I am a victim of a conspiracy by my supervisor. He has been hatching a plot against me for the last six months behind my back and I have been informed very recently of the consequences. I am told that I would be asked to sign a PIP very soon. The PIP has got nothing to do with my performance: the supervisor is doing this because of personal grudge against me.

There is not much time left so that I can find a new job and leave right away.

Which of the following courses of action will cause the least problems for my career over the long term (5 years or more) and why?

  1. Resign from the company even before my supervisor or a HR person brings up the PIP.

  2. As soon as my supervisor or a HR person brings up the PIP refuse to sign it and resign immediately.

  3. Sign the PIP and resign early on or towards the middle of the PIP period.

  4. Resign shortly before the PIP period ends.

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    We can't tell you what to do; that's a personal decision. I chose to blast thru and prove that they were evaluating incorrectly, then change departments at the soonest opportunity to get away from the manager I no longer respected. Your situation, and your personality may be completely different, and only you can evaluate which approach is the better bet. – keshlam May 25 '16 at 0:03
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    There is way too much emotion in this post. This tells me the animosity and acrimony at your job is not likely solvable. Even if the PIP evaporated tomorrow without you even seeing it, it sounds as if you're already too mad to salvage this situation. I rarely recommend this, but finding another job as soon as possible is likely your best alternative. Try to get a week off between jobs and go fishing, or whatever helps you unwind. – Wesley Long May 25 '16 at 1:16
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    "I definitely want to leave this organization" - if this is true then you should already know what you should be doing, regardless of whether they give you the PIP or not. – Brandin May 25 '16 at 7:14
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    btw, if you really want to be "Undisclosed", you should create an entirely new account, rather than simply using a different screen name on workplace as compared to all your other sites... – AakashM May 25 '16 at 8:02
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    It is understandable why such a situation would be emotionally charged. The bright-side of the PIP, however, is that it allows you some time to bridge to another job. The employer could have instead chosen to fire you outright leaving you as an unemployed job searcher. Being unemployed as a job applicant is a distinct disadvantage. See it as an opportunity. – teego1967 May 29 '16 at 11:04

PIPs typically ask you to sign to indicate that you have received the document, not that you agree with the contents or implications. You aren't admitting any guilt by signing.

You need to sign it. But if the wording isn't clear, you can add something like "I sign to signify receipt of the document, not to indicate my agreement." Keep a copy for yourself.

If you refuse to sign it, you will be terminated. And that lack of signing could make it more difficult for you to pursue later actions.

If you sign it, you will likely be terminated at the end of the Plan period anyway. Still, you should work hard to follow everything indicated in the PIP to the tee. That way, you are in a stronger position to claim unfairness if you are still terminated.

Refusing to sign and Resigning don't make a lot of sense. You will put them in a very strong position to say "Well, we offered a way that Undisclosed could turn things around, be she decided not to take that route."

Additionally, in many locales resigning means that you may be ineligible for unemployment benefits. Being let go often leaves you eligible.

Meanwhile, start looking for your next job. You will almost certainly need one, given the circumstances.

see: http://www.askamanager.org/2014/01/should-you-refuse-to-sign-a-performance-improvement-plan.html

see: http://www.spigglelaw.com/should-i-sign-my-performance-improvement-plan/

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A different potential course of action: You can try to negotiate a graceful exit. Administering a PIP and the associated legal risk can be a pain in the neck for the company and it's a lot easier for them if you leave on your own.

You could potentially ask for a good reference, a severance package, extension of benefits while you are unemployed etc. That has to be done delicately, though.

Whether it makes sense or not really depends on your specific circumstances (company culture, HR rules, local laws, unemployment benefits) so it may be worth getting professional help.

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Obviously you have a lot of options in front of you but if I were you I'd take the following route:

  1. Sign the PIP and get on a plan of action to improve whatever it is they say you have to improve.
  2. Start looking for another job immediately. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200 (I mean, literally collect your paycheck but that's besides the point).

PIPs are generally given out for two reasons: one, to actually try and get a flawed but otherwise useful employee a path to improve themselves as an alternative to firing them, and two, a way to lay the groundwork to fire an employee who might otherwise be tough to let go, perhaps because the company itself doesn't like to fire people, or because the employee has friends placed highly in the company, and so on. I get the sense that your situation is in the latter portion, as it sounds like this boss with a personal grudge would have fired you outright if he really is that mean.

Even if it is the first one, it's often the case that having a PIP on your record at a company means that you are never going to be looked upon as a candidate for higher or lateral positions, or if you are you'll have to wait it out for several years. The world is too large for this IMO. Additionally, if it is the first one then you've seriously misread your boss's attitude towards you and it's pretty likely that you've done something else you haven't told us to hurt things between you. I guess if you feel up to it, you can talk it out with them, but I would remain calm about that and expect the worst, given you're posting here already doing so.

So look upon this as your opportunity to make the exit happen on your terms. I mean, don't do anything that will burn bridges amongst the people you've cultivated relationships with there by destroying company property or that kind of thing, but find another job, get another job, and kiss this one goodbye. Feel free to follow the PIP as well - no point in getting fired before you can quit - but you need to read the writing on the wall here, and the writing on the wall says you don't have a lot of time left at this place whether you like it or not.

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You need to ask yourself is the PIP fair.

If so, then you have two choices:

  1. Do you think that you can perform to there requirements during the period and afterwords.
  2. Do you think that this job is worth the extra effort.

If it is not fair in you opinion. The adopt this

  1. Play the game as this is not formal and therefore should not impinge on your reference
  2. Look for another job and perhaps be more choosy on that job

    BTW - Companies do have a culture and some of use do not fit into it. Nothing really bad about that.

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To me a PIP is an admission of guilt and culpability which sticks for the duration of your time with a company, and quite often is just a prelude to sacking you in any case. If you think there is a conspiracy afoot, then it's probably just to make you admit you're in the wrong so they can terminate your employment and avoid any possible lash back.

Start job hunting as soon as you can and put off this as long as you can until such time as you can hand in your resignation.

Depending on your nature, once you no longer work there you are then free to resolve the supervisors personal grudge without worrying about it affecting your job.

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