Call it ominous timing. In February, author Dick Barlik published “S***, I Got Fired,” a short, no-B.S. guide on how to get hired after being unexpectedly fired. Shortly thereafter, the United States saw the worst unemployment spikes in history.

According to the Department of Labor, job loss as a result of the coronavirus outbreak continues to soar as unemployment claims reach nearly 10 million in the last 3 weeks. Barlik hopes the practical, straightforward advice in his book will help the jobless. He writes from personal experience, having been suddenly fired from his job in 2019.

“I wrote this book because when I got fired people told me that I handled it well,” said Barlik. “I recently decided to share what I did as a practical guide. Now with COVID-19, millions of Americans find themselves unemployed. It’s a terrible situation. But I’m proud to offer whatever help I can to people who are jobless and utterly confused about their next steps.”

Getting fired is a traumatic experience, notes Barlik. A research review at the University of East Anglia suggests the psychological effects of getting fired are equal to a divorce or even the death of a spouse. Sometimes, notes the research, the psychological effects of getting fired even last longer.

Barlik’s doesn’t mince words in his unemployment guide. It avoids “rah-rah” advice that focuses on inspiring quotes but fails to offer actionable tips.  “S***, I Got Fired” admonishes fired professionals to get used to rejection until landing a new job. Barlik explains that the isolation of unemployment and the coronavirus can be used to focus one’s efforts on landing a new job. In these days of quarantining and social distancing, the advice is surprisingly prescient.

“I didn’t write this book for the world of COVID-19,” Barlik says. “But the way things have turned out, it’s an ideal guide for someone who’s social distancing at home and is uncertain about their future.”

The book covers a wide range of topics, including immediate steps (keeping one’s home clean and organized, staying off of social media except LinkedIn) to following up on phone calls, and interviewing tips. As part of the “no-B.S. approach,” Barlik advocates honesty in explaining a previous firing. People like HomeAway co-founder Brian Sharples have said they even prefer to hire people who have learned from previous failures.

Barlik, includes a list of unemployment resources at his website, https://bit.ly/2X3ORmS. He credits his proactive approach during those early 2019 days for keeping his career on track and making it possible to grow as a result of the experience.

“Looking back, getting fired can be a devastating memory—or it can be an opportunity,” Barlik says. “You’d be surprised how much of that choice is under your control. That’s no B.S.”

About The Author

Dick Barlik knows how to go from getting abruptly fired to landing a job. He wrote his book “S***, I Got Fired” to help reduce the pain and frustration generally associated with going from fired to hired. Originally from Philadelphia, he graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and completed his MBA at The University of Miami. He has conducted interviews and managed hiring decisions, and gives advice from the perspective of employer and successful job candidate.