Finding employment is not always easy. And things might seem even more difficult when you are terminated from your previous job due to misconduct, which also reflects on your record.
Making a career move at this point can indeed seem difficult. After all, why would an employer want to hire someone who has been fired for not living up to specific standards in their previous job?
However, things are not as dismal as they seem. Many employers believe in second chances. If you were fired from your last job due to misconduct, you are remorseful and willing to learn from the incident. Your prospective employers will most likely give you a second chance.
The critical thing to remember here is not to lie. Do not undermine your previous employers by falsifying the facts. If it was your fault, then take full responsibility for it. It will only help build trust with your new employers. They will see you are not afraid to hold yourself accountable in challenging situations.
Here is how you can get a job after being fired for misconduct and what to do about it.
Bonus Read: How to Recover From Being Fired?
What Constitutes Misconduct at the Workplace?
One thing that leaves many people confused is that there are no hard and fast rules about what constitutes misconduct in a workplace. It largely depends on the ethics of the organization. What an individual might consider a passing error might have serious consequences if the organization believes it to be a serious misdemeanor.
Hence, it is essential that you thoroughly go through the company’s website and check out in detail what the company will or will not tolerate from its employees.
However, although there will always be specific nuances in what can be categorized as misconduct, mostly all companies have a no-tolerance policy toward the following:
- Engaging in violence at the workplace is considered a serious breach of conduct. This would include verbally or physically abusing a coworker, employer, or other staff working on the premises.
- If one deliberately breaches health and safety protocols that put others at risk, it will be considered misconduct. Hiding a contagious illness that can infect others, not following OSHA guidelines, or simply being careless around the premises and putting others at risk would be considered a serious breach.
- Discriminating against a team member or any other staff based on gender, race, color, caste, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or sexual orientation is misconduct. Many companies have zero tolerance for this kind of discrimination.
All organizations today focus on inclusiveness, and you cannot hinder anyone’s growth due to your biases. The same goes for bullying or harassing anyone on these grounds.
- Engaging in theft or fraudulent activity in the office is enough for your employer to terminate your employment. The same goes for acts of bribery. Such actions affect the employee and tarnish the organization’s reputation, so employers will not take this lightly.
- Drug or alcohol abuse at work is considered a serious breach of protocol and misconduct. Even if you have not taken alcohol or drugs inside the office building, coming to work under the influence and engaging in unethical activities or making errors at work would still be considered misconduct.
- Any criminal acts in the office would be misconducted. From sexually harassing another staff at the office, vandalizing the property, to misusing company secrets, these are severe crimes and will give your employers enough grounds to terminate you.
- Missing deadlines continuously or making repeated errors can also be looked upon as gross misconduct by several organizations. After all, missing deadlines or making errors at work will affect the entire team’s performance and mar the company’s reputation in the long run. The company might incur thousands of dollars worth of loss for the tiniest errors.
- Turning up late for work will also have a similar effect and is considered misconduct by many organizations. Your employers will be forced to take action against you if you do not rectify the situation. Otherwise, it would be unfair to those who turn up on time.
Is It Necessary to Tell Your Recruiters That They Fired You?
One of the most common dilemmas many employees face while looking for a new job after being fired is whether they should disclose the matter during the hiring process. Now, no one is legally bound to reveal that they were fired.
You can start looking for a job and start afresh. If you plan to move to another city or even another country, perhaps this will matter even less.
However, disclosing the fact to your potential recruiters is vital for other reasons. Almost every organization today conducts a background check, including speaking to your past employers. So you can be sure that even if you do not disclose you are being fired, your prospective employers will most certainly find out about it.
And when they do, they will assume that you were trying to hide the fact, creating a negative impression before you start working for them.
Disclosing the fact that you were fired will help in building trust. Your new employers will understand that you are not one to run away from uncomfortable situations and are ready to own whatever might have happened.
This is far better than finding out about the incident down the line from someone else. It is better if it comes from you.
What to Do After Being Fired For Misconduct?
Being fired from a job is not the end of the world. It is unfortunate, but you should not have to suffer for it. Take some time off and then start preparing for the next phase. Here are three things you can do after being fired for misconduct.
