So I just had my year end review and got a 2 (the Boss takes this review, since were a small team). I joined this company about 6 months ago straight out of college. It was kinda a rollercoaster ride.

I got great feedback from all team members. I thought I was doing great.

But then the supervisor (the guy I report to, who is under the boss) said I wasn't great. This I feel hit my score hard. I definitely feel I'm going to be fired by the end of the week because of the red flags:

  1. Everytime I laid down plans on how I wanna improve, he kept saying "Yeah let's see how that goes" or "I wanna see if you're a good fit for the company" or "I dont want you to struggle" or "I want you to be successfull if you move on."

  2. He told me "Its hard to have this talk before the holidays."

  3. He asked me if I can come on Friday because he want to have a chat.

  4. At the end of the meeting he shook my hand and said, "You were a great person and good teammate" (key word here is "were").

My question: Should I talk to him to give me a 2 week extension? It's the holiday period here in the USA and its going to be super tough finding anything for the next 2 - 3 weeks. Or admit I want a great employee and get my firing talk / letter come Friday? I don't think I can wait until Friday. I feel my heart has been ripped out and crushed in front of me.

Edit 1: Thanks for the suggestions. It just feels good enough to let someone know about my situation and get it of my chest. I wont bad mouth the company or the people. They were lovely and I love the company and my colleagues. Ive started to polish my resume and await those dreaded words.

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    I would suggest not jumping to conclusions. Wait until Friday and if you are let go them voice you request then. Unfortunately when a company decides that someone is to be let go that implies a lack of trust. You don't let that person go back to work - what if they ruin your project out of spite and then just walk out? Typically if you are fired your security access is revoked on the spot. Hope for the best and update your job-search profiles/resume. If you are let go make sure to thank your boss for the opportunities he's offered you, and to ask for a reference letter – AndreiROM Dec 16 '15 at 19:26
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    Alternatively your boss is planning on quitting and handing all work to you? – enderland Dec 16 '15 at 19:28
  • Your analyzing kind of sounds like me after a promising first date. Hint: I'm always wrong. – user42272 Dec 16 '15 at 19:29
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    Also, I would recommend if they are deciding to fire you you ask them to maybe change that to being "laid off", or give you the chance to quit. You may not want a termination of employment going on your work record. – AndreiROM Dec 16 '15 at 19:29
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    While everyone else seems to want to pump you full of joy-joy thoughts, based on your description I'd say the writing is on the wall. It's time to polish the resume and prepare for the day. Ask for references from those who did think you did well. Check your local labor offices (whatever they may be) to find out what is necessary to file for unemployment and get it started as early as possible. – Joel Etherton Dec 16 '15 at 20:20

It's never easy to get laid off. Never. Even if you hated the job and feel you are better off without it, there is always that ego crushing weight that comes down on you; "what's wrong with me?" And getting let go unexpectedly is like having ice cold water dashed in your face. The old "good fit" excuse is often a cover-all for "I don't want to admit to why you are really being let go". Sometimes you can puzzle it out, sometimes not. Sometimes it's your fault, sometimes it is due to circumstances beyond your control.

Your biggest challenge will be to learn from this in a positive way. Don't beat yourself up. This was just the wrong place for you...you will find the right place, never fear. You didn't mention any of the negative things that were in your review, but you need to think about them. Keep them in the back of your mind as possible trouble spots for your next job. Be proactive about pursuing better job performance. You can't rely on getting good feedback unless you make it clear that you are actively seeking it. It is possible that the good feedback you got from teammates is actually attributable to conflict avoidance. It's easier to tell somebody they are doing well than to tell them they aren't. How you respond to criticism determines the quality of feedback that you will get. If I correct someone's performance and they seem emotionally crushed, or react angrily or argue (unreasonably) or ignore what I have said, I probably won't bother next time. Note that I'm not suggesting you are doing any of these things, only that they are things to avoid if you want honest feedback.

If your assessment of the situation is accurate, I'd say you are likely to be handed your "walking papers" fairly soon. It's a little depressing to be unemployed for Christmas, but take heart. This is a actually a really great time of year to be looking for work. Everything is shut down for the holidays, but around the second week of January the job market really starts popping. That means you have only a few weeks to wait. If you had been laid off a couple of months ago you'd just have been hitting the leading edge of the holiday slowdown and you could very well have been out of work for months, which is a very bad thing.

It is very important that you keep a positive face to your bosses and co-workers. This is your first job, and the references that you get will be very important. Prospective workers will want to know why you got laid off. Get help from the unemployment office and/or recruiters in figuring a way to address this question in a way that puts you in the best possible light. Don't lie, but look for the best angle. Your positive tone toward your ex-coworkers and company will resonate with prospective employers. Keep it up and know that a year from now this will just be a faintly unpleasant stretch of water under the bridge.

