Having a conversation with your boss about performance can be stressful. However, when you are called in to discuss the fact that you no longer work for them, that can be ever more overwhelming to you. Of course, nobody ever expects it to happen to them, but when it does, it may catch you completely off-guard.
Regardless of what caused it to happen to you, the point of being laid off will be the ultimate blow. Although there is a distinction between being laid off and a firing, your best bet to get through it is to remain professional all throughout the process. So, in order to accomplish that, you need to become prepared prior to the event taking place.
Due to the difficulty of concentrating on the matter at hand, it should be your priority. Of course, you may view it differently, but the conversation is considered to be very important for your future. This is especially true when you need to think about receiving your termination or severance pay.
With that, we have 6 good tips to keep in mind in order to handle the conversation professionally.
- Keep Emotion in Check
In order to be viewed as professional and an adult, you should know how to keep emotion in check if you´re being let go. The last thing you want is to be viewed as a child while ranting about it being unfair. In fact, the only thing you are going to get out of it is a security escort out of the building. Plus, the managers may also start to think that a good decision was truly made by them.
No matter how much you love or hate working at your job, you will only be making yourself look like a fool. This is what you do not want to do.
Having a layoff will never be a fun experience and it could come as a big surprise to most. However, you no longer have a choice of leaving because the company made the choice ahead of time. Now you have no choice. That can ultimately be a difficult thing to accept. Rather than being overly expressive, it is better to just take a breather and let it all soak in. By allowing yourself to take a step back and process it all, you are able to remain relaxed and remain present throughout the conversation. This will also help you maintain your good reputation by not reacting out of character.
- Maintain your Self-Respect
Being on notice for a final chance and knowing that being let go will happen, can be stressful. Unfortunately, when messing up happens for the final time, it gets the process rolling rather quickly. In fact, the new changes may have already been made at the same time the news of being laid off has been given. No matter how much an employee begs, the fact is that their job no longer exists. Of course, they may continue to make promises of changing, although it won´t change anything at all. It may only cause embarrassment towards the individual delivering the news. If you think begging to your manager will work, think again. This is why you need to maintain your self-respect and get through the dreaded conversation.
- Make Certain that Reasons for Departure are Equal
As you talk to your manager, make sure to ask how your lay-off will be viewed by the company. While searching for new employment you need to be on the same page throughout the entire process.
You can go as far as making it known that when a reference is made, that any chances for other employment are not jeopardized due to being laid off. Make sure to talk about it for a while and ensure that what they will say is what you will be happy with. Make sure to have it in writing. This way it is officially stating ¨laid off¨. For times where a firing occurs, you need to make sure that they will only mention your dates of employment.
- Ask If Job Assistance is Readily Available
Many consultants work with companies to provide job assistance to those being laid off. Make sure to know the details of what is offered and what the company will be supporting. Make sure to be aware of the time frame and when it will expire, as well as any eligible coaching you be able to receive. Also, make sure that it is written.
- Inquire about Being Internally Transferred
You may have luck in being transferred to another department in lieu of being laid off. Make sure to know what the policy is. If it is allowed, you may need to wait since you would be considered as a rehire. Or a wait may be necessary if freelancing services will be provided. For performance issues, you may not have any luck with being allowed to transfer or freelance for them. But if your lay-off is is due to no fault of your own, then you may not have anything to lose by asking.
- Avoid Signing the Final Papers
Having many questions will occur after being let go. You need to advise your boss or human resources that the papers will be read thoroughly before being signed. Let them also know that you will ask questions if any arise.
If all of the details are not thoroughly understood, then you should avoid signing. A lot of times the employer will insist on signing a release form that protects them from legalities. Although your final paycheck will be based on signing, it is always a good idea to have the papers thoroughly read by you or legal representation.
Having a lay-off occur can create devastation and leave you financially ruined if you have nowhere to turn to for help with a new job. By being able to ask the right questions, you will obtain a good amount of confidence. Regardless of how stressed you feel about it, maintain your calm, cool composure and have your future in mind and what the next chapter will involve.