1. Listen – It’s often emotionally overwhelming to be at a termination meeting, which can make it difficult to pay attention, but it’s important you listen to what your employer has to say.
  2. Do not sign anything – Most employers will understand that you will need to process what has happened and possibly get legal advice to consider the exit package being offered. Do not sign anything until you’ve had that opportunity.
  3. Take notes – Many employees feel overwhelmed in a termination meeting and will forget the details of what has been said to them. Taking notes will help you remember.
  4. Remain professional – Employees who are terminated may be tempted to tell their employers what they really think of them during a termination meeting. Exit interviews can be helpful, but generally termination meetings are an emotionally charged time and are not the time to raise this criticism.  Be aware of your tone of voice, language, and volume.
  5. Ask what resources are available to you – Some employers may provide access to employee assistance programs or job placement services. Ask about these services.
  6. Return company property – be respectful of your employer’s property and return all company property in your possession.
  7. Ask for a reference – your termination may not mean that your employer thinks you are a poor employee. Your employer may be downsizing or may think that you just are not the right fit for the role. In these cases, your employer may be willing to give you a positive reference letter, which can assist with your job search.
  8. Confirm who your contact person is going forward – undoubtedly you will have more questions after you process what has happened. Ask your employer who you can contact in the event of further questions.


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