How to Save Your Job When You Are About to Get Fired
vemuda.com - So, your boss has turned into an ogre overnight, and he’s frequently on your case. You’ve received 2 or 3 lousy performance reviews in a row. Critical decisions in your department are taken without your knowledge, and you're increasingly being left out of the loop.
If you’re in this situation, make no mistake about it; you're on the brink of losing your job. Therefore, it’s time to dust off your resume, and start looking elsewhere. Or maybe not.
|Source: unsplash.com by Gadiel Lazcano
If you find yourself in this situation, all is not lost. Yet. In today’s post, Vemuda is going to show you how you can turn things around and become the darling of your boss.
If you noticed some of those signs, it's most likely your manager is not overly excited about your performance and productivity. Aside from the odd misconduct or downsizing, the main reason why people get fired is their job performance.
And maybe, your manager has been fair enough to let you know verbally or in writing, that, your work is sup-par, and he's not jolly with your results. And he tells you; if you want to keep your job, he needs to see an improvement.
Understandably, you freak out because you don't know exactly what to do in this situation and you are scared of losing your job. What are you to do in this situation?
A lot of people make the mistake of wallowing in self-pity and a self-fulfilling fear that their dismissal is inevitable, and so, they don't even bother trying to salvage the situation.
Rather than objectively appraising themselves and aligning with their manager's directions on how to improve their performance, they lose their confidence, and start playing the blame game.
They will whine to everyone who cares to give them an ear, they’ll whine about how the manager has been unjust, and how the boss has been treating them poorly, and now wants to get them fired.
While there may be some truth to that in some cases (we've all come across a few suit-clad devils), you mustn't focus on that. You mustn't see it from the perspective of a personal vendetta against you without any justifiable reason. This belief can be limiting, it sets you up for failure, and ultimately impairs your ability to save your job.
You must swing into action immediately. Here are valuable tips on how to make your manager regard you as a valuable employee, rather than a disposable one.
1. Change your mindset
When you see your boss's attitude towards you start to change, or you get a more direct communication in the form of a poor performance review, resist the urge to start looking for who to blame. You'll only harm your prospects of retaining your job. The first thing you need to do is take full responsibility for the situation.
Tell yourself that you are the cause of the negative appraisal. And this isn’t to make you lose confidence in your ability, instead, it’s to make you take charge of the situation.
Reinforce your self-belief in your skills and commit to doing everything within your reason to improve your performance, and save your job. Lose the belief that the things that are happening are outside your sphere of control. You can, and you must play, an active role in saving your job.
2. Have a meeting with your manager
Arrange to have a meeting with your boss as soon as possible. Be open and transparent as much as possible.
Layout all your cards on the table. Let him know that you understand he's not too pleased with your work, and that you are willing to reverse this unsavoury opinion.
Discuss your job roles with him and let him know the areas where you have challenges. With this, your manager knows that you aren't comfortable with the lousy performance tag around your neck. That you are aware of your weaknesses and you’re willing to put the necessary effort to overcome them.
When your manager knows what you are struggling with, the situation will naturally improve, and he may even become desirous to help you. He will be happy that you're not just complacent without making any move to change.
He might even offer some ideas that will help you greatly improve your work. However, don't just stop at that. Also, ask your boss to layout his on-the-job expectation for you.
This is because, most times, poor communication between workers and supervisors leads to a lot of friction. Both parties may not fully understand what is expected of them.
The employee may feel that he's putting in his best and become pissed that his manager is not appreciative of that. Meanwhile, the manager thinks that the worker is not doing enough.
So, you must ask him to spell out what he expects from you in clear terms. Then start working on them once you leave the meeting. Being on the same page with your boss in terms of expectations will help you increase your output and get you into his good books.
3. Plan ahead
Performance reviews are carried out periodically in most organizations. Say you have received a few appraisals that were not favourable to you, before the next assessment, you must come up with a strategic plan of how to improve your performance.
This is a proactive approach, and is far better than going into the performance review session, and expecting your boss to hand you a plan, to bring your work to an acceptable level.
