ve experienced. Going about looking for a meaningful job the way you’ve gone about it in the past is likely to end with similar results; results you don’t want to experience again.

It’s important to realize that you’re not at fault or to blame for going about things the way you are; even if you later realize a number of mistakes you are made. After all, until someone introduces a better way, a more effective way of getting you where you want to be, the only way you’d have succeeded entirely on your own is through trial and error, until you lucked out on whatever works. That seems pretty high risk and could take a long time.

So it seems like you have a choice to make; do things the way you’ve always done them assuming this is how everybody goes about looking for work or, open yourself up to getting help and direction from someone who knows a better way. That ‘better way’ by the way, is likely going to involve some effort on your part in two ways. One, you have to pause long enough to be open to learning the new way and two you have to be willing to give it a shot and carry out what you learn.

Keep something in mind will you? When you’re learning something new you will likely feel the urge to just get going and apply, apply, apply! But throwing your résumé around everywhere hasn’t worked to this point has it? Pausing to learn, being taught something new isn’t  everybody’s idea of a good time. You might be the kind of person that finds sitting down and being taught how to go about looking for work in 2017 is really pushing your limits. Do it anyhow. Seriously; you want a different result don’t you? Sure you do. This is the price you pay for success.

Look you deserve a decent job. You probably aren’t going to end up running some major corporation or discovering the cure for Cancer. That you want to improve your lot in Life however, do something you find personally meaningful and make a future that’s better than the present is commendable. And if I may add, you’re worth it; we all are.

You should seriously think then about reaching out for help. Where to start though? Check in with just about any Social Services organization in your local community. If you’re not in the right place, a few phone calls will likely get you pointed in the right direction. Best news is that the help you need is likely free. Sit down with open ears and a good attitude and do something you haven’t done yet; give yourself over to their expertise. If it works, great. If the chemistry doesn’t work, try someone else.

When you decide to improve things and then act, you’re already becoming the successful person you envision.



Let Go The Bitterness And Resentment

Are you or is someone you know carrying around resentment and bitterness; directed perhaps at a former employer or someone who you feel betrayed you? If  you are, I imagine they’ve changed you in ways you are both aware of and yes in some ways you are oblivious to.

The significant thing about carrying around these negative feelings towards others is that it’s unhealthy for you; you the person who feels wronged. Ironically, doesn’t it always seem that the person who our bitterness and anger is directed towards seems entirely to have moved on themselves, which as a result only fuels more resentment on our part? Yeah, that can sting and cause the bitterness to linger and fester.

I was talking recently to someone who was fired from their job about 7 months ago now. When we began talking, I was unaware of the fact she’d been fired and therefore eventually asked her what happened in her last job. Just as the words left my lips, I noticed a physical change in her appearance and my ears picked up a change in both the words she was using and the volume in her voice. The fact that she was fired in her last job is to this day still so fresh and the experience so personal that it was clear in seconds she hasn’t found a way to deal with the experience and resolve it in her own mind. The rawness of what happened 7 months ago obviously lies just below the surface of her otherwise calm and professional exterior and just asking triggered the emotional response I experienced first hand sitting across from her.

Like I said earlier, are you yourself or is someone you know similarly affected? If so, it’s essential to eventually come to accept what’s happened, deal with it and move on. Sounds easy to do right? Well, if it’s never happened to you personally it might be hard to understand why someone can’t just pick themselves up, put it down to a bad experience and forget about it. The thing is however, it’s like you’ve been wronged and as a victim you want some measure of retribution, maybe a little karma to come to the person who fired you. There’s the devilish but perhaps immature side of us that might not be all that upset if the person’s car got a mysterious scratch all down one side of it, or if the person themselves was fired. Yes, that would be lovely but don’t go scratching any cars, setting fire to businesses or anything else that will make things worse for you than they already are.

When you first get fired you probably feel some measure of shock. “What just happened?” There’s a kind of paralysis where you just got some news that confuses your sense of order and you stop to process what you just heard. Feeling anger is normal; after all you’re probably fearful of how to cover financial commitments, you’re worried about how to get the next job; wondering how long it will take to work again, and you’ve never been fired before so it’s normal to feel out of your league, confused and disoriented. This is often why it’s best not to say much because you might say things you later regret and wouldn’t otherwise say.

No doubt you might also feel some measure of embarrassment and shame. You may have always thought to yourself that when other people got fired they were either somewhat or totally responsible; they stole, lied, showed up late too often, missed too many days of work, mouthed off etc. and you yourself did none of it. What will your family and friends think of you? What will potential employers think of you? How will you convince them this firing was beyond your control or if you did do something you now regret, how can you convince the employer you learned from the experience and it won’t be repeated?

