Have you been canned in a company downsizing? Do you have your resignation letter ready to go, peppered with a top 10 list of “Things That Are Wrong With My Boss”? Or are you just so fed up with your underappreciated role in an unchallenging job that you’re about to hurl your stapler, opened wide, at the back of your manager’s head?
Wait. Before you channel your outrage into a very special sayonara, via a whiteboard or a dance routine at an ungodly morning hour, stop. Even if you don’t feel like it, keep in mind that you’ll be thankful you left your job with grace and dignity. Years from now, you’ll want to look back and be proud (or at least not mortified) at the way you handled a difficult situation.
This just happened to me. I had been a 40-hour-a-week contractor for almost five years at a large, well-known nonprofit when the top guys got the word that they had been employing too many full-time contractors without paying benefits. So I got the big heave ho. Did I want to march into the corner office, lean way in to the hatchet woman and describe in detail the particular area of hell she’d soon be visiting? I had banana visions in my head. What to do?
I sensed this approach wasn’t appropriate, so I consulted both life and professional coaches (who, turns out, have seen a serious uptick in folks asking about how to handle layoffs) about how one should deal with such news.