Having a pink slip or dismissal letter come across your desk or hit your inbox is never easy. If you're fired or laid off, losing a job can be a traumatic experience. With that said, you always want to remain professional and take every opportunity head on to make the best out of it.
A pink slip or dismissal letter isn't always the best way to tell an employee that they're losing their job, but sometimes management has no other way of delivering the news. Usually a human resources representative will be brought in to explain what will happen next, so use this opportunity to handle your dismissal in the best way possible.
1. Remain Calm
Getting violent or even raising your voice will not help you. Remain professional by staying calm and level-headed. If you get violent, raise your voice, or make others feel uncomfortable, it is likely that this kind of reputation will follow you to other potential jobs.
2. Follow Procedure
If the company asks you to leave the building immediately or hand in your work badge, be sure to cooperate and follow procedure. Arguing about having more time to say goodbye to co-workers or whether or not that red stapler really belongs to you only hurts you in the end. This is the last impression your co-workers will have of you, so make sure it is a good one and be as cooperative as you can by following any exit procedures that are presented to you.
3. Look to the Future
When speaking to a manager or HR representative about your termination, be sure to ask questions about possible severance pay or the status of your health benefits. By focusing on your future in the talk, you'll avoid asking any uncomfortable questions about why you were let go. If you weren't terminated based on performance, it was most likely a budget issue that is irreversible. But if you do believe your termination is out of line, politely ask for the company's lawyer's contact information and wait to discuss the matter further.
Once you leave a company you still have the right to network with your ex-co-workers. Let them know the kind of position you're looking for and chances are they'll be happy to pass around your resume. This is the best way to make sure your networking is up to date. If you don't feel comfortable talking to any of your old co-workers, speak to human resources about referrals to placement agencies that they have worked with.
5. Stay Professional
Even if you feel jaded after being let go, you should still maintain some level of loyalty to your company. This means not bad mouthing them to competitors, media outlets, or even on your personal social networking sites. Everyone needs to vent after a traumatic experience, but you don't want your frustrations to hurt your chances at a future opportunity.