6 Things You Must Do If You Get Sacked or Lose Your Job

What to Do If You Ever Get Sacked in Nigeria

No one ever wants to get sacked. To get sacked from work is never a pleasant experience. In some cases,  individuals who get fired accept the decision by their employers in good faith.

However, in certain scenarios, the situation hovers on the extreme to the extent of involving local authorities.

Getting fired affects people differently but the effects are largely the same. Explaining the circumstances around leaving your last  job could prove tough. Also,  the stigma that comes with getting sacked is tremendous and in most cases, leads to depression.

6 Things you must do if you get sacked (3)



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Another interesting thing that happens when people get fired is the conversation around who was right and who was wrong between the sacked employee and the employer. Such conversations are known to stir up quite an interesting level of conversation with people naturally taking sides and take it a step further to justify their choices.

According to Tayo Opatayo, the Group Head, Human Resources at Rainoil Limited, it is a saddening experience in the career-life of a professional.

The truth is that some people have over the years, developed a system to move on with their career when they get sacked. For many of such people, this comes with some experience for handling such situations.

However, there are those who are devastated by losing their jobs so badly that it impacts their personal lives and careers in unthinkable ways.

6 Things you must do if you get sacked


For example, we have had instances of people who have committed suicide after losing their jobs as well as those who have harmed themselves as a result of job loss and sudden unemployment.

Below are some of the issues people have to deal with when they get sacked.

  • Bruised Ego: There are men and women who are defined by their jobs and derive a deep sense of pride in the roles they play. This means getting sacked would greatly bruise their egos, especially when they considered their jobs a status symbol.
  • Monthly income is threatened: When people get sacked, naturally, one of their biggest worries is the fact that there will no longer be monthly salary to rely upon. This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons salary earners need to find out how to save more of their salary after payday. By saving more of your salary, you have more money in your bank account to fall back on if you ever have to deal with getting sacked.
  • Dependants and Loved Ones are Affected: Getting sacked has an almost immediate impact on dependants and loved ones because the income that serves their needs gets halted. It is not surprising to find a job loss heralding a crisis situation.
  • Getting Stuck: One of the most devastating things that can happen to an employee who gets sacked is being unable to find his/her way back into the another job. As an example, let us look at the scenario of an employee who works in a manufacturing company for 17 years and suddenly gets fired without having any transferable skill to aid the process of getting another job. The implication? The sacked employee has a hard time finding another job. Reason? His current skill set no longer fits into the ever-evolving requirements of employers. This creates a huge problem for the affected individual.

Stemming from his years of experience as a human resource professional, Opatayo highlighted 6 things that must be done if you ever get sacked. He explained that these tips help cushion the physical and psychological trauma that accompanies getting sacked.

Below are 6 tips to help deal with the painful realities of getting sacked:


Set Up some Personal Time

One of the worst things you could possibly do after losing your job is to sulk or lock yourself up in a room reeling in moments of regret.

Rather, what you need to do is to find time for yourself. Spend the initial part of this time reflecting on how you got fired. Also, think about things you could have done differently. It’s okay to scream out in anger or cry if it helps you release some tension.

If you can afford it, you should take a short vacation and use the time to clear your head. This is a moment in your life where you need to experience inner peace.

Spend a chunk of this time doing things you enjoy; take walks, write and find a positive outlet for the emotions within you.

Listen to music that lifts your spirit and motivate you towards making the next big decision.


Avoid Emissaries of Sympathy

You might not realise it but when you get sacked is one of those moments when you find yourself getting flooded with messages and calls of sympathy from former colleagues, friends, loved ones and associates.

You need to be very careful at this point. The last thing you need is sympathy from people who have nothing but sympathy to offer.

What you need are career pointers that can help you land your next job and conversations with people who have more than pure sympathy to offer.

In Nigeria, words like “Eyah,” “Awwwwww” and “Sorry” are predominantly used.

As concerned as those who utter these words might be about you, they are words with the capacity to push you into self-pity and depression.

In essence, spend time with people who have advice that can drive you forward. It is not enough to feel sorry for you and leave it there. Sympathy will not get you another job. Neither will it inspire you to recreate yourself or your dreams.


Use the Situation as a Stepping Stone

If you ever get sacked, what happens to you afterwards is entirely for you to decide. Do not become consumed by the flames of anger, resentment, prolonged rage or a desire to hurt someone or something.

