How to Manage a Job Search When You’ve Been Fired from Your Last Sales Job
So you’ve been fired.
Join the club.
I took a very informal survey of my coworkers many years ago.
I asked 10 of my colleagues to raise their hands if they’ve been fired.
Three people raised their hands. Firing isn’t that uncommon, especially in sales. The real question is what are you going to do about it?
If You’ve Been Fired from Your Sales Job, It’s Time to Reflect
If you’ve been let go for a legitimate reason: you’ve lied to your boss, sent inappropriate emails, didn’t demonstrate good behavior at the company holiday party, or simply missed quota, then you need to change your behavior.
Self-awareness ranks as one of the top skills for high-performing C-level professionals. (They get fired too.)
Get to the bottom of why you’re no longer with your company.
Decide if you need to leave sales all together.
Have you missed too many quotas for too long? Perhaps you just made a mistake or were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Whatever happened, come to terms with it and decide if you need to make some changes.
Choose Your References Wisely
Pick out a few people from the company you were fired from and reach out to them about being a reference.
These key references will be important to you as you progress in the job search process. Select only people who you feel want to be a reference for you and who can speak to the work you did while at the organization.
Take Action by Getting Your Search Started Promptly
As tempting as it might be, don’t take a few months off to calibrate. Getting a job search started immediately is the best thing you can do.
Finding a new role will take up to several months and the longer you remain unemployed the harder it will be to secure new employment.
Reach Out to Your Network
One of the sure-fire ways to get a new sales role is by working with former colleagues. Reach out to past coworkers and let them know you are on the market for a new opportunity.
This one simple strategy can cut the length of your job search by up to 50%.
Update Your LinkedIn Profile
You can set your LinkedIn profile as “open to new opportunities.” This will put you at the top of search string results and help you stand out from the crowd. If you are looking for a new sales job, this is an important step.
Your profile can be brought to the top among thousands of others by making this one simple change.
It’s important that your profile is up to date including your current role, profile picture, and accomplishments.
If you haven’t already, ask your former employer for a reference through the LinkedIn platform.
Be Easy to Reach
When you are unemployed, you have more time to conduct a job search. Making yourself available via email and phone will make it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to schedule interviews with you.
Don’t wait to respond, get back to potential employers as quickly as you can. You want to show them that you are easy to work with and responsive.
This will make it easier for employers to schedule meetings with you and get you in front of key decision makers.
If it becomes difficult to track you down, they will assume you are not interested or have more pressing priorities than finding a new employer.
Stay Positive You Keep Good Company
It’s easy to get down when you’ve been fired and are looking for a new sales job. However, it’s important to remember you keep good company.
Maybe you’ve heard of Steve Jobs.
Remember him? He was fired from his own company.
Maybe you know these club members:
Oprah Winfrey was fired and told she was “unfit for television.”
Michael Bloomberg was fired from Salomon Brothers before he started the financial data company Bloomberg.
Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper job and was told he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
Put Your Faith in the Future and Take the First Step
Now that you’ve moved on, it’s time to focus your energy on your job search. Looking for a new job is your new job in the interim.
Get started today by reaching out to your network, updating your LinkedIn profile, and connecting with former colleagues.
It couldn’t be too soon to start entertaining new opportunities. Check out a few we’re working on here.