It can happen. You find a work at home job, but for one reason or another, things don’t work out. You get fired from your work at home job. Now what?
Getting fired is a painful, difficult time, especially if you rely on the income. If you need your job to be home based it can be worse in some ways, as legitimate work at home jobs can be very hard to come by.
But it’s not time to panic right away. You have more important things to do. Take a deep breath and deal with the situation.
Find Out If You Qualify For Unemployment
Not everyone who works at home will qualify for unemployment benefits. First and foremost, you may not have been paying into the system if you were considered an independent contractor. If you or your employer aren’t paying into the system, you don’t get money out.
Secondly, whether or not you qualify for benefits will depend on why you were fired. This may vary from state to state, so you can only tell by contacting your local unemployment office. I can’t tell you anything about whether you’ll qualify or even if you should try for it.
If there’s a chance you will qualify, file for benefits right away. You only hurt yourself by waiting. Sure, you may think you can land a new job right away, but what if you don’t? Do what you can to keep money coming in by filing.
Do not listen if your employer tells you that you can’t file for unemployment because you were fired. They aren’t the ones who determine that.
Whatever you do, take a professional attitude toward your former employer. Don’t contact former coworkers or clients with complaints about being fired. That can look worse on you than on your former employer.
Don’t talk bad about the company that fired you to potential employers either. That’s a great way to ruin an interview. If you speak poorly of your previous employer, the interviewer will be concerned about how you’ll speak of them if you’re hired.
Ask Your Former Employer How Your Departure Will Be Described
One of the awkward parts about looking for work after being fired is wondering how your former employer will describe you to future potential employers who are checking out your work history. You can ask.
It’s not too uncommon for companies to only confirm your dates of employment or give minimal information. Depending on why you were fired, they might keep things that simple for you. You should still be honest about having been fired when interviewing with potential employers, but knowing what your former employer will say can help you decide exactly how much to say.
Know What You Should Get From Your Employer
Just because you were fired doesn’t mean you no longer have any association with your former employer. There may be some things you still get.
Some positions may offer severance pay, even if you were fired.
You may also be able to continue your health insurance for a time through COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act). This will be more expensive, as you will be paying the entire cost, but it may be important.
Don’t forget to compare what you can get through healthcare.gov.
Know your rights if your employer asks you to sign a nondisclosure or noncompete agreement. Employers usually cannot enforce a noncompete agreement in California, for example.
If you have a 401k with your employer, you have a few options. You can leave it there, roll it over into a 401k with your new employer, move it into an IRA, or cash it out. Consider your options carefully.
Review Your Finances
Just what is your financial situation without your job? Are you going to be okay without a job for a while, or is it a major crisis? How can you stretch things out if necessary?
Depending on whether or not you get unemployment benefits and what other money your family has coming in, you may or may not have a huge rush to get a new job.
You’ll do best if you cut out unnecessary expenditures, so what money you do have lasts as long as possible. You don’t want any trouble if the job hunt takes longer than you thought it would.
Contact Potential References
Just because you were fired from a company doesn’t mean that no one there will be a good reference for your new job hunt. If there was a supervisor or someone else you worked well with, you may still get a good professional reference from them. Ask if you think it’s possible.
Also start contacting references from previous jobs if possible. Places you volunteer may be another place to find references.
Think About Why You Were Fired
Don’t focus on this right away. Give it a couple days first, then think about why you were fired? Was it something you did, or completely out of your control? Be honest with yourself. This is something you should learn from.
Think About What New Kind Of Work You’d Like
One thing about being fired, you’re now free to consider what direction you’d like your career to go. You no longer have the security of a job keeping you from seeking out better or just different.
You can, of course, stick with your current career path if that’s where you want to be. Even with work at home jobs, there are a number of companies to work for in most industries. Even when things didn’t end the way you wanted it to, you have some amount of experience in it. It may not be significant if you weren’t on the job long, but if it was a position you held for some years, that’s good.
This may be the perfect time to update your skills and education if you can afford to do so.
Start Job Hunting
Once you’ve had a little time to deal with the shock of being fired, it’s time to start looking for a work at home job. If you’ve already had one work at home job, you may remember having a difficult search. It’s not at all uncommon to have a hard time finding remote work.
Prepare yourself for your work at home job hunt. Planning ahead will help you deal with them. You can greatly improve your chances of getting a work at home job if you have the right training or experience when you apply for jobs. Employers hate dealing with all the people who think they can land a job that they have absolutely no qualifications for.
Make sure that you clean up your social media so that you look good online during your job hunt. Especially for remote jobs, this may be one of the major ways you make an impression on potential employers. You want it to be a good one.
Get Your Resume Ready
Take some time and prepare a good resume. Odds are it has changed somewhat since you last looked for work. You want your new resume to reflect where you want to go next and be easily targeted toward potential new jobs.
Prepare a basic cover letter too. Like your resume, you’ll customize this to target each potential employer, but it’s a lot easier if you have a basic version ready to start.
You do not need to bring up that you were fired in your cover letter or resume. Deal with that issue honestly when it’s necessary, not before.
Never lie on your resume or job application. That would give future employers cause to terminate you.
No matter the reason why you need a new job, networking matters. If you have contacts in your industry, especially if they might know about work at home positions, let them know you’re in the market for a new job. You never know who will know about something.
Think About How To Handle Your Firing In a Job Interview
The question is going to come up about why you left your last position. You need an honest reason. Don’t say anything bad about your former employer or why you were fired. Focus instead on what you learned from it. You may be able to turn it positive and show how you’ve grown as a potential employee.
Look For Ways To Earn Money While You Hunt For A Job
Don’t spend all of your energy looking for the perfect long-term job. Taking on freelance jobs and side gigs can make a lot of sense when you’re unemployed. There are lots of super flexible companies out there that allow you to earn money on your own schedule. That’s a huge help when you never know when a job interview will come up.
Remember to report any income when you file for unemployment if you’re receiving money from them! You do NOT want to pay a penalty for failing to report income. Report any and all income.
Don’t Be Ashamed
Lots of people get fired. It hurts, it’s easy to be embarrassed or ashamed at first, but many people have had the same experience. It’s rough, but it can be an opportunity too. Don’t let the fact that you were fired from your work at home job keep you from doing what needs to get done.