How to Save Your Job When You Are About to Be Fired

by Erin Schreiner
If you're close to the unemployment line, you may be able to avoid the fate.

If you're close to the unemployment line, you may be able to avoid the fate.

As you rip open the envelope ravenously, eager to feast your eyes on the paycheck you know it contains, you catch a glimpse of a pink sheet of paper wrapped around your normally white check. Pulling it out, you see that it's the pink slip you've so long feared. If you suspect that you may soon face this perilous plight, don’t remain passive. Instead, actively put effort into avoiding losing your job by trying out some save-your-skin strategies to sidestep this undesirable outcome.

Present a plan of action to your boss. If your worry about imminent job loss stems from a negative performance review, show your boss that you're actively seeking self-improvement, suggests Joel Garfinkle, author of “Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level.” Write a detailed plan and show it to your boss to erase any doubts about your willingness to put in the necessary effort. If you weren’t asked to compose such a plan, this shows impressive initiative.

Expand your usefulness. Ask your boss about cross-training opportunities. By learning about the functioning of another department, you can increase your value to the company and potentially reduce its eagerness to give you your walking papers.

Take responsibility for major mistakes. If you mess up on a large scale, you may think that the best course of action is to pretend it never happened. Remember, management will discover your mistake. Instead of allowing that, bring the flub to your boss's attention. When you do, explain your side of the story and outline what you'll do to avoid making the same mistake again. Owning up to your mistake makes you seem trustworthy and dedicated to not repeating the error.

Make the most of projects you work on. Often, management will reduce the amount of responsibility a worker has immediately prior to firing that individual. If you've noticed that your boss is skimming projects off your desk, don’t despair. Instead, dazzle with the projects that you do have to work on. By knocking those projects out of the park, you can prove your usefulness as a worker and potentially save your job.

About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

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