  • Laid off and fired are not the same. – paparazzo Dec 17 '15 at 1:49
  • @Frisbee, that's true, but there is nothing in newkid's description that would lead me to believe they are going to fire him. He hasn't stolen anything or broken any company rules or done anything that would cause them to terminate him with prejudice. If they were going to fire him they definitely wouldn't have been dropping hints as wide as an interstate highway. They'd just have fired him. It sounds like they like him and wish him the best, but may have concluded that he isn't the right person for the position. Or not. Time will tell. – Francine DeGrood Taylor Dec 28 '15 at 21:09
  • What? And there in nothing in the question that indicates a lay off is coming up. You can be fired for performance. Some times it takes a while to get the ducks lined up to fire some one. – paparazzo Dec 28 '15 at 21:19
  • @Frisbee, you may be able to fire for performance, but in order to make it stick the company would have to show that they made a reasonable attempt to correct the performance issues. The reason for this is if you are fired you don't get unemployment. I've only been fired once in my career and even then I just went to the unemployment office, explained why I thought it was unfair to have been fired instead of being laid off. They agreed with me and I got my unemployment checks. It is obvious that newkid's bosses aren't making that effort. – Francine DeGrood Taylor Dec 28 '15 at 21:36
  • OK, obvious to you? Looks to me like his boss wants to fire him. – paparazzo Dec 28 '15 at 21:38

To get hit with poor performance from your immediate supervisor at a review without any warning is just not fair but work is not always fair.

For you to get surprised at a review with the CTO does not reflect favorably on your supervisor. Too late now but I would have said to the CTO if my supervisor had performance concerns why did he not communicate them to me? Can you explain the difference between pier review and supervisor review?

Now your supervisor is asking for a chat. If you supervisor fires you then again not fair. If the CTO is going to execute the review then fire should come from the CTO. Sorry for the language but if the boss lets the CTO surprise you with a bad review and then fires you face to face without a chance to correct your performance is chicken shit. "I wanna see if you're a good fit for the company" is chicken shit - he had 6 months to see if you are a good fit and now he needs the holiday to decide.

Don't force the issue to meet earlier - time is actually on your side. But in the chat if you are fired then ask to talk to HR immediately. Explain you had no prior warning of performance issue from your supervisor and had good review from your piers.

If you walk into the chat and the CTO and HR is there you are fired. No purpose to fighting it. Hopefully they will pay you through the holidays.

If you have vacation time then tell them you want to take your vacation. Maybe even submit a vacation request now so it is on record as before you were fired.

Read your contract. Look up employment laws in you jurisdiction. In some states if you were fired you cannot collect unemployment. But if based on performance with no warning then you can collect unemployment. Ask very specifically for the reason for dismissal. Ask for the reason in writing. They may ask you to sign a termination agreement - read it before signing. Don't sign anything without reading it. If you don't like it then tell them you need to need have your attorney read it before signing. Stop worrying about being nice to the company. If they fire you without warning they have not been nice.

I had a contract where they had hardware failures and changed requirements many times causing a lot of extra work that I had not yet submitted time for. They realized the project was tanked and brought me in to cancel the contract. First thing I did was submit my time sheet and I had to fight for it but I got paid.


When you are "about to get fired" here is what you do:

  1. Don't pull the "you can't fire me, I quit!" routine. As much as the situation makes you anxious, the difference between those two is minimal when you look for your next job. You will be interviewing without being employed either way, and unlikely to have references either way. By not quitting you add financial stability, allow transition time for both you and the company and you may even be able to keep your job. Best case, you find something before you are actually terminated.

  2. Keep working - maybe harder. Don't forget that you aren't fired yet! Your boss may be terrible at motivational speeches or whatever. This could be a "warning" - so keep showing up and doing your job. Take any feedback you've received and try to understand how it can help you perform better today. Don't turn what could be a warning into a "self fulfilling prophecy." As a manager, if I wanted to fire someone, I would just do it. I wouldn't have a "dance around the topic" speech first, so something isn't quite definite yet. Stay focused on doing better.

  3. Take on a new part-time job: that of finding a new full-time job. Until you are terminated, you should probably focus free time and effort on finding a new job. It takes real time and effort to do this, so take it seriously. Spend time researching, resume writing, cover letter writing, etc. Set aside time every day to do this if you can. Set goals like sending out 2 resumes a day. Treat it like a job or project of its own with deadlines. If/when you are terminated, treat this like your "new job" and do your morning routine, get dressed for it, "go to work", etc. like working from home.

  4. Stay positive about yourself and your prospects. Depression and fear lead to inaction. That will hurt your efforts at staying productive and moving forward. The process of losing your job is usually negative and hurtful. So be sure to lean on friends and family - you need support and the company's perspective is distorted and can lead to a distorted self-image for a while. Your friends and family know you better and can give you a better "whole picture" of yourself. Take time to vent and talk to them while you go through the job hunting process also. Rejection while wanting/needing a job is also very difficult emotionally.

  5. Be friendly as you exit your employer. Even when fired/let go/given papers, stay friendly and wish them the best in their efforts. Tell them you appreciate what you've learned (even if it wasn't much, or it wasn't what you'd hope to have learned). Offer to stay on to train a replacement or to finish projects before your official last day. After their next hire, they may realize they've made a mistake and want you back so keep the option open. Also, your next encounter with them might be a while from now, at a higher level or through a colleague and not the boss that fired you.

Best of luck to you!

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