Fired! Do’s and Don’ts for the Recently Laid Off or Let Go

No one likes to be fired. If you were recently laid off or let go, you’re probably very angry or upset about losing a client. You may even think your client was unfair in his dismissal. Your first reaction might be to fire off an angry missive or trash your former client on a public forum, but this isn’t the best recourse. Before you act in a matter you might possibly regret Consider these do’s and don’t.


  • Send off an angry email: Always let your first, angry reaction pass. If you have to fire off a nasty missive, do so and then delete, but certainly don’t send. Burning bridges is never a good idea. You might not be a good fit for your former client’s project but he may possibly recommend you to someone else. He might also move to another company that hires freelancers. If you made an unprofessional impression, he might remember.
  • Publicly trash your former client: Potential clients may see this and pass on the opportunity.
  • Put all the blame on your former client: Unless it was a budget cut, there’s a good reason for your termination. Listen to all of your client’s feedback and take it all under consideration for future clients.
  • Talk smack about your client to every freelancer you know: Look your client didn’t work out for you, but that doesn’t mean other freelancers aren’t a good fit for the gig. Bashing former clients all the time mostly makes them uncomfortable.
  • Take it personally: You may feel it’s personal but it’s not. The reasons may feel personal, but they’re not. Firings are business. Your client is doing what he has to do to protect his interests.  Don’t let negativity consume you and don’t let it hit your confidence or self esteem. Tell yourself it’s business and move on.


  • Say “thank you” for the opportunity: You may not feel grateful after having your contract terminated but professionalism is the key to a successful career. Say “thank you” and move on.
  • Be angry: No one is telling you not to feel angry after being laid off but use that passion for something productive. Either do your own thing or find new clients.
  • Reflect on this situation: Think about the reasons your client terminated your contract and what you can do better next time around.
  • Make a plan: What will you do to replace the loss of income? Make a plan and take action.
  • Turn it into something positive: Everything happens for a reason. Perhaps you were let go because you were destined to better things. Turn your negative energy into something positive and let it motivate you to move on to bigger and better things.

When a client terminates a contract, it sucks. No one likes to be fired. Dwelling on negativity or letting it consume us only leads us to take actions we regret later. The last thing you want to do is burn bridges. Take the reasons you were let go into consideration and turn it into something positive. Find the clients and projects that are the right fit.


One response
  1. PamNation Avatar

    One thing you forgot was using their guilt to get a great referral letter. I know it’s hard to get past the anger sometimes, but most of the time the people doing the laying off feel terrible. And if not them, then other people within the organization do. Talk to them about getting a letter of recommendation highlighting something positive.

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