Laid Off, Terminated? Now What?

Thanks to all out there who have submitted topics recently. I will try and address them all as time allows. I want to talk a bit today about what to do when you find yourself out of a job, be it by choice or especially when you find yourself terminated. Losing a job is tough no matter what the circumstances. Even leaving a job on your own can provide headaches. I left my previous company after 11 years and with it came some anxiety and second guessing. Finding yourself terminated is even more terrifying and soul sucking. On this post, for the sake of time, let's focus on what happens if you are terminated.

If you are terminated for poor performance, it's time to buck up and ask yourself some serious questions. Most importantly, it's time to humble yourself, be honest, and assess your performance and take action to correct whatever deficiency or behaviour was in violation. Know that if you were let go due to poor performance, not behavior, then you really want to take a long look at yourself and your work ethic.

Most companies will provide the proper training and guidance to adequately perform your position. If this was not the case, then perhaps this wasn't the right fit or even the right company that you should be working with?

Most companies are willing to invest in their employees by providing the proper training and education. They want you to grow along with them. Remember that no one expects you to know all the answers, but being able to find the answers is essential. Remember also that attitude, teamwork, and communication are all very important to the development process. If your attitude is poor and your teamwork lacking, then perhaps you made a wrong career choice in general.

Unfortunately, in today's climate many are let go not for performance issues, but because the studio was downsized, closed, or for many other various business decisions that had nothing what so ever to do with performance of the individual.

Good people are laid off all the time. We know this before we made our decision to work in the Game Industry. The main thing to remember here is to hold your head high, and move on. Your attitude moving forward could severely affect your ability to get hired again.

Here are a few tips and things to remember when you find yourself seeking new employment:

Reach out to your network – This is why I preach the powers of networking all the time. This is when you need your network the most. However, if this is the only time you use your network, then you will be shunned. Stay active with your network all of the time and when you find yourself in a difficult situation, they will be more apt to help. I know a lot of people in this industry, and nothing make me sadder than hearing from someone the minute they need help, yet they practically ignore me all other times. What you give is what you get! The more I know someone, the more eager I am to try and help them. They drop me notes on my birthday, show up at various meet ups and conferences, check in from time to time to say hello, and let me know what's going on in their lives when things are going well, not just when they are not. Even an occasional retweet or post on my Linkedin and Facebook wall lets me know they are alive and paying attention. In a nutshell, they get involved in their community and its activities. They stay visible through the good and the bad. Don't be the game dev that cried wolf!

Next, when moving forward, try your best to remain positive and in good spirits. If you are disgruntled or demotivated in any way, it will show when reaching out to potential hiring managers and recruiters. Disgruntlement, frustration, and anxiety will often manifest themselves into arrogance and just plain bad attitude. These are the kiss of death for landing your next position. No matter what the situation never throw anyone under the bus. Blaming the company or a person for your termination will never look good on you. EVER! You may have legitimate reasons but you want to stay positive and state your case in a professional and dignified manner. Don't let your fears take over, stay focused, and take all of the energy that you could spend on being pissed off and use it to your advantage.

Now, your assignment for today, reach out to someone. Not because you need to, but because you care about them.

@RobCoble - rob.coble@everi.com