A poisoned mindset and perspective will not yield fruits that will benefit your career positively.

You might find yourself trying to compare the employer who just fired you with the one some of your previous employers but this will not help you with your next job – Will it?

On the positive side, what you might want to focus on would be your experience with the company. Walk away with the positives and find a way to channel them productively for your next job and better opportunities.


Ask Yourself Honest Questions

After you have spent some time clearing your head, it is time to carry out a self-evaluation and ask yourself some honest questions. Some of those questions can include: How far have I come with my career? What are my targets for the next two months? Do I want to start hunting for another job immediately? What are the next five moves I am going to make from this point as they relate to my career? When should I start applying for jobs?

To ensure this is not an exercise in futility, you should consider using a pen and notepad for the questions.

When you have all your questions down, proceed to proffer answers to them as sincerely as you can.

These questions and the answers you come up with will help you make decisions as you move into another phase of your life.

You need all the mental strength you can summon because it will serve as the engine room to drive your thoughts and choices.

6 Things you must do if you get sacked


Reach Out For Help

This is the point where you reach out to a few trusted individuals who can genuinely offer you options to choose from as you try to work your way back into your career.

Please bear in mind that you should not cultivate the habit of sharing your challenges with everyone. Rather, pick people you speak to about your fears and aspirations carefully and wisely.

The idea is to have conversations with men and women who have the capacity to help you. Many have cultivated the habit of merely listening to the problems of others without offering any practical guidance or suggestions on how to proceed.

This not the way to go. What you should do is  speak to individuals who have either been in your shoes or have helped others navigate similar waters in the past. Success stories from such individuals have a way of helping you maintain a positive attitude and mindset.

When you eventually reach that point where you have to make a choice between several options, you do not necessarily need to have anyone approve or pick for you.

While you can share your plans and options with your mentors, the eventual decision rests squarely on your shoulders.


Build Your Courage

Courage is what gives you the mental wheels to ride in the wilderness of a future you cannot currently see.

It’s alright to be scared and worried about the days ahead but courage will fortify your resolve and keep you from throwing in the towel.

Interestingly, we should let you understand that in a number of situations, getting fired is no fault of yours and should be considered inevitable.

The beauty of losing a job is the plethora of possibilities it throws open.

When you get sacked, it simply means that you have a chance to get another job. For many, this has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

History is riddled with people who got fired but went on to become supremely successful in their respective careers.

6 Things you must do if you get sacked (4)

What Next?

To be candid, losing a job is an opportunity to either get a better job or find out other very lucrative things you can do.

As Opatayo put it in his article, ‘Surviving Job Sack,’ “we are not what happens to us.”

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had to decide between waiting to get sacked or resigning? What did you do and what happened afterwards?

Website Comments

  1. Tosan siesi

    nice words Opatayo. its a word of encouragement, but GOD wont put us to shame in any aspect of our life in JESUS NAME. AMEN

  2. Musa Ismail

    I was sacked from a Bank Job after i was used to spending money just a year and half after my conversion from a contract staff to a permanent staff. The painful thing was that my i was sacked a week after I had an appendix operation. It was devastating but God has a plan for me as I got another Job unexpectedly four months after the retrenchment. I thank God Im not jobless as i can still carter for my family. For those affected with sack, do not despair as God is in control.

    • jay

      My story is so similar to yours. One should always Beware of being too laced especially on jobs that may pay well. Invest, buy asset, open small biz if you have the chance, that’s the umbrella for the rainy day

    • Esther

      Hello Musa I need to talk to u..thank God u survived but y sacked after an operation.. Y not sick leave…pls contact me on lavender care signal.com

  3. Yinka

    Absolutely spot-on. Thanks for raising these points especially the bit about being careful in sharing your issues with people who only have ‘sorry’ and ‘eyaah’ to offer!

