Make exit as graceful as possible
Nobody wants or looks forward to being let go; most people don’t even expect when it is coming. But if it happens to you, it is very important and beneficial if you can exit with grace. This is very difficult as most often there are a lot of powerful emotions associated with being terminated. People often feel compelled to react with anger or hurt. Although you may want to tell your boss off, the best thing you can do is to control your emotions.
Controlling your emotions at the termination interview won’t be easy, but if possible, think ahead and protect yourself because what you do at your exit can definitely affect your future. Follow these steps to ensure a better exit.
■ Listen to what your boss is saying. If you aren’t given a reason for your termination, ask for one. They may point out valid performance problems or attitudes that you have. You can take this criticism and use it to improve yourself for your next job. It may not be anything that you have or haven’t done. It may simply be a management cutback. If this is the case, you simply have to take it in stride.
■ Ask for severance. Try to work out a deal to get the most you can. Ask for pay to cover job-hunting time and be sure to check into extending your health insurance coverage. Don’t feel uncomfortable about asking for as much as you can.
■ Exit quietly. If your termination is immediate, then leave right away. Don’t try to finish up anything. You are not obligated and it probably wouldn’t be appreciated anyway.
■ Exit professionally. If you are given a week or more before termination, be professional. Complete your projects as time allows, leaving a detailed report of your work progress. This won’t get you your job back, but will help you ensure good references.
■ Ask for a good reference. This is very important. If you are leaving on fairly good terms, this shouldn’t be a problem. If things are bad, request that your employer focus on your achievements in a reference. You may not get it, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.
■ Be in control of yourself. In whatever time you have left at your job, act with professionalism and confidence. Don’t talk to other employees about your dismissal. It’s not their business and puts them in an awkward position. Find someone outside the company with whom you can confide and share your frustrations with them. You will find them a greater source of comfort and you will keep your co-workers out of an uncomfortable position.
Your boss will be more likely to assist you in looking for a new job if approached properly. Keep your emotions in check by focusing ahead on future possibilities. Take advantage of any financial assistance you can. Negotiate and focus your attention in a new, positive direction.