If you have recently heard the words, “we need to let you go,” it will not pay for you to slip into a state of abject panic.  By remaining calm, you will be better prepared to take the steps that will get you over this speed bump in one piece.  Here are several things you should do quickly after losing your job:

It will not help your situation if you choose to freak out!

It is important that you prevent your emotions from bursting to the surface, causing you to get lost in the fear that will come from the termination.  The calmer you remain, the faster you will be able to develop a solid plan to work through the crisis.

Do not do anything retaliatory, rash or bitter during your time of fear.

No matter how satisfying it may feel to send former co-workers or clients an email about everything that your old employer does incorrectly, do not do it!  You need to do anything you can to protect your credibility after you have been dismissed, and a hostile exit will be a definite ding to your reputation.

Consider contacting your former employer to discuss how your termination will be described.

It will pay to contact your former employer to negotiate the manner in which your departure will be described to any future employers.  By making a polite request, it is possible you may be able to get your old employer to choose to use neutral terms when discussing the separation.

Verify the balance of your checking account, savings account and all of your credit card accounts.

It is vital that you review your budget for the next several months, and cut all expenses that are inessential to your day to day existence.  Assume that you may not have an income source for several months, so make the budget a matter of essentials.

Look into qualifying for unemployment benefits.

In many states, employees who have been terminated can also collect benefits, as long as they were not released for intentional transgressions.  These benefits can take a while to kick-in, so it is a good idea to file earlier rather than later.

Make note of anyone you would like to continue to speak with in the future.

The list of potential contacts will not be just co-workers, but also clients and people who may have provided either a good or a service to your former employer.  To get around the feeling of awkwardness, find what you truly like in these people and share the information.  Staying classy will impress people.

After a little time has passed, take an objective look at the weeks leading up to the termination.

Try to look at the termination the way an outsider might look at the situation.  Does it make sense why you were let go from your job?  Are there lessons you can take into a new job?

It will be difficult not to let your emotions get the better of you, but a lot of good people have been in a similar position.  Through meticulous planning, they have managed to move forward into successful careers.  The one thing you need to take away from this is that you will get past it too!

do not plan revenge