Most people are shocked when they hear the words “you’re fired” come out of their boss’ mouth.
They’re blindsided by the news because they didn’t have their eyes open — or perhaps they just chose to ignore the signs.
But the savviest professionals always keep an eye out for the classic signs that their jobs are in danger. This way, if and when they notice red flags popping up, they can attempt to turn the tide before it’s too late, says Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.”
Here’s what to do as soon as you realize you’re about to get the boot. These tips may not save you from getting fired, but they just might help:
SEE ALSO: 14 things to do as soon as you realize an employee is about to quit
DON’T MISS: 21 signs you’re about to be fired
If you think you’re about to be fired, it’s natural to freak out. “But remember that firing signs can also be false reads,” Taylor says. “Sometimes rumors spread like wildfire, disrupting departments until you bravely approach your boss.”
Before you draw any wild conclusions and begin to drive yourself crazy, talk to your boss. “Don’t consult other employees for any insight into your future; go straight to the source to get a read on your performance,” she suggests.
Initiate a conversation in a neutral setting with your boss
This is the perfect opportunity to raise your concerns, ask questions, and to see if there is anything you can or should be doing to help improve the chances of you retaining your position, advises Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of “The Humor Advantage.”
“Come with an open mind, and with constructive suggestions. Be open to exploring creative options such as lateral transfers. Offer to help out during this time of transition. Maintaining the perspective that you care about the company and want to do what’s best for the company will help you score points in the eyes of senior leaders,” he says.
Ask your boss for honest feedback
“Even if it’s not what you want to hear, not knowing is worse than knowing,” says Kerr.
Take notes of what needs to change, adds Taylor: “Submit an action plan and timeline to your boss and get their sign-off. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t be defensive. Stay in contact with your manager and set up regular status check-in meetings for the future.”