No one wants to hear that they have been fired, but hey, it happens, and you’re in that situation right now. Now it’s time to determine what to say when you get fired. When you get fired, you’re expected to have a comment for your manager and co-workers. You’re also expected to figure out what to say to your family and friends. Lastly, when you get fired, it’s important to know what to say to a future employer as this plays a huge role in whether you get hired or not.
After the bad news, here are 15+ different dignified and professional templates of what to say when you get fired:
Responses on what to say to your manager when you get fired.
Getting that email which informs you that you have been terminated or sitting through that meeting is rough. But alas, it has happened. Now you need to figure out what you are about to say. This response must be dignified, professional and direct. The purpose is to address the issue and achieve closure.
Here are 3 responses on what to say to your manager when you get fired:
01Dear Mr. Jones,
I want to thank you for the opportunity you gave me to further my career. During my time here at Green and Brown Realty, I was able to meet many great people and collect skills I would not have otherwise learned.
As I embark on a new journey away from the company, I will take what was learned and do my best wherever life takes me. Thank you again for allowing me to be a member of your team these past five years.
All the best,
This is a good response to use because it shows that you aren’t harboring any negative feelings towards your employer. It is also good because this professional response can help your chances of getting a positive reference from your former employer.
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02Dear Mrs. Johnson,
Since I learned that my contract with the company has been terminated, I have taken the time to reflect, and I must say it has been a wonderful experience.
My time at Johnsons Cosmetics has imparted unforgettable lessons and has exposed me to new possibilities. My time here as a Quality Assurance Manager has been well-spent, but now it is time for me to move on.
I wish you and the staff well and hope you will have a successful year.
This is another polite letter to send to your former employer. It shows maturity and decorum, and that the termination has not affected you negatively.
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03Dear Mr. Brownstone,
After examining the letter you sent on Friday, I fully understand the reasons for my termination. If it is any consolation, I will internalize what was written and carry the lesson learned over to my next job.
I regret that this issue could not have been rectified in another way, but I now understand that it is in the best interests of staff morale that my position be terminated.
My behavior was completely inappropriate, so I wish to extend my sincerest apologies to you, the staff and everyone that was affected. I hope we can overcome this and exist together in a professional space once more.
This is good to send when your attitude or behavior led to the termination. You are taking responsibility for your actions and have shown growth and maturity. It is especially useful in tight-knit industries where you will have to mingle with your ex-colleagues or employers in professional spaces. This will certainly help to make interactions less awkward.
Emails to your managers on your last day after you have been fired
Sending an email to your manager on the last day of work is a sign of good faith, and is simply the polite thing to do.
Here’s what to say on your last day of work when you have been fired :
01Due to downsizing
Dear Mr. Johnson ,
It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter, as all of my work at this company has come to an end. However, I would like to assure you that I understand the reason behind the downsizing of the company.
It is a wonder you were able to keep so many of us in this economic climate. As I leave this job, I would like to express my utmost respect and thanks for the way this was handled, and the time given to prepare for my departure.
My ultimate wish is that the company is able to recover from this and can once again retain all the employees who put their all in keeping the business going. Until then, my thoughts and prayers are with you as you make more difficult decisions for long-term benefit.
This is a good letter to send your boss after being laid off for economic reasons. It shows that you are understanding and accepting of the verdict, and you still wish to maintain a good relationship.
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02Due to your capability
Dear Mrs. Williams,
My goal coming into this company was to do my best. Unfortunately, life got in the way.
It was unfair to ask you to forgive me multiple times for being constantly late. In hindsight, I should never have accepted this job considering my lengthy, tumultuous commute. My inability to be present is what ultimately led to my lack of proper functioning as a member of your team.
Please accept this final email as my sincerest apologies to you and all those who were inconvenienced by my tardiness. My next move is to find something similar that is closer to me to avoid these issues in the future.
I hope that you can find a replacement soon.
Thank you for your understanding and patience,
It is good to use this letter when you wish to right your wrongs and leave a good note. It also shows that you do not harbor any bad feelings towards the company.
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Emails to your colleagues on your last day
Writing to your colleagues is a good idea, just to let them know what’s going on, or to thank them for help. Here are 2 email templates to consider:
01Due to downsizing
As you know, the company was forced to let some of us go for financial reasons. Unfortunately, my contract was terminated and today is my last day.
It hasn’t been the easiest news to bear, but I just wanted you to know that I am happy you were able to survive the chopping block. You are a great asset to the company, so continue to excel!
I’m rooting for you! See you Saturday for drinks?
Sending this letter to a colleague you were close with lets him/her know that you support their position in the company, and wish them well. It’s also a good way to let a colleague know that you wish to remain friends outside of work.
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02Due to your capability
Hey, Trace! I know we didn’t get along at first, but with time, you became my work bestie. I haven’t told anyone else, but I think you should know that I received a letter of termination.
Today is my final day of work and I did not want to leave without saying goodbye. The reasons for my termination were all faults of my own, but I’ll accept this as one of those harsh lessons in life to learn from.
