The day you get laid off: What to do at work

“Sometimes the biggest act of courage is a small one.” - Lauren Raffo

  • Don’t panic. Breathe. Do whatever you need to do to calm down … for just right now. You can freak out later … but right now, you need to keep your head on straight and walk out as nicely as possible.
  • Don’t sign any paperwork until you can go home, sleep & read it with a fresh set of eyes. You may want to review with a friend, or even an employment attorney. Once you sign the papers, you have agreed to the terms. So, before you sign, make sure you have asked all your questions and negotiated everything you can on your own behalf.
  •  Ask when you will get your final paycheck. Some states require companies to pay out the final paycheck the same day they let you go. Others do not.
  • If you are feeling shocked, emotional, or angry right after you get the news, ask to set an appointment to discuss the terms of departure on the next day. Just because they want to sit down and review the paperwork with you right away does not mean you have to do it then. Ask to take whatever papers they have for you home with you, and then just leave.
    • - Even though it can be difficult, RESIST THE URGE to get angry or emotional or otherwise make a scene. Unfortunately, you will make yourself look bad … and make your own situation worse. Take a deep breath and walk away if you feel yourself about to explode.
    • - DO NOT GO ON SOCIAL MEDIA and bark about your former boss or former employer … even if they were unprofessional and handled the termination poorly. Again, the sad truth is that you will hurt yourself more than you will hurt them in the long run. Barking online (Glassdoor, Facebook, etc.) can hurt your chances of being hired by someone else. Everything you do online is public. If you’re nasty online, it will not only hurt your chances of getting a new job, but it will also make it tough for you to maintain friendships and professional relationships with the former coworkers you really like and respect.
  • - Sleep on it, then review the termination packet and write down questions as you think of them.
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