The writing is on the wall: You’re about to get fired.
Once the wheels are in motion, it’s often hard to get momentum back on your side. The best thing to do is to start pursuing other work options. However, if you feel strongly about staying with the organization, you can employ several strategies to attempt to hold onto your employment status. Just keep in mind that it’s a long shot.
First, you want to be sure your intuition is correct and you’re actually on the chopping block. Make sure paranoia hasn’t seeped in, and assess the situation by talking it through with people who understand how the company works. You should also seek advice from a neutral third party. This can be a career coach, therapist, or even a stranger on a message board.
If you’re still convinced you’re going to get fired, here’s what to do:
Sneak attack. Catch your boss off guard and request an impromptu job assessment. Document the main points you discussed in a follow-up email so there’s a record of the conversation. In many organizations, your manager will have to prove that your dismissal is justified. Make his life difficult, and potentially buy yourself more time, by forcing him into a face-to-face exchange. Most people are uncomfortable with conflict, and this situation can railroad an unprepared supervisor. However, keep in mind that this tactic can backfire (since you are forcing the action), resulting in an even quicker termination.
Ask for a position change. Look for other openings within the company and acknowledge that the current position doesn’t seem to be working out for either side. Emphasize that you’re a fan of the company and want to stay on in another capacity. Prove that you understand the organization and display talents that might help the company in another way.
Read the rest of my post at U.S. News & World Report.