Walk into the meeting fully prepared with your deliverables, and concrete plans you'll put in place, and the time frame to achieve them. This shows management that you have accepted responsibility for the situation, and have taken proactive steps to turn things around.
And do not go making highly unrealistic promises. It could be something as simple as; rearranging your priorities and having a better process for getting things done. Or removing all distractions like emails, and checking up your phone now and then.
Your plan should contain all that you can do to help you work optimally and increase your output. And, show that with your strategies, you'll have better results going forward.
Being proactive shows that you are on top of your job (even if it hasn't yet reflected in your performance) and this will go a long way in changing your employer's views about you.
4. Do more than is required
Now that you have a full understanding of what is expected of you do much more. Go beyond the demands of your duty. A good start is by becoming a better team player. When you are done for the day, rather than packing your things and leaving, see if your colleagues need help with their workload and take some of it off them.
In no time, word will spread, and you'll be seen as a valuable asset to have around. Take up more responsibilities, volunteer for those tasks that nobody wants to touch. It may be a lot of hard work, but, being jobless is harder.
5. Be visible and vocal
During meetings, don't be the quiet, subdued child at the back of the class, too scared to ask a question or comment. Ask questions when you are not clear on something. No question is stupid, so long as it can help your job.
Don't be shy to throw in your ideas, no matter how silly they may look to you. Your employer will see you as someone who tries to add value and move the organization forward, rather than someone just doing the barest minimum and waiting to collect a paycheck.
6. Lifestyle change
Finally, you may need to make some lifestyle changes if you notice your performance is beginning to slip. You must be at your best while at work to keep your job. Go easy on the coffee and take more water instead.
Staying hydrated at work by constantly sipping water will keep your mind keen and active. When you go home after a gruelling day at work, instead of watching a series on
Netflix or mindlessly scrolling through your social media feeds, power down and go to bed early. Sleep is super important, and getting at least 7 hours of sleep will do you a lot of good.
You won't wake up feeling groggy, and your mind will be sharp throughout the day. Eat a healthy breakfast to provide your body and brain with proper fuel for better performance.
Not just any fuel will do for an F1 supercar, in the same vain; you need optimal fuel to work optimally. Exercise is equally important. And you don't necessarily have to get an expensive gym subscription.
If you can get into the habit of walking for at least 30 minutes a day, you are getting enough exercise. Your body and your mind will be better for it, and it will show up in your work.
Another way to increase your performance is to take periodic breaks. Working non-stop will quickly tire you out and reduce your return. You'll become lethargic and bored, especially if your tasks are repetitive. Stand up from your desk every one and a half hour or so and walk around for like 15 minutes.
This allows you to step away from the usual stress of work and clear your head. The benefits of this are; you will return to work rejuvenated and attack your tasks with a new zeal.
7. Write down your efforts
Ensure you write all that you are doing to improve your performance. Jot down your expectations and your progress towards achieving them.
Also, note down, all the extra work you have taken on, and every volunteer activity you partook.
And more importantly, write your key achievements, such as: the big-ticket clients you won, the deadlines you were able to meet, the value of sales you were able to consummate, and any other highlights.
These records will act as evidence of your improved performance when you go for your next performance review.
Your manager is sure to be impressed with these solid proof, and unless he's one mean manager, he will shelve the idea of giving you the “sack”. He might even recommend you for a promotion.
In conclusion, when your job is on the chopping board, you can see it from a mile away. Now, this is not the time to start the blame game or play the victim of a witch-hunt.
You must step up to the plate, take full responsibility, and then commit to turning things around. Find out your weaknesses and start making changes immediately. Talk to your boss, go the extra mile, overhaul your work ethic, eliminate distractions – whatever it takes to move the needle forward. In no time, your manager will see you as the person of value, that you are. He'll not just forget your past woeful performance, and discard any plans to drop you. He might even recommend you for a promotion.
Well, that’s it for today’s post. Share it with a colleague or friend, if you think they might get fired soon (I’m sure they’ll appreciate it). With that said, see you guys in the next one.