Job search skills require you to overcome a situation where you were fired from a job. It happens to many of us. You have a boss you don’t see face to face. You take the initiative and it doesn’t work. You misinterpret some instructions and it backfires. A supervisor makes a mistake and you take the blame.

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t do you any good to agonize over the situation, making your job search difficult. However, if you get a job interview and are asked why you left a particular employer, it will not do you any good to pass on chapter and verse on why you were fired. Even if you have legitimate reasons to complain about your treatment, a job interview is not a place to discuss the situation.

Sure you were treated badly, your supervisor acted stupid, but every time you say negative things about your former supervisor or employer, you simply reject any chance of getting a job offer.

If you were treated unfairly, do you really want to continue working in that kind of toxic environment? When asked why you left, you may have reached the top of your salary rating and left to explore something better. Or the company was cutting back and you reorganized without a job. Whatever the reason, keep it positive, refer to all your relevant accomplishments, smile, and move on.

Many times an organization needs to cut staff and instead of laying off people, it resorts to laying off several people. Reasons for firing can range from legitimate reasons to “you’re 39 and not yet in a protected class (40 or older for possible age discrimination) and find a reason to fire you.”

Plus, you don’t have to worry about your employer training to spill the beans on the circumstances surrounding your termination. In today’s litigation-prone society, employers go to great lengths not to answer questions about why someone left their job.

They will admit that someone worked for them from one date to the next and their title, but that’s it. A few years ago when checking references, I used to be able to ask if the person was eligible for rehire. If they were eligible for rehire, it was an abbreviation that they had a good track record. Today employers will not respond to these types of inquiries.

Before a job offer, you may be asked to sign a statement so they can verify your references. You don’t lose anything by signing it. Most likely they will not consult with previous employers.

Another benefit of being fired is that you learn some valuable lessons that you probably wouldn’t repeat with future employers.