This is a special article for a friend of mine, who told me that I need to invest more time in this blog by giving her some advice in her difficult situation. So, here I am, telling you all obvious parts of the bitter truth and preparing you for the most unpleasant (not)surprise: cancellation of your contract. I also was fired when the Renewable Energy industry collapsed in Germany some years ago, therefore I will be glad to share my experience on this matter. Here is what you do when you know that you are spending the last days in your company:
1. Get copies of all important papers
Get copies not of the whole secret stuff, but of the emails, which might have got you fired. Of the “OK” notes from your boss for the projects which could lead to the cancellation of your contract. Of the meeting‘s summaries which will demonstrate that you have told the ugly truth but your boss did not want to hear – and, if he would, the disaster would not have happened. In other words, prepare all the documents you might need to defend your case in a court, especially if you work in a country like Germany, where you get a reference letter with a specific grade from each employer. You should be able to defend your interest in the end, especially if you expect your boss to let you go in order to defent his reputation.
2. Collect your contacts
Very often, you will lose the access to all the contacts in your corporate phone book and your email the same moment you will get the cancellation letter. You might have clients you would like to take with you or clients, which could offer you a job right away – do save the contacts in advance to use all opportunities.
3. Delete all your personal information
Do it before you get fired. Delete all the browser information, phone messages, personal phone call numbers, files you saved on the computer, paper notes and especially your passwords. It sounds easy, but most people forget about this small issue when the stress comes.
4. Take your fresh notes
You visited a conference and took some notes about latest trends in the industry? Made some project sketches? Worked on some business development ideas, which you could never present to your management? If nobody knows – they do not exist. Take those notes and make a great fresh ideas portfolio in order to use it while applying for new jobs. All ideas once forgotten are now the instruments for your future success.
Connect with all your colleagues in LinkedIn and other local social networks, especially with those who you like and who might be of advantage for your future career.
6. Calculate the budget and reduce your spending
If you have no alternative offer in your pocket, check out your bank account and calculate, how much you need for a month (minimum and optimum) and how long will you survive on your savings together with the unemployment insurance. Do include some money for traveling to new potential employers and business lunches even if you will have a very tight budget.
7. Check your visa
If you work in another country with an employer-related employment visa, you should check what happens if you get fired immediately. Can you work for another employer with the same visa? May you look for the new job without informing the visa office? When should you apply for the new visa and which visa should it be? Which procedures should you go through to get an unemployment insurance? Get the answer for all these questions ASAP.
8. Get those damn books
Be it Agile Management, Design Thinking or Workshop Technologies, the right time to invest more hours in your self-education is right now. Look at the wanted profiles of diverse Professionals in your field and get the important knowledge and required qualifications right away.
9. Study your own work
Refresh all the important knowledge like tables, structures, papers etc. you used at work, which you cannot take with you but will need at your next job. You are now on your own, and you will be selling your brain – so get it full!
10. Start job hunting
Do not let others make you miserable. Do not wait for the contract cancellation to come – update your CV, contact headhunters, send out first jobs applications. You will be calmer when the news will come and better prepared when you walk out of the office with a box full of cups and flowers. Check out all the career fairs, closed job events and get your tickets.
They do not own you – but you do. The better you will be prepared, the easier the changes will be. You are now open to the new step in your career life – let it be a step up!