In the world of work, a lot of different terms are often thrown around to describe various employment statuses. Two of these terms, in particular, are often confused and used interchangeably: being let go and being fired. However, there is a significant difference between the two.
To understand the difference between being let go and being fired, it’s important to define what each of these terms actually means. Let’s start with being let go.
What does it mean to be let go?
Being let go is typically used to describe a situation where an employee is released from their job due to factors outside of their control. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but it’s most commonly due to budget cuts or restructuring. It can also happen if a company is downsizing or if a position is eliminated for any reason.
When an employee is let go, it’s often not personal. It’s simply a matter of the employer needing to cut costs or restructure the company in a way that no longer requires the employee’s services. In some cases, employees may be given a severance package as a way of compensating them for their time and service to the company.
What does it mean to be fired?
Being fired, on the other hand, is typically used to describe a situation where an employee is terminated from their job due to poor performance, inappropriate behavior, or violating company policies. This is often seen as a more severe consequence than being let go, as it suggests that the employee has done something wrong that has led to their termination.
When an employee is fired, it’s usually due to something they did or didn’t do while on the job. This can include things like consistently poor performance, violating company policies, failing to meet job expectations, or engaging in inappropriate behavior such as harassment or theft. In some cases, employees may be given a warning or a chance to improve before being fired, but this isn’t always the case.
Is there a difference in how being let go and being fired are viewed by potential employers?
Yes, there is a difference in how being let go and being fired are viewed by potential employers. While being let go can be seen as something outside of the employee’s control, being fired is often seen as a reflection of the employee’s character or work ethic. This can make it more difficult for employees who have been fired to find new employment.
However, it’s important to note that not all employers view being fired as a negative thing. Some may view it as a sign that the employee is willing to take risks and try new things, or that they are willing to stand up for what they believe in. It’s all about how the situation is presented and explained to potential employers.
What should you do if you’ve been let go or fired?
If you’ve been let go or fired, it’s important to take action to improve your chances of finding new employment. Here are a few things you can do:
1. Take some time to reflect on what went wrong. Whether you were let go or fired, it’s important to understand why the situation occurred. This will help you identify any areas where you need to improve and also ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes in the future.
2. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile. Make sure that your resume and LinkedIn profile accurately reflect your skills and experience. Highlight your accomplishments and any relevant experience that you have.
3. Be honest with potential employers. If you’ve been let go or fired, be honest with potential employers about what happened. Explain the situation and what you learned from it. Demonstrate that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions and want to improve.
4. Stay positive. Being let go or fired can be a blow to your self-esteem, but it’s important to stay positive and focused on finding new employment. Use the experience as an opportunity to grow and improve, and don’t let it hold you back.
In summary, being let go and being fired are two different employment statuses that employers use to describe the circumstances surrounding an employee’s departure from a company. Being let go is often outside of the employee’s control and can happen due to factors such as budget cuts or restructuring, while being fired is typically the result of poor performance, inappropriate behavior, or violating company policies. While being fired can be seen in a negative light by potential employers, it’s important to be honest about what happened and demonstrate a willingness to improve. With a positive attitude and a commitment to growth, employees who have been let go or fired can still move forward and find new opportunities.