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I have a new boss who's come in from the outside and is making it clear she wants to fire me so she can set up shop with her own people. I am a top performer with several awards each year for outstanding performance. Question: If I am put on a 30-day performance improvement plan, should I quit so that I don't have fired on my record, or allow myself to be fired in order to get unemployment?

What would you do? I am not open to simply moving to another area within this company.

WillDuke's picture

What do you want?
Do you want the job?
Do you want to be on unemployment?
Do you want to work someplace else?

Start with deciding what you want, then figure out how to get it. :)

tomw's picture

Is there any possibility of getting rid of the new boss? Does her boss know that she is chasing out a top performer? Does her boss know that you are a top performer?

WillDuke's picture

I'd tread pretty carefully there. Once you escalate you're committed. If your bosses boss supports their direct (your boss) as they should, you're in trouble. Boss2 might support Boss1 right through getting rid of you, even though Boss2 thinks it's a mistake.

This might just be a communication issue. What's your personality type? What's hers? Is there a natural conflict there? Have you altered your approach to mesh with hers? She might just be seeing you as a "problem" that needs to be solved.

I'd spend some time examining my own goals and objectives. Then I'd spend some time examining what I "think" the teams objectives are. Then I'd approach my new boss and make sure everything was in alignment with her vision for the team. She's probably been given some pretty specific goals she's trying to meet. I'd find out what those are, by asking her, and see what I could do to help her get there.

tomw's picture

[quote="WillDuke"]I'd tread pretty carefully there. Once you escalate you're committed. If your bosses boss supports their direct (your boss) as they should, you're in trouble. Boss2 might support Boss1 right through getting rid of you, even though Boss2 thinks it's a mistake.

This might just be a communication issue. What's your personality type? What's hers? Is there a natural conflict there? Have you altered your approach to mesh with hers? She might just be seeing you as a "problem" that needs to be solved.

I'd spend some time examining my own goals and objectives. Then I'd spend some time examining what I "think" the teams objectives are. Then I'd approach my new boss and make sure everything was in alignment with her vision for the team. She's probably been given some pretty specific goals she's trying to meet. I'd find out what those are, by asking her, and see what I could do to help her get there.[/quote]

Will is absolutely right. Escalating to her boss is really committing yourself and exposing yourself at the same time.

It's the high-D in me that wants to jump to immediate action :oops:

chynna's picture

The entire company knows I am a top performer as I have received awards every year. The new philosophy is each person is replaceable and they can get someone to do my job for 1/2 the salary. This is supported as the new boss and her boss are very tight as they have known each other for years. My previous boss was fired by my new boss just last month.

To get back on track... I need to make a decision to quit or be fired. In terms of what I want I am looking for another job but am not sure if I will secure one before the above happens. This is why I am looking for advice, quit or be fired?

drinkcoffee's picture

Will's question is a good one -- what do you want? Although I don't feel comfortable offering advice here, I will tell you this: getting fired is not necessarily bad. If you can demonstrate improved performance and accomplishments in your resume right up to getting fired, and as long as the firing wasn't for egregious behavior, then you should have no problem explaining it to prospective employers. Any recruiters want to chime in on this one?

tomw's picture

[quote="chynna"]The new philosophy is each person is replaceable and they can get someone to do my job for 1/2 the salary. This is supported as the new boss and her boss are very tight as they have known each other for years. My previous boss was fired by my new boss just last month. [/quote]

For me, that's a huge deal breaker right there.

I would start preparing NOW to find a new position. Resume, getting anything you want samples/copies of, and starting your interview prep (and with a nice new dose of manager tools Interview casts available as Premium content today!)

As far as quit or be fired... like Will, I'd say it depends more on what you want.

I don't think being fired (of "laid off") is such a black mark. It's not that likely to come up and if it does, you have a valid explanation. It lets you keep some level of income while you are between jobs and look for a new position full time.

On the other hand, quitting puts it in your control. You can pick a day you want to be your last (assuming they let you serve out the time you give them notice of.

Have you listened to the "How to resign" podcasts? They offer some good ideas on how to quit with a lot of grace.

ccleveland's picture

The answer seems obvious!

