If you've ever been fired or laid off, you know it can be a traumatic experience, especially if you haven't been given a specific reason. Nobody really ever gets fired without a cause—there's always reason for letting go of an employee.

There are multiple reasons why people are let go (reorganization, underperformance, being drunk at work, harassing co-workers, complaining about your boss on social media, breach of company's policies, etc.), but there are three that are most common in my experience and two of them are almost completely avoidable.


Employees unaware they could get fired for underperformance

If you've been constantly making bad decisions or not reaching your performance objectives, then this is one of the reasons you might have got fired. Review your performance over the past year. If you have been consistently hitting your targets or even outperforming your colleagues, then performance might not be the actual issue here.

However, if you realize your performance has been unsatisfactory, try to analyze whether there was anything you could have done to improve it. Once you understand what those things are, hopefully you won't repeat the same mistake in your next job.

Wrong Attitude

Young professional with wrong attitude at work at risk of getting fired

Company culture is very important to most organizations and if you do not fit into that culture then you might find it difficult to work there. For example, if every day you came in to work with a negative attitude, then your boss and/or co-workers probably noticed, and this might have played a part in you being fired.

Also, if you were missing too many days of work or arrived late to work all the time, that probably played a role in you being fired. Was the company just the bad fit for you (in which case, now you have a chance to find something more suitable!), or are there any other issues you need to address to ensure this doesn't happen again?

It is important that you find a job with a company that has culture and values you can relate to.

Budget Cuts / Company Restructuring

Employee receives bad news about budget cuts and company restructuring

This unfortunately happens, but it is nevertheless painful if you lose your job because of restructuring or budget cuts. Even if you think you were a strong employee, you might still want to assess your attitude and performance. I remember once the company used 'restructure' as the reason of getting rid of a sales manager who wasn't the right fit.

Remember, just because you were fired doesn't mean it was always your fault or that you won't find another great job in the future.

Can't Get Hired After Being Fired or Laid Off? This Could Be Why...

One of the 8 reasons you're not getting hired

It is always worth to assess your performance and conduct, as there might be something to learn for the future. If you want to learn:

  • Why working hard is not enough to get promoted
  • How to make the right connections that help you get ahead
  • Why making yourself irreplaceable can harm your career
  • How to find and communicate your unique value
  • 5 key strategies to help you get recognized, promoted, and rewarded at work.

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This post was originally published at an earlier date.