How to leave with respect when laid off

Abdul Kalaam once said – “Love your job but NEVER fall in love with your company”.

Desperate times calls for desperate measures. At least that’s what some of the reputed, well known and no-so-known companies have done in the recent times, owing to the pandemic. Many a companies are trying to cope with the lashes of COVID-19 by cutting costs, eliminating positions and retrenching people. Positions that were once considered to be very crucial to the functioning of the business were just scraped off from the hierarchy and employees occupying those positions were handed a ‘good-bye’ note.

But there is a stark difference in how some of the companies decided to do so. In some companies, the CEO was very transparent in explaining why there is a necessity to lay off people and they felt extremely sorry while doing so. They wrote long, meaningful mails and they at least tried to empathise with the laid off employees. And then there are other companies who’s CEOs just mailed a short message conveying that they are being laid off without any note of sorry or explanation, forget about transparency. But whatever be the mode or the reason of laying off, we as employees should understand that it is best for business and instead of leaving on a bad note, we should make sure to leave with respect and on a good note.

There is no doubt that we might be feeling very smitten inside, but we should not let that feeling empower us to destroy everything that we have accumulated over the years. Now, one must be wondering how to do so amidst such emotional times. I would like to suggest a few ways by which one can leave on a good note even when things might have not worked in their way. Some of those suggestions are:

  1. Try to not dwell on the negative emotions. At the time of lay off, one might feel very low about it, but try not to feed into the negative emotions. Instead of that, one should think about one’ achievements, successes and milestones at the company. Think about what was your best contribution and what worked for you and try to harvest on that.
  2. Try to work out a plan to handover your work. Since one is working remotely, one must be very methodical and careful while handing over very confidential information such as clients’ list project reports and other such documents so that others’ can plan out the work. It is very okay to feel about withholding information, but one should not do so because one should understand that it is not the end of one’s career.
  3. Draft a proper good bye mail. Draft a short and clear mail, intended to one’s colleagues, friends and other people in one’s office network. Make sure to include your contact details – mostly phone number and personal mail id so that people can stay in touch with you. Also one should not forget to give a note of thanks to everyone, in spite of all differences. Such a habit will definitely help one in one’s career while searching for other jobs.
  4. Try to build and amend bridges at the time of leaving. One should talk to the close colleagues, confidantes and the network of peers and mentors, so that they can assist to find a new job in this landscape.

These are the very few steps one should take to ensure that even though things did not quite work out well for you, there is always a way to make things better at some other place.

‘Networking is the key to one’s success.’

Source – Self