It’s not uncommon to eventually feel some measure of despair if you’re not hired as quickly as you first thought. Eventually though, you want to arrive at a point where you can acknowledge the termination happened without overtly showing or revealing bitterness and anger. After all, while you are entirely allowed to feel hurt by the process, you don’t want this potential employer you are sitting in front of to experience your negativity first hand. This could be an unpleasant side of you they don’t ever want to have in their workplace and they’ll wonder if this isn’t you on a regular basis; which of course it typically isn’t right?

If the job you were fired from was a short-term position, you may wish to leave it off your resume entirely. It isn’t mandatory to have it on your resume so the question of why did you leave doesn’t even come up. It will create a gap which you will need to address if asked, but with some coaching you can come up with a much more positive response.

Let go of the bitterness and anger because it just isn’t healthy or worth it to carry it around. You may find that others (especially those closest to you) will notice and appreciate your change in attitude, behaviour and you’ll be nice to be around.

In other words, you’ve grown and risen above the experience. Well done. You’ll get there.



The Stigma Of Being Fired

You’ve been fired. Why is it that the word, “fired” hits like nothing else. It’s like being on the receiving end of a baseball right between the eyes. It can knock you back or knock you out. The word itself is only 5 letters long but if you’re the one who has been fired, it cuts us to the core; the more we valued or loved our job from which we got fired, the more intense the pain.

Getting fired is so much worse than getting laid off or quitting isn’t it? I mean if we quit, we were in full control of the situation and it was us that made the decision to walk away. We had time to think about whether we’d quit or not, we chose the timing and we had alternatives ready to put into place so the leaving wasn’t so bad; things were on our terms.

Being laid off isn’t as positive as quitting, because we are out of work when we’d rather be working and joining the ranks of job searchers wasn’t in our plans. However, a layoff is beyond our control, the employer made a decision to downsize; there was a shortage of work, the company relocated etc. In any event, we wanted to work and by all accounts were doing a good job but the situation was in the hands of those in higher authority than us, and they decided to reduce the workforce. Whether we were the only one let go or there were others let go, our performance isn’t necessarily an issue, it could be the economy, a change in the owner’s finances or lifestyle, a political move or the company just shut down.

Getting fired however; that’s a whole different thing. There’s the stigma that comes attached to it which we feel compelled to explain to anyone – and everyone – that we tell we were fired. We want to scream, “It wasn’t my fault! Listen! Just listen to me and hear me out and you’ll see I’m not such a bad employee (translation I’m not a bad person). It’s exhausting isn’t it? We tell our spouse, our kids, then our parents, then the closest of friends and we hope everyone will understand and not think the worse of us. We can only tell our side of the story but we want everyone we tell to believe us entirely when we say we had a mean boss that was out to get us, or we really were doing a good job and don’t know why they fired us.

Deep down inside though, we wonder if we are really being believed. Would we automatically believe our closest friends and still think the very best of them if they told us they were fired? Might we wonder about how much of the situation was indeed their fault? Maybe that strong attitude they have got them into trouble or now you wonder about their actual skills and abilities…just a little anyhow. So now you wonder; what are they thinking about me?

We get angry too. We’re out of work, have lost an income, feel shamed with this label of being fired, and the people we worked for weren’t the best. Maybe they cut corners, did shady deals, favoured some staff over others (and we obviously weren’t in favour!), didn’t even know the business as well as we did, or they used us for our knowledge then cut us loose when they had got everything they could from us; we were just used and abused. Maybe too we were fired because we couldn’t or wouldn’t bend the rules or take advantage of our customers.

When you’re fired, it’s frustrating too because we have to move on and get a job, but we can’t vent in a job interview and tell the interviewer how we are really feeling. No, we have to take the high road and speak well of the employer who sacked us for fear of coming across as someone to stay away from and not hire.

It makes getting any kind of employment insurance harder to get if we can get any at all after being fired too. It all just seems so unfair and things are stacked against us! Hey, what YOUR feeling is normal; sad as that is to say, you’re feeling what most people feel when fired. Although small consolation, know that more and more people these days get terminated so the stigma attached to it isn’t as bad as it used to be.

Before you go job searching, make sure you are prepared to answer the interview question, “So why did you leave your last job?” or the, “What would your previous employer say about you?” question. You will have to master the ability to address both these questions without anger and bitterness surfacing which will hurt your chances.