Do not quit!

Begin an active job search.

Do everything you can to meet your new boss's expectations. (A 30 day P-I plan sounds like a [u]written list[/u] of expecations you can live up to!)

If you get a job offer before any (not yet certain) firing, then [u]you've[/u] got a chance to choose your path.

If you meet all the P-I plan expecatations, are a top performer, maybe your new boss will recognize this, or possibly, she will have enough rope to hang herself. You've done what you need to do.

Going to your boss's boss sounds like a [u]very[/u] bad idea. In the [u]best[/u] outcome, you've pointed out to your boss's boss that he made a bad hiring choice. Also, it's a lot easier to explain a firing because of a regime change and how you attempted to work through a very difficult situation. The alternative may be trying to explain how you were fired because you didn't your boss and her boss didn't see the error of their ways.

CC

allie's picture

Chynna,

You have a couple of questions to ask yourself:

1) If you quit, will you be forfeiting a severance package?

2) Is "staying" interfering with your personal life?

I recently resigned from a position that was BEYOND stressful. I resigned because the position was interfering with my priorities (which are clear): faith, family, then everything else. The money was great...but the effect it was having on my family and home-life WASN'T.

No amount of money in the world is worth the problems associated with staying in a position that clearly you're meant to leave. And, a severance package could be helpful while you look for your next job.

What is your gut telling you? Never mind how it'll look on your resume.

Allie

WillDuke's picture

Like everyone above, I don't think firing vs. quitting is something to worry about for your next job. Nobody says they were fired on their resume, so how is the new employer going to know?

It does sound like it's appropriate to start the job hunt, unless you want to get the severance package and unemployment. It's almost impossible these days to not get unemployment. (A friend of mine owns a construction business and fired an employee for drinking on the job. He had a signed letter from the bartender. When the employee left he stole thousands of dollars worth of stuff for which there was a police report and everything. The ex employee STILL got unemployment!) Even if you want the severance package, you can still get yourself out on the market.

In the end you have to live with yourself. Allie's right, no amount of money is worth misery.

US41's picture

Will,

Unemployment rules vary dramatically from one state to another. In my state, the employer must pay for unemployment, not the government. The government merely acts as an intermediary. To qualify for it is very difficult. You are basically disqualified for any reason other than being laid off because the job is being dissolved out from under you. If it is for any other reason, you are denied absolutely.

I know no one who has ever successfully received unemployment where I live. If you quit, you get nothing. If you are fired for any reason within your control, you get nothing. If your employer fights paying it, you get nothing without a lawsuit, and no attorney will take a case that will not result in punitive damages for a client without a job.

tomw's picture

[quote="US41"]Will,

Unemployment rules vary dramatically from one state to another. In my state, the employer must pay for unemployment, not the government. The government merely acts as an intermediary. To qualify for it is very difficult. You are basically disqualified for any reason other than being laid off because the job is being dissolved out from under you. If it is for any other reason, you are denied absolutely.

I know no one who has ever successfully received unemployment where I live. If you quit, you get nothing. If you are fired for any reason within your control, you get nothing. If your employer fights paying it, you get nothing without a lawsuit, and no attorney will take a case that will not result in punitive damages for a client without a job.[/quote]

Ouch... what state do you live in?

thaGUma's picture

Get another job. Resign.

Anyone who thinks they can replace at half salary is sending out all the wrong vibes.

Chris

chynna's picture

I just wanted to thank everyone for their feedback and comments. This has been very helpful. Thanks again,

Chynna

tomw's picture

[quote="chynna"]I just wanted to thank everyone for their feedback and comments. This has been very helpful. Thanks again,

Chynna[/quote]

Please keep us up to date and let us know how it turns out!

allie's picture

Chynna,

I second that! Do keep us posted...and WHATEVER you choose to do, we wish you the best and support you.

Allie

Mark's picture

Chynna-

Sorry I've been gone so long. If this reaches you too late, I apologize.

Don't resign. Do your best while finding another job. Get all the severance and benefits you can when they fire you. I've been fired. It's not big deal.

This is why we have Manager Tools...because this new manager needs it. What a crass way to behave.

Mark