Your Boss Was Fired: What Now?

In this volatile economy, bosses are often fired. Sometimes there are rumors this is going to happen. Sometimes it's sudden.

Since it's now so common for the boss to get the ax, there has been a lot written and said by career consultants. But all the guidance comes down to one thing: protecting your own job. There are two ways to go about this, depending on how all this goes down.

The first way is for when reliable sources inform you the boss is on the way out. You will have to show respect and loyalty to the boss until the moment of the termination. That's just the way it is. After all, the grapevine could be wrong. Moreover, as the tenision builds, everyone is observing how you comport yourself. Handle yourself well and you could come out of this better than you were before. At the same time you are being a good soldier you are also in a cautious manner showcasing your talents to a wider audience. "They" could have you in mind to replace the boss.

The second way is when the firing actually takes place, after being rumored, or if it occurs abruptly. Here are the rules of the road:

Stay calm. This is called grace under pressure and it's rated as a plus. Don't stumble around like the walking wounded. The organization has taken a hit. The fewer souls it needs to tend to, the quicker it can heal and move on.

Don't ask, don't tell. Don't discuss the situation with peers or subordinates. Remove yourself from cabals who do sift through both gossip and facts, using all media, ranging from phone to e-mail to in-person. Simply continue doing what you're supposed to be doing. If you have a confidential pipeline, contact that person that evening from your home. Communications could be monitored.

If officially informed. The powers that be tell you what they want to about the reason for the termination and what will happen next. Thank them for the information. Don't ask questions. End of story.

Past promises get voided. Be willing to accept that the contract established between the boss and you might be worthless, unless it was in writing. If it was verbal, suck up the loss and disappointment and be willing to begin over.

Volunteer to help out. Ask the powers that be how you can be most helpful. Do what they recommend. If a new boss is appointed, also offer to do whatever is needed.

When guilty by association. You were a known ally of the boss. Do all the above. Nothing may happen to you. However, anticipate hostility from your former superior's enemies. Meanwhile, as you wait for the dust to settle, you might want to contact an employment lawyer to find out how to respond as well as negotiate if fired. Also, assess whether you should begin a job search. Usually it takes a master player to survive if you placed your bet on the wrong horse. Actually, if there had been rumors of "changes," you probably already have begun a job search.

Change can mean opportunity. In many ways, this is a new start for you to demonstrate your skills to the organization. You may be one of the few who can identify what needs to get done. Communicate that to superiors, along with a plan how you can get it done.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

Although this article discusses what to do when your boss gets fired, the same rules should apply to you if a co-worker gets fired. There is nothing worse than employees who are constantly gossiping about others and verbally outlining their assumptions as to why this or that employee got fired. In many instances, there is something that took place that you don't know about.

If the boss of a company is any good, they know who is the least productive and if times are tough, they get rid of this deadwood first. They are also identifying those employees who are productive day in and day out and don't spend their time gossiping. Those are the employees who have the best chance of remaining on the payroll and likely first in line for a promotion.

December 20 2010 at 7:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can only hope my boss at my present job gets the ax. Sorry but its true and I have a hard time stopping myself from laughing with joy at it to. Best thing to do when your boss gets the ax is to stay out of it and continue doing your job.

December 20 2010 at 5:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would laugh and laugh and laugh because the imbecile undoubtedly deserved it. "Instant karma's gonna get ya, gonna knock ya right in the head".

December 19 2010 at 11:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I've learned that you shouldn't be happy your boss is fired because there might be somebody worse replacing them.

December 19 2010 at 11:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As many times my boss threw me under the bus, I'd jump for joy if he got fired.

December 19 2010 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd go out and jump for joy then find a good gin mill and buy drinks for all.

December 19 2010 at 5:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Join the union, and then your job performance is all that matters. The boss being fired will not affect yours.

December 19 2010 at 4:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ken's comment

That must have been tongue in cheek. Job performance is the LAST thing that matters in a union environment. UNions are an INSULATION against being judged by job performance. "Employees dying on the job are failing to fall down"

December 19 2010 at 11:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What about rejoicing that he/she is gone???????

December 19 2010 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to D's comment

I worked blue coller at G.M. and when one of our bosses got fierd we would Dance in the asile!!!!!!!!!!!

December 19 2010 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

bitter much? I can't imagine being happy that anyone gets fired. They are people, most with families, trying to make a living, just as you are. Any compassion for the pressure(stress) they must be under? And, how unprofessional of the upper management to pass on this information? I would begin my job search way before this incident as there had to be signs.

December 19 2010 at 6:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The senior partner in a law firm told me that my boss's contract would not be renewed but my boss didn't know it and to keep it confidential. He added a comment that there "might" be something there for me within the firm. I kept my word and didn't betray his confidence and immediately started a job search for myself. Within a month, I had found a new position and gave my two weeks notice. When my boss was informed that his contract would not be renewed, he called me and told me that he decided to leave the firm - excuse me!!! I learned that we have to take care of ourselves and if our boss's jobs are in danger or if they are terminated, we might be next on the list. Don't play games - start discretely looking for another job because you're probably next.

December 19 2010 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What an odd article. I don't think most people would be unhappy if their boss got fired. Sad, but true. I lost my job nearly a year ago and I hope every day that I will hear that my boss got canned.

December 19 2010 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Picks From the Web