Maybe one strategy is to get an entry-level job beneath or outside your career goal, just so THAT job becomes your LAST job in terms of answering these questions in an interview. You could also bite the bullet and contact the employer who fired you and ask that if contacted they provide only your start and end date and give no reference beyond that positive or negative. If you had good performance appraisals you could use these as proof you did well in the last job – so take yours home now if you’re still working and don’t keep them in the office.

“You’re Not What We’re Looking For”

Rats, rejected again. So now what do you do? Looking for work takes its toll, especially if you really invest yourself in the process. It can be mentally draining attempting to show the world a positive face, a smile and exude confidence at a time when you feel vulnerable, stressed and anxious.

If you think about the title, “You’re not what we’re looking for”, there could be some valuable clues in those six words that you’d be smart to think about and then do something about. The most obvious question to ask of the person making that statement is, “Why am I not what you are looking for?” In other words, what are they looking for that you lack.

You see it could be that if you hear this once, you were a wrong fit at that company. It’s not your fault, nor is it theirs. In fact, finding fault at all is the wrong thing to do. You may have all the qualifications on paper, but during an interview, the interviewer(s) made a decision that based on your personality for example and how you conducted yourself that someone else with equal qualifications would just fit in better. That’s fair I believe.

After all, the company and the person representing it know the culture and the kind of people who thrive and those that don’t or might put that culture at risk. You and I, we don’t know that, and they might have done you a favour from being hired and then shortly fired when you didn’t fit in as well as another candidate would.

Let’s suppose now that you hear, “You’re not what we’re looking for” frequently. What message could really be behind those words? Hearing it often could well mean that you just don’t have what it takes to compete with other applicants period. Say you got a job 8 years ago through a family friend in an office setting. You were let go a year ago due to downsizing and you’ve been looking for work for over a year.

In a situation like this, you may not have the credentials required by a new employer, such as certificate in Office Administration. You may have a working understanding of the software that company used, but perhaps employer’s are looking for people who have experience using newer programs, and face it, there are many people over those years who have upgraded their formal education in school and are now graduating with training in the latest and best practices.

You see that job you held in a small firm of 10 people was good while it lasted, but it has left you unprepared to compete with other applicants with more recent education or experience with larger companies. If you were one of those applicants, you’d be arguing that you’re a better fit and you might be absolutely right.

Now the above is just a scenario that I’m presenting. It does illustrate however that the experience you may have is valid and good so far as it goes, but it falls short of the experience other applicants have which may mean they are consistently hired where you are not. Frustrating? Absolutely. Understandable however? Yes, completely.

If you can determine therefore why you are not the best fit and what they are looking for, then you are in a position to do something about it if you so choose. If the message is that you don’t have experience working in large organizations, maybe you should confine your job search to smaller companies where you’ll be a great fit based on your work history. A job in a larger firm where you have to interact with many people in different departments may be something you’d have to learn but why hire you when other applicants know it already?

Recently I read a reply from a reader pointing out that it is companies not job seekers that are to blame when things don’t work out. I read their post and sensed bitterness, anger, resentment and a lack of full understanding when they have been passed over for others. I don’t think job seekers are to, ‘blame’ for their unemployment any more than I think employers are to, ‘blame’ for making the decisions they do.

Just as a job applicant can turn down a job because they don’t like the money offered, the travel involved or the work location, a company can turn down any applicant. In both cases, from either way you look at it, one or the other could decide it’s a bad fit. In fact, an applicant could withdraw from the application process and the company decide to hire someone else at the same time.

My advice is to respectfully ask for some clarification of why you are not presently what they are looking for in order to better compete in the future. If you need more experience get it. If you need a specific kind of experience, seek it out volunteering or take some upgrading if that’s the suggestion.

You may not of course get the real feedback that you’d like. If your personality and attitude are a bad fit, they aren’t going to tell you that. Some outfits don’t give feedback at all if you don’t work out. Be as objective as you can, open to feedback as you can and then pause to consider any feedback you do get before responding.




The Upside Of Hitting A New Low

Over the last couple of days, I have had no less than 3 people tell me that they have never been so down in their lives before. These new lows are hitting them hard and the emotions that are surfacing and coming out aren’t the way they want to be or ever imagined they could be.

In all three situations the most current event, the one thing that connects all these individual stories, is the loss of a job and the resulting loss of income and the pressure and stress of needing to shore things up immediately. So it may be well and good to pause today and rather than blog about another matter I had in mind, to address some of the issues surrounding the job loss phenomenon.

When those words come to you that you’ve been fired, it hits like a brick in the face. The shock and immediate mental terror that has you in disbelief can’t really be effectively dealt with at this initial stage; you are in shock after all. Something unwanted has just slammed into your life and things are changing too fast to find anything you can really cling to. What to do? One suggestion might be to remove yourself as soon as possible from the source of the shock and in whatever space you call your home, take stock of things. Stabilize your situation mentally and go over what just happened.