I hope that you can continue to advance your career. If you have any questions or need any help, I’m here for you.
Thanks for being a great colleague,
Use this template when you have been fired due to your own faults. This letter is addressed to an employee who was either in the same pay grade as you or below you. Offering help or advice is a good gesture as it shows you would not want your colleague to make the same mistakes. It’s the right thing to do.
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Best ways to tell your family after you have received the bad news
Facing your family after receiving news of termination is tough, especially if you are the primary breadwinner. You can’t keep the news to yourself forever though, no matter how hard it will be to tell them.
Here’s how to break the news after you have been fired:
01“I’ve gathered you all here today because I have some bad news. The company has gone bankrupt so they have let all the employees go. This will be a difficult time for the family, but I have some money saved that can hold us over until I find a new job.”
This is a good way to break the news to your family when you don’t want to beat around the bush. It is good to include your contingency plan, i.e. savings so that your family does not worry as much.
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02“After ten years at the Yellow company, I was made redundant due to budget cuts. You’ll notice I’ve been busy for the past week. Well, that’s because I’ve been going to interviews for a new job. I’ve been offered a small role at a start-up that pays significantly less, but there is room for growth, and it shouldn’t be long until things go back to normal. Until then, I will need your support and understanding. This will be a rough time for all of us, but if I know anything about this family, it’s that we always bounce back.”
Use this when you want to be real with your family., It doesn’t make sense to pretend things are what they aren’t. Your family will, of course, feel hopeful about your new position, and will be understanding of the decisions you have to make.
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03“I don’t quite know how to say this, and I’ve been going back and forth the past few days, but here goes nothing. I was fired. It was my fault and I do not wish to discuss it right now.
I am sorry I failed you. I’ve been updating my resume and putting out feelers but so far, nothing has happened. This means there will be some big changes around here but know that I am trying my best.”
The reality is, not everyone can find a job as soon as they are fired. This is a response you should use when you want to keep your family in the loop.
Best ways to tell your friends after you have received the bad news
It’s not easy for anyone to come forth and say they got fired. You are already doing a great job by looking for different ways to do it. Now it’s time to share the bad news with your friends. Bear in mind that you should only share this with supportive friends who will not judge you.
Here’s what to say to your friends when you get fired :
01“So, I guess by now you’ve all heard the news that I was fired from my job. I’m currently trying to manage this new stage in my life as best as possible. I appreciate all your offers to help, but for now, I’d like to take the time to reflect and plot my next move.”
Friends can sometimes be overbearing in their eagerness to help. You can use this to let your friend know you want space to work through the hardship.
02“Hey Emma, I just want to share some bad news with you that I have received. My boss is letting some employees go, including me. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’ll really need your support until I can figure that out.”
This is a good way to let a friend know that you need help. Many people are too proud to ask for support and end up dealing with tough situations alone.
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03“They let me go, Derrick. After all I’ve done for the company, my contract has been terminated. I’m feeling overwhelmed because I have a baby on the way. Do you know of any openings?”
This is a raw and honest reaction to getting fired. It is good to use when you don’t want to put on a brave face. This lets your friend know that you truly need help.
Professional ways to explain your layoff to your future employer during a job interview
Potential employers will definitely ask about your employment history and will want to know why your last employment ended. It makes no sense to lie in this instance, but you must choose your words carefully as they may be the difference between being hired and rejected.
Here’s what to say in a job interview when you are asked about why you got fired :
01“My time at Lowe’s Manufacturing Co ended prematurely due to different views of the company vision. I was approached for a role as creative director, which I humbly accepted. During my time there, it was clear that my goals did not align with the consensus, so as a result, my post was terminated.”
This is good to use when you don’t want your boss to think you are difficult to work with. A response like this emphasizes that there may be differences in the workplace, and these differences cannot persist within a small business.
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02“I spent seven years at Powell’s Auto before my contract was terminated. My employer was forced to make cuts due to a downturn in profits. I maintain a good relationship with him and other members of staff. I also fully understand that the decision was not personal. The skills that I learned can easily translate into this post.”
Use this response when the termination was due to financial reasons. It is good to use because it doesn’t portray you as a disposable or replaceable employee, but rather one that was let go due to necessity. The last sentence is important because it brings the conversation back to the present and what you can offer the company.
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03“Regrettably, I let personal issues interfere with my performance at work, thus I was not able to perform to my boss’ expectations. I have taken full responsibility for my actions and stabilized my situation before seeking new employment. I am excited about this position as it would allow me to show the lessons I picked up along the way.”
Again, this is a good response because you have managed to redirect the conversation to the present role. You have also taken responsibility and were honest in your response, which is a good trait for potential employers. You have also made certain to assure your potential employer that the issue will not persist in your new role.
Getting fired is tough. We know that.
What matters is what you choose to do after that. You will have to start with what to say when you get fired, which you should now have covered.
Next is moving on to find a new job and furthering your career. Good luck!