If you find yourself on a performance improvement plan or can sense a firing coming, here are a few things to keep in mind as you walk into that meeting:
- Don’t take it personally – Getting fired can be emotional, but do your best to stay calm and detach yourself from the situation. Once they’ve said their piece, you can ask a few necessary questions and get out of there. Remember they are expecting you to make a scene. Be professional and don’t make your departure office gossip.
- Negotiate the terms of your departure – Don’t sign anything during the initial firing. Take the paperwork home and look it over. Once you have a moment to think clearly you can go over some questions you might have about benefits, severance, what they are going to say if future jobs call for a reference, etc. This is also a time for you to negotiate if you have any skills or knowledge you need to pass off.
- Lock in your referrals – Once you’ve left the office, you may have coworkers reach out to you. This is your opportunity to secure positive references from them. If they are willing ask them to leave a recommendation on your LinkedIn page while things are still fresh in their mind.
- Update your resume – You may decide to take some time to transition before starting your job search. That’s okay, but at least get your resume up to date with your most recent job information while it’s still fresh in your head.
- Activate your network – Sometimes it’s easy to hide away and lick your wounds after a difficult firing, but now is the time to set up some coffee dates with people in your industry and start putting feelers out for new opportunities.
Remember that the worst part is over. You’re moving on to bigger and better things. The faster you can let go of the negativity from your last job, the sooner you free yourself up for the next chapter in your story.