Your boss has just informed you that the company is terminating your employment and has handed you paperwork with details of your package. You can hardly think straight, but it’s important to remember to proceed with decorum.
When you’ve been fired, it’s understandable that your head is spinning and that you’re filled with a million emotions, from anger to worry and sadness. But with your future at stake, it’s essential to muster up your energy and act as professionally as possible. Here, we walk you through how to proceed with class when you’ve been axed.
Take a moment to gather yourself
You’re probably a little shell-shocked. Find yourself a quiet, private spot and cry if you have to. Take some deep breaths and try to compose yourself before heading back into the office.
Resist the urge to plead for your job
If you’re panicking, you may be tempted to beg for the company to keep you. Resist the urge. The decision has been made and there’s no turning back. Pleading will make you appear weak.
Don’t be down on yourself
Remind yourself that you are not a failure. People are fired all the time for all sorts of reasons, whether it’s downsizing due to the economy, political reasons within the company or restructuring for better efficiencies. Don’t feel ashamed — there are so many factors that have played a role in this decision.
Handle the process in a calm and collected manner
In the next week or so, you’ll be busy finalizing the paperwork. Read through the termination papers carefully, negotiate anything you feel is unfair and by all means clarify any details that are unclear. Some companies may offer the services of a career counselling firm to help you find your next job (if not, consider requesting this).
Clean out your desk and walk out with dignity
Rather than walk around informing your co-workers of what’s happened to you, focus on cleaning out your desk briskly and walking out with your head held high. Some colleagues may stop by to see how you are doing. Say your goodbyes, but do not take this as an opportunity to tear apart the company or to bad-mouth your boss. After all, future employers may call this company for a referral, and you don’t want to leave having disparaged the company and your superior.