In the short-term, apply for any financial benefits such as Employment Insurance and do it the same day you lose your position if you can. Get all the necessary paperwork later, like your Record of Employment. Any benefits you are entitled to will go back to the day you applied, not the day you lost your job. If there is a penalty of some kind for being terminated with cause, write out your take on the situation and in some cases this might get you reduced benefits instead of none at all. You’re going to need this income shortly and it takes time to process your claim.

For some people, curling up in a fetal position behind drawn shades for days on end and hiding from the world and the people in it is going to be tempting. Don’t do this please. This is the very time you need to sit down and update that resume. You’ll find it more useful too if you can identify your strengths, beliefs, values, skills and positive attributes. You have a lot to offer to an employer, you just need the right fit. While it would probably be wrong to beg for your job back, it might be useful to re-connect with your former employer and at least sort out what kind of reference they might be willing to provide. If you tell them that you are moving forward and would appreciate at bare minimum that they just confirm your employment dates with any perspective reference check, you might be in luck. The employer might breathe a sigh of relief that you aren’t going to sue for wrongful dismissal or cause a verbal scene and they’ll be happy to do this for you just to get you on to some other job so you are out of their life.

At the worst, if they say they’ll tell employers looking for a reference on you the truth about your termination, you can use this information to mitigate damage at the end of future interviews. When asked for references after a good interview, you may choose to share what the former employer may say, and the new employer will appreciate your honesty, especially if you can demonstrate you’ve learned something through the experience and it won’t be repeated.

You’re going to be angry; angry with that stupid boss, those idiot co-workers, and maybe, ye maybe yourself for doing or saying something that got you the sack. Don’t beat yourself up over it because that’s just wasted energy and you haven’t got a lot to spare at this stage in the process. Anger is raw emotion that if unleashed could just multiply your short-term unemployment through some poorly thought-out decisions you make now. Short-term satisfaction and long-term regret….like pouring sugar in the gas tank of your bosses car and being videotaped doing it.

While you consider getting your next career move going, consider at least the option of getting a short-term job outside of your chosen career field. This short-term job might be one that gives you some immediate cash, builds up your self-esteem a little, and is one you can then quit without damaging your reputation when you land the right long-term job you really want. This is a Band-Aid solution remember, not a long-term strategy.

Get connected with contacts and tell EVERYBODY you are looking for work and tell them what you are looking for. Don’t just say, “Let me know if you hear of anything.” What is it you want? Be clear. Go to some networking events, get involved in discussion groups, dress each day with pride and focus on your positive qualities. The sting you feel from that bad experience is just waiting for a crack in your self-confidence to remind you how dumb you are, how bad off you are, how in trouble you are. You’re smart enough to know that’s just a dark place you should avoid because there’s nothing healthy to be found there. That wallowing pool of self-remorse, that pool of pity is best left for someone else to drown in. You’ve got no time for that.

Get yourself in to an Employment Counsellor and get your resume looked at and for sure come up with an answer to the question, “So why did you leave your last job?” You’re going to need to deliver an answer without visibly falling apart or having your face betray your anger and resentment. When you find a strong answer that you can use and feel good about, you’re going to feel like you can flick that demon off your shoulder. 

This new low point in your life does have an upside. While it isn’t apparent now, you will find that in the future when you look back, you’ll have a better appreciation for your current situation and your new employer. You’ll hopefully have grown and learned from what went wrong and maybe even realize that surprise, surprise, losing that job actually moved you forward in a direction you would not otherwise have taken on your own. If you are at a new low, doesn’t that mean you probably have a future that’s better than the present? Probably.

You might need or want to speak with your bank and creditor’s, explain your situation and get them off your back. Consolidating debt can stop phone calls from collection agencies, and please remember that most people – yes most people – are themselves people who have changed careers, been laid-off at some point, possibly fired, quit etc. in their past. The stigma of being sacked isn’t quite as bad as it once was. That’s little comfort right now, I know.

You will move forward, things will improve, and it’s a question of time. It may be a short time, but probably longer than you’d like if you need a job immediately. Target your resume and cover letters; circulate, get applying for jobs and back in the game. You deserve an opportunity and perhaps an employer who is willing to give you a shot with a dose of support and understanding thrown in.

All the best in dealing with the immediate stuff. It’s a lot perhaps to deal with, but I suspect you’re strong enough to ride it out and emerge employed, empowered, and better.