Whether fired for just cause or not, losing a job can turn your life upside down in an instant. In some cases, however, some people get a feeling that termination may be in their near future. By taking action before hearing the dreaded "You're Fired," you can soften the blow and make preparations for your future.
If you think you are going to be fired sooner rather than later, remove your personal belongings from your work space and from any electronic media, such as laptops, smartphones, tablets and flash drives your employer owns. Many employers do not allow access to these devices once employment has been terminated, so be proactive and remove them before you no longer have a chance.
If you have health insurance, use it before you are let go. Many people do not get regular health checkups, so doing so before potentially losing your insurance coverage is a prudent thing to do. Additionally, if you are eventually fired, inquire whether your health insurance coverage ceases at that time or continues to the end of the month. Verify that your employer offers COBRA benefits for an opportunity to continue your health insurance. COBRA benefits allow former employees -- even ones who are fired, with the exception of gross negligence -- who worked in companies with 20 or more employees to purchase group health insurance at lower rates than if they were to buy a policy independently. While the premiums will be much higher than what you paid when employed, COBRA is an option if you absolutely must have health insurance to cover chronic health problems.
Aside from the personal and social stress associated with being fired, the financial stress that can be caused by job loss can be overwhelming. Assess your personal finances and do what you can to ease the strain that being fired will cause. If you have credit cards or other debts, stop using them, or limit their use, and contact providers to let them know you will likely be losing your job soon. Most creditors are willing to work with customers if given enough advance notice. Before you get fired, investigate your state's laws on receiving unemployment compensation after being terminated. File for these benefits promptly after termination.
Preparation is the key to handling a termination notice. If you feel you are on your way to being fired, envision the way you want to handle yourself. Self-discipline will be helpful in preventing yourself from behaving in a way that is destructive to your image to others. Additionally, acting in a professional manner may open an avenue to another stint of employment with the company at some point in the future.
- Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images