What To Do When Your Boss is Laid Off

Your world just got shaken up; how do you handle it?

You walk into work as usual, but your boss isn’t there. You figure they’re at a doctor’s appointment, or maybe they had to bring their kid to school, so you go about your day like any other day. But they never show up. Eventually your boss’ boss calls you in for a discussion, and that’s when you find out they’ve been let go.

Maybe they did something wrong, or maybe it was a mutual decision. Regardless of the reason, your job is in for some major changes, at least in the short term, and probably a new boss.

What questions should you ask yourself? What does this mean for your job? Take a deep breath and review these tips.

  1. Freak Out (And Then Calm Down)

Okay, things are crazy right now. Your boss is gone, which means for now you have some sort of temporary boss, and you’re bound to have plenty of questions about what’s going to happen. When you get home, give yourself time to freak out, but write down what you’re panicked about. This can be whatever you want it to be—questions about the future, your thoughts on how the situation is being handled, good things that could happen, bad things that could happen. Whatever it is you’re worried about.

Once all your concerns are organized, read through them. Take a minute to calm down and really understand what it is you’re worried about. It’s fine to freak out when you’re at home (who wouldn’t?), but you want to remain professional and on the ball at work.

  1. Be Positive On the Job

So, your boss is gone. That happened. Now you need to accept it, refocus, and keep the work going. When you head back to work, try to be optimistic. Stay away from office gossip (something that is sure to happen whenever anyone departs from the company unexpectedly) and be an optimistic bright spot in everyone’s day.

  1. Shine

Your boss could be gone due to restructuring, but your job is probably safe (after all, you’re still here). However, with your manager gone, you may have to act as your own boss in some capacity until the position is filled. You might be expected to report on your current project or announce new initiatives. Make sure everyone knows you’re handling these new responsibilities just fine. Come in early and meet all your deadlines and stay a bit late if you can. This is a time to show how valuable you are as an employee.

  1. Welcome Your New Boss

When your new boss shows up, make them feel welcome. They might be your boss for years to come. Show how valuable and irreplaceable you are as an employee. If you can, offer to create documents and spreadsheets that show how work has historically flowed on your team. You want to bring them up to speed on how the team currently operates, while still being open to change. They won’t know everything yet since they’re new to the company unless they’re an internal hire.

  1. Maybe You Want to Be Considered for the Position

Speaking of internal hires, you might be thinking about applying for your boss’ old position yourself. If so, check out a few of our past blogs about interviewing and revamping your resume:

It’s a scary situation when your boss is fired, but hopefully these tips help you calm down and make a plan for your next steps.

Have you ever had a boss that got fired? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments section below!

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