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The Hard Conversation You Need to Prep for if Your Job’s on the Line

By | Lea McLeod |

One of the most shocking conversations you will ever have in your job is when your boss tells you that you’re done working for the company. Maybe it’s a layoff that completely blindsides you. Maybe it’s a performance-related issue that you were aware of.

No matter the cause, the actual event can be a total shocker. While getting fired and getting laid off may involve different things, it’s important to handle the situation professionally either way. And one way to do that is to prepare for it before it happens. So if you’re concerned at all about losing your job in the near future, this is well worth a read.

Related: Laid Off Due to Coronavirus? Here’s What You Can Do Now

Because as challenging as it may be to stay focused and present in the conversation, that’s your goal. It might be difficult to think of it as such, but this is an important business discussion. Think negotiating your severance or termination package.

Here are seven tips on how to handle yourself and what to say when you’re at a loss for words.

1. Stay Present and Manage Your Emotions

I once heard a colleague rant that they wanted to get laid off in the next round of workforce reductions. They were vocal about how they would welcome the chance to get away from their team, their boss, their job. In the next round, as luck would have it, they got laid off.

But they didn’t run around and high five everyone declaring their happiness. They freaked out. They yelled. They told everyone how unfair the system was. They loudly declared they were not going to help transition their work to someone else. There was a tacit understanding among the managers that, “Yep, we made a good decision on that one.”

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