1. Learn From Your Mistakes And Keep Your Head Up
No one can make you feel bad unless you want to. You might feel discouraged for a while and even feel conscious about stepping out, especially in front of your colleagues or friends who come to know about your termination. However, remember that your attitude will dictate people’s perceptions of you.
So learn from your mistakes and take some time to evaluate yourself to figure out what led to the misconduct. Did you lose your temper at work? Then work on your anger management. Were you missing deadlines too often? Then learn a new skill that will help you speed up your work. Once you have removed the issues that led to the misconduct, you will also grow more confident.
2. Start Networking
Feeling humiliated and dejected will not help you after getting fired. If you are not immediately comfortable communicating with your known group of people, then network and create new contacts. The more people you meet, the better the chances of finding new opportunities.
You do not have to tell everyone about your termination. Just take this opportunity to meet new people and be open to possibilities.
3. Try Jobs in Other Sectors
If you have been fired for misconduct and do not feel like returning to the same environment, you could try finding jobs in other sectors. For example, you could be an accountant, but instead of working in an IT company, you could try food and beverages.
Changing sectors can also help you gather more experience. It will also mean a change of work pace, a new work environment, and learning new skills. If your misconduct was due to reasons that prevented you from performing your best, sometimes changing sectors might help you figure out where your true calling lies.
How to Approach An Interview After Being Fired for Misconduct?
Looking for a job after being fired can be daunting, but you should not let it overcome your ambitions. Turning over a new leaf and making a fresh start is always possible. Here is what you can do while looking for a new job after being fired.
1. Do Not Dwell in The Past
An incident like being fired is, of course, going to have a significant impact on your life. You suddenly find yourself cut off from your primary source of income. And then, there are psychological aspects to deal with. You might feel humiliated and even broken.
However, there is no use dwelling on the past.
The sooner you get out of the loop of guilt, the better. Maybe it was your fault. Perhaps it wasn’t. Do not let what happened to undermine your confidence for the subsequent interviews.
2. Be Prepared to Tackle Uncomfortable Questions
When it comes to interviews, you need to be ready to answer all sorts of questions related to your past work experience. And when you have been fired from your previous job, things might seem trickier.
Do not let yourself be caught off guard. Research, the company for which you are going for an interview and find out as much as possible about their work ethics and code of conduct. You will get an idea about what they find acceptable and not acceptable. Then frame your responses accordingly.
3. Do Not Downplay Your Fault
If you were guilty of misconduct, take full responsibility for your actions. Do not try to prove that your employers were mistaken or that you had to shoulder the blame of your coworker. Doing so will mean that you are someone who refuses to hold yourself accountable for your faults.
Employers will significantly appreciate you if you take responsibility for your actions and will learn from your mistakes. You should be ready to grow as a person and an employee and make your prospective employers see that.
4. Do Not Speak Ill of Your Previous Employers
Although you have been fired, refrain from speaking ill about your past employers, irrespective of whether it was your fault. This will portray you as a vindictive person, whatever the facts might be. Choose to be quietly professional and humble instead and not make negative remarks about your supervisors or the organization.
5. Avoid The Details
When it comes to talking about your termination, avoid unnecessary details. Do not tell an elaborative story about what happened. First, no matter what you say, always know that recruiters have channels of their own to verify the facts. Second, do not waste valuable time speaking about details that will negatively affect your ability as a worker.
Hence, provide crisp facts about what happened and focus more on what you learned and how you plan on improving yourself further. Your employers will feel bored if you carry on with the details, and it will seem like you are trying to justify yourself.
Being fired is not a suitable position, but you cannot let it stand in the way of your career. The best way to ensure that it does affect your job is to embrace the incident boldly. Take your time to sort out any issues that might have led to the misconduct. If you want a break before looking for the next job, do so.
But coming back with a clear mindset and being terminated from your previous job should not hold you back. Being honest with your future employers is the best course of action, and they can never hold the incident against you. And you will emerge from the incident stronger and wiser, which will help you down the line.