Q: I recently got fired following a serious misunderstanding with my supervisor. Before my dismissal, I had been giving my absolute best and I really loved my job. Now my life is a complete mess. I haven't left my house for several days and I cry all the time. I also don’t have anyone to talk to and I fear that I might sink into depression if things don't change. How should I deal with this matter?
I empathise with you and would like to make you aware that you can appeal against the termination.
Direct the appeal to an individual who was not part of the termination process. However, bear in mind that the decision might be repealed or upheld, so you must be ready to move on regardless of the outcome.
The law provides guidelines on the process that should be followed when terminating employees’ contracts.
The accused staff member must be given a chance to respond to any allegations levelled against him through a transparent process where submissions by both parties are heard.
The panel should constitute a representative from HR, someone from the legal department and a neutral person where possible. The complainant and the accused should also be present. The law allows an employee to bring a witness.
Going forward, when you sign any appointment letter, be prepared to ‘’sign out” at some point in your life.
But right now your mental well-being should take first priority. Consider seeking professional counselling to help you cope.
Also request your employer to give you a document indicating the duration of your stay at your former workplace and the position you held.
The law requires all employers to provide this document regardless of the circumstances under which the dismissal occurred.
You could also ask one of your managers to give you a reference letter or to vouch for you in your next role.
If you are not already on professional sites like LinkedIn, consider signing up, as you will gain access to an unlimited number of employers globally.
I would also encourage you to join a professional forum for networking. In future, always focus on your job and exceed the expectation if you can, but do not neglect other aspects of your life, such as family, hobbies and friends.
Even if you are the most hardworking or senior most employee, you will not be employed forever. Therefore, do your best but always be ready to leave with your head high.
Additionally, put together a plan of how you will meet your basic needs even if your period of employment is over.
All is not lost. There are numerous opportunities out there so use this gap to learn a new skill, reconnect with family or friends, and live life.
Jane Muiruri - Senior HR Manager, Nation Media Group; firstname.lastname@example.org