I recently received a verbal documented warning about my poor performance and not meeting the expectations of the role. I've been with the company/role for less than 6 months. This is the first negative feedback I have received in 17 years. The job and company is not what I expected and I know I'm not the not fit for them and them for me. The warning said I would be monitored and coached over the next 30 days and significant improvement would be needed or face further disciplinary actions up to and including termination. Any ideas on how to approach them about severing ties. I wasn't expecting such a harsh review and financially Im not prepared to quit without being able to collect ui. Any suggestions on how to handle this situation and have that conversation... To part ways in a mutual manner?

I'll add some more color to the situation. While I should consider myself fortunate that they did not fire me on the spot my heart is really not in this job and it is obvious to them too. They told me I seem disengaged, lack motivation and questioned if I am happy in my role. They are correct in their assumptions, I am not happy and I really don't see this turning around. They said at I am not performing at the level they expect and they pay me a lot of money. I'm not living up to their expectations. I expressed that the environment is not what I expected either. I was lead to believe I would be working with my boss more closely but I was told I shouldn't expect such hand holding at my level. I understand the right thing to do is to hold on as long as possible but I also don't want to feel like a sitting duck waiting for the tap on the shoulder. Inks really like to know if anyone thinks its better to talk to them about parting ways and how to go about initiating the conversation. I don't want to be perceived as a voluntary quit but how can I approach them about agreeing to let me go and not contest my ui application?

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    How long have you been with the company, in any role? Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 21:04
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    @gnat I wanted to mark it as dupe, but this one is critically different in that the asker is asking for how to prepare for termination, whereas the other one is asking for steps to keep the job when put on a disciplinary plan. Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 21:15
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    @GarrisonNeely Duplication should be judged based on the question, not the answers, so I agree that this is not a duplicate. If you've written another answer that also addresses a (non-duplicate) question, feel free to reuse that material. Usually you'll need to do some editing (the questions are different, after all), so don't just cut/paste the whole thing without careful review, but it's fine to reuse the parts that fit. (Edit: Ah, I see now that you've already done this. Good.) Commented May 1, 2014 at 0:29
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    @MonicaCellio - This question is should I quit. It could be changed to How do I save my job to make it On topic but that makes it a duplicate. It needs to be made on topic with out being made a duplicate. The added details are not helping that part. Commented May 1, 2014 at 14:42
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    @MonicaCellio - Which then duplicates one of these probably: workplace.stackexchange.com/search?q=how+to+quit Commented May 1, 2014 at 14:49

4 Answers 4


Check this answer: I received a written warning for my performance, how can I save my job?

Basically, you need to have another job lined up before you can consider resigning (especially since you mentioned you aren't financially ready to be without income). Start looking now, but do whatever your boss requires of you in the meantime, so you aren't fired before you're ready to leave.

  • I should have noted i do have another income opportunity lined up but it will take some time to generate a steady income flow.
    – Jane
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 20:38
  • @Jane Can you explain the circumstances of the new job that keep you from being able to use it as your sole income source for the short-term? Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 20:52

You're asking about an imbalance of power, I believe.

You didn't mention what feedback you received in your negative review, or why the company isn't a fit for you. But, the fact of it has put you in a low-power situation where you may lose your job involuntarily.

You say you'd like to leave, in a dignified way, for another company. In order to do that, it will help if you can bring the power back closer to a balanced situation.

How can you do that? Obviously one way would be to find another job before your 30-day warning period has elapsed, and resign. Thank them for the opportunity to work with them, and be on your way.

Another way is to take seriously their demand that you improve your performance. You didn't mention what kind of changes they're asking for, so it's hard to know whether it's in your power to make those changes. But at any rate you can try. You can visibly try very hard. You can get your supervisor invested in helping you overcome the problems she or he sees in your performance. Why bother doing this hard work? It will restore the power balance a bit. It will buy you respect and some time to find another way of paying your bills.

You didn't say what jurisdiction you're in, so it's hard to comment on what you'd need to persuade them to do to allow you to collect unemployment benefits should you leave. That's obviously a strategy you could consider.

You're not as powerless as you think. Most companies hate to fire people. It's unpleasant to fire and expensive to replace people. Your supervisor will gain status if she can be perceived as fixing the problem. Plus, if the next candidate asks "why is the position open?" they have explaining to do.

Good luck!

  • +1 on "Why is the position open". If I get contacted 6 months later for a job I was already contacted for, I'm thinking "something is wrong with this job," not "something was wrong with the last hire." Because even if it was the last hire, who hired that person? Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 23:13

Without knowing the actual finer details, I am going to take a wild stab in the dark and assume you're competent, especially if you've been in the industry for 17 years and never received a warning before elsewhere. The problem doesn't sound like you're unskilled, but rather you're not passionate about the job you currently have.

I see this all of the time. If you're not passionate about your role, the people you work with and the products/services you are working on, subconsciously you will detach yourself from your role.

Once you detach, the likelihood of getting back that initial spark is quite low. Think of it as a relationship, two people start out going in the same direction, but as priorities change and things happen, you go in separate directions.

It sounds like you are only in your current job for the money, because you are also aware of the fact the economy isn't doing so well (some sectors affected more then others) and some of us don't have the fortune of being able to be picky about where we work. That's fair enough, you need the money and without a proper financial buffer, you are stuck. I think everyone can sympathise with that.

There is an upside. You mention you've been at this current employer for six months and you've received a warning, with a 30 day period to improve within. This to me signals the company doesn't see you as a lost cause, sees value in you and wants to help you get back to the level you need to be at in your current role. Trust me, it would be easier for the company to just let you go rather then giving you warnings and a chance to improve.

You have two choices:

You can seize the opportunity to improve, find the passion within to do your job efficiently and to the standard the company expects. Or, you can move on and find yourself a better, more suited opportunity that matches your skills and experience.

Given your feelings toward the job, it seems the second option would be a better fit, unless you can find it within yourself to give your current role/employer a chance. You are being given a pretty good ultimatum, it is up to you if you decide to take it or not.


You state the job is not what you expected and sound unhappy about it. I advise starting to look for a new job. •Accept the position you are in and cooperate in as friendly a manner as you can. You do not have to inform your current employer right away that you are looking for a new job, try to patch things up in your current position a preserve bridges.

You didn't mention if you think the negative feed back is fair or not? Can you improve based on the feed back given? If yes, there should be no problem. Just because you got negative feedback once is not necessarily a terrible thing. They stated you will monitored and coached over the next 30 days so it sounds to me like they aren't trying to get rid of you, they are trying to make things better.

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