Our jobs take up a huge portion of our energy from the moment we start looking for openings through our first day of work and well into our careers. We craft our routines around our working hours, organize our family lives, hobbies and commitments to ensure we can attend to job-related matters. We rely on our jobs or our employers for financial security. And even with remote work, the jobs can often serve as a source of community--offering opportunities to connect with others, whether that's through video or voice, chat, or the occasional in-person meeting or conference.
It's no surprise, then, that the idea of being let go as a remote worker can feel so devastating. With so much hinging on your job, how could you ever be expected to handle something as severe as being fired or laid off?
Unfortunately, there's no easy way around it: Being fired from a remote job is tough. But it's manageable. And just like there are right ways and wrong ways to part ways with a remote worker, there are things you can do (and things you should not do) to set yourself up for future success if you're let go from a remote job. If you find yourself caught in that unfortunate conversation, take a deep breath, repeat to yourself that you are not your job, and remember these tips so you can navigate this situation with poise and purpose.
Unfortunately, depending on the nature of your relationship with your employer and the circumstances surrounding your termination, you may not know the nature of your impending conversation. As such, it can be difficult to meaningfully prepare for being fired from a remote job--and even more difficult to contain any emotions that may arise during the conversation. If you do wind up in a difficult conversation with your manager, you'll want to avoid:
You're going to come up with more questions over time. Let your manager know you'll review all the information that's provided. Let her know you'll revert with any questions or clarification you need. [But] until all the details are hashed out, don't sign anything. Most employers want you to sign a general release that says you'll bring no legal action against them. Your final payouts are contingent upon you signing the documents. If there was ever a good time to have an attorney read over a document before you sign it, this is it!
With all that in mind, how do you handle being let go from a remote job with dignity? While there's no one answer, and much will depend on the decorum of your employer and the details of your specific situation, these key tips will help.
Being let go from a remote job--or, really, any job--is shocking and incredibly painful, and it's something that happens more often than any of us think. Though it's easy to forget, what matters most in situations like these is how we build on them. By staying cool in the moment, being thorough and resourceful, and maintaining the positive connections you've built in your time at a company, you'll be sure to set yourself up for an even more successful future with your next remote position.
Looking for more advice on working remotely? Check out our newest book, 30 Hacks for Productive Remote Workers, part workbook and part guide that will help you work smarter, not harder. Oh, and did we mention that it was written by remote workers for remote workers? This advice is tried and tested, and we know it will help you maximize your productivity.
Featured Image by Tim Gouw
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