7 Things to Do After Getting Laid Off or Fired from a Marketing Job

7 Things to Do After Getting Laid Off or Fired from a Marketing Job

By Christina M. Nguyen

We know it’s a hard time for many of you. Job losses due to the pandemic have reached levels not seen since the Great Depression, and the marketing industry certainly hasn’t been spared. If you’re a marketer who’s been laid off, you’re not alone. If you’ve been fired for some non-pandemic related reason, you’re also not alone. Culture and people mismatches happen, but so do great matches. If you’re still determined to succeed in marketing, the time is now to look forward.   

 Here are some of our thoughts on how to move on after losing a marketing job:   

  1. Be honest with yourself and potential employers.

This starts from within. Acknowledge how and why you lost your job. If you were laid off due to the pandemic, think about why your services were no longer needed. Maybe the company was under financial strain or its products and service were no longer necessary or relevant. Even if your layoff wasn’t a personal issue, it’s important to try to understand the company’s decision. It may help you identify a more pandemic-proof position in the future.

If you were let go for more personal reasons, it may be more painful to think about why. However, some pain and adversity are necessary for your personal growth. If you weren’t a great culture fit, think about what culture would be a better fit or how you could have done a better job. If there was a falling out, think about how you can better deal with similar situations in the future and what you did wrong, if at all. In the end, you might reason it wasn’t really your fault. Bosses and management can often be to blame but ask yourself what you can always do better.  

  1. Wait until you’re ready to move on.

One thing we see often is that people lose their job and immediately start looking for the next role (often one that was similar to what they had been doing.) If you’re under financial pressure, that’s certainly understandable. But if you’re not under such strain, take some time to clear your head. Think about what you really want to do and the type of place you really want to work in. In other words, give yourself at least a small break and recharge.  

In that vein, you might think of changing careers or moving into a different area of marketing.  Maybe this job loss was a sign you’re burning out of social media and you are better off copywriting instead. A door being closed behind you could be ushering you toward a new one.  

  1. Reach out to your network.

Whenever you’re ready, announce your loss on social media, including LinkedIn. You don’t need to disclose every detail so publicly. At least show determination to move on and openness to a new adventure that might differ from your previous one. Even if you’re angry, try to show as much positivity as possible.  

Other people most likely will be sympathetic to your situation, having encountered it before themselves or with others. When they reach out to help you, show that you’re grateful. If they don’t end up sending opportunities your way, that’s OK. One mistake we often make in social media is to only contact individuals when we need them. So, make sure to keep in touch with them regardless and contribute to the field by sharing or even writing on topics you feel strongly about. 

  1. Don't trash your previous employer. 

This piece of advice is incredibly important when you’re communicating with your network and later on with the potential employers. Even if your previous employer terrorized you, trashing them in a professional context just makes the entire situation even more negative than it already is. Potential employers will also suspect that you may also trash talk them as well if something goes wrong. Focus on the positives and what you learned from the experience when talking to potential employers. Don't wallow in a detailed explanation either. As much as you think it’s important to get all the details out, your new potential employer doesn’t really care about the minutiae. And most of the time, you will just come off bitter or obsessed. Neither of which is a good look.   

  1. Focus on learning something new. 

If you’re not ready to move on yet, use your time to learn new skills. New skills can help you in a future position. Perhaps you were burned out of your previous job, leading to a performance drop. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn analytics but never had the time to figure it out. This could be the start of an unexpected new journey with a destination deviating from your previous path. All the experiences you have led up to you to this moment. Embrace it. Change is the only way to grow and learn.   

  1. Find a mentor and listen to their guidance. 

 Having some social interaction with others can help motivate you. New conversations can open up new insights and perspectives you haven’t considered. There are plenty of people who’ve been in your shoes and are now in a position you’d like to be in. And they’d be willing to help you. Reach out and ask for their advice. Have a conversation about their experiences, perspectives, and what they think you should do. Perhaps they can offer a fresh perspective on your job loss, or give you some sense of comfort that you have a lot more opportunities ahead of you.  

  1. Stay confident.

Lastly, we can’t underestimate the importance of believing in yourself. Everybody gets knocked down. But you have to believe in yourself to get back up and dust yourself off. We love the line from the film Rocky Balboa in which the old boxer tells his son: “It’s not about how hard you can hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

You have the skills and abilities companies want and need. Keep learning and keep moving forward and your persistence will pay off. 


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