  4. Smart

    Wow! I’m relieved. I was sacked by March this year. I’m married and don’t know what to do. But after reading this, I know it is not over yet. Thank you so much for sharing…

  5. funke

    Very nice I must confess. I lost my job on my birthday.. I didn’t realize it until people started saying so sad on ur birthday. And I told them it’s only a job! My birthday is still a happy day before the job and after. I’m looking out for another one though a lil challenging. Kinda stuck but looking into other things.. Thank you for the right up. Really helpful

  6. Olajmk

    Thanks jobberman, am encouraged with this article, I was sacked last month despite the fact that I was heavily pregnant, I know God has plans for me after I put to bed, it has not been easy for someone like me cos I have many mouth to feed but God has been there for me

  7. Chuks micheals

    thanks guys ur write up serves as a great relief to me , though i have been out of job for close to 3yrs nw i still believe that my time will come . incase of any job offer either in IT or Customer relationship pls contact me via 08037634224 or by mail at chuksmicheals@gmail.com i will appreciate, Thanks

  8. Kevin Peter

    This indeed is food for the soul. Experience is the best teacher and inspirations like this could make one to want to lose jobs over and over believing that with the practical steps to take from this lesson, a better future would be achieved!

  9. Elly

    Since I was fired over a year ago, this is the only article that has really torched the areas affecting me. I hope to keep this article as a great lesson to build up myself again cos there is this common saying that “no matter how brilliant you’re, you can’t clap with one hand”. Another lesson has been learnt. Writer, keep it u. Tnx

  10. Olutunji Timothy

    Highly inspiring. Thanks for the comfort and guidance to many teeming Nigerians in these difficult situation.

  11. Abel

    I was part of Ericsson NOC engineers that were put in redundant when they move their NOC to India. It was a complete sad experience but I am believing God that I will get myself fixed back.

  12. onome uriri

    I and 3 of my colleagues Have been suspended for 3 weeks now for something I didnt know about and it’s just 3mnths have been into the job. Tho I hvnt recieved any official sack letter but it’s not been easy being out of work without even any pay off cause it’s almost the same as being fired! Already looking out for another job where I can work in a more condusive environment and where I can be trusted at least. It’s been really depressing but the support of my friends and family has been helpful.

  13. Olawale Ismail

    Thanks for this words of encouragement’s I was sacked in Feb via a compulsory resignation at a start life was like hell because in my area most people doesn’t know me not until the incidence that was my first challenges until I decided to moved on & ever since am not regretting though am still searching for job & as well doing little I know.

  14. Abodunrin Sunday.O

    Thank you greatly for the words of encouragement, may God increase your wisdom Amen.
    Your article is useful for me because Am yet to get over
    This sorry period.

  15. Onafeso 2

    Good one. I got fired 11 months after my employment. But was called back after a month. During that one month I did a lot with my skills and courage and decided to live one day at a time. I spent the next 12 years preparing positively for my next sack but it turned out to be an employment into the major company my first employer was a contractor with. I have God to thank for this. But refused to wallow in insecurity but developed my skills with the Grace of God.

  16. Gerry

    I was immensely blessed and encouraged by this article. Thank you Jobberman for sharing this.

  17. Emmanuel

    Thanks for the write up, I was sacked by my employer after asking me to resign from my previous job in Anambra and come down to Lagos, but my boss gave me reasons why he can’t keep working with me and encourage me to go on with my life, he knows I gave my best but he need an instant impact because he is based in America, and want things down immediately. Though he paid me off with 320k and still call me on phone knowing fully well I really tried. But for me, I was planning to resign due to stress on the job before the sack .well I have worked in three company as sale rep/supervisor, Adim manager, sale manager, and the last maintenance manager which was the one I was sacked.others I resigned for better option. Now am looking forward for self-employment but need capital. Anyway I still hope to get a new job because I know I have what it takes to manage a company (administration wise). Thanks for the encourage you gave me through your article.

  18. L.A Deo

    Beautiful piece. Luckily I have been practising some of the things you mentioned. Lost my job after 6 months of relocating to Lagos to take up a lead role in my department. Take some time off to relax and let go off the pressure with that you will be able to decide the next phase of your life. Ask God for direction in prayers and you will find peace in between. For me I have identified a career switch and about applying for a professional diploma in that new area. Ensure you identify thrusters and lifters (positive people) to mingle with,avoid drags and weights ( negative people). This has also helped. Ensure you do positive things and keep trying whether its another job or business. God help us all.

    • Nurudeen Adeola

      Mr Emmanuel how r u doing, u have done gr8 job, I will like to talk to you as I was just fired November 29 2017 unexpectedly

  19. Taiwo Olaoluwa

    This is inspiring and a blessing to any bleeding heart. In this hard timed, being fired could be a rude shock most especially if you are a bread winner of the family but I believe that when one door closes, another opens. God is ever faithful. Thanks for your insight.

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