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Got an awkward work situation in your past? Maybe you've job-hopped one too many times? Maybe you were laid off or fired? These kinds of circumstances can rob you of your confidence and keep you from moving forward productively to getting hired.

The truth is that a lot of people have some kind of negative event in their past. I've seen it with brand new graduates and C-level executives. Once you know how to get past that obstacle, you can be effective and get a great job.

Don't let a bad situation keep you from taking the action you need to take now in your job search. Be proactive.

  1. Have good answers to employer questions about difficult situations.

Know how to answer:

Why were you laid off or fired?

Why do you have an employment gap?

Why have you changed jobs so frequently? 

2. Line up your references.

Your references can do a lot to correct any negativity a potential employer might have about you. Choose and coach your references carefully. See Rules for References.

3. Work one-on-one with a career coach.

A good coach can help you craft a positive (or at least neutral) explanation for many negative situations. Sometimes you need a little spin or a little wordsmithing for a problem situation, but sometimes it's as simple as gaining another perspective.

See Career Confidential Coaches here.

4. Find inspiration and powerful tips to get the job you want in one of our free job search webinars this week!

Best of luck!