I am US citizen working in Virginia. I am employed (not contracted) in a salaried position by a small, 8-person company. I have been in this position for almost two years.

This is almost related to Fired from my job given two weeks notice but still expected to come to work not sure what is expected of me?, but the vague end-date has come and gone.

Background Story

Back in March, I was told that my position would be ending. My boss was not terribly specific as to why. The timeline was predicted to be 4-7 weeks to wrap up various tasks. The reasons given have ranged from 'need someone part-time and cheaper', 'my skills would be wasted on the trivial day-to-day', and 'the projects discussed early in my job are all wrapping up'. There have been no formal performance reviews or salary actions. I have gotten the occasional informal "good job" and "That didn't work well" feedbacks.

I was told that I could spend company time looking for a new position. If I needed time off for interviews, that it would be approved. And that they would give glowing professional references.

Three months on, and I am still working here. The paychecks keep coming, so I'm okay there. From my point of view, there is plenty of work, and I have not been bored.

I think my biggest problem is the lack of engagement and ownership. I find it difficult to be motivated, start new projects, or dig into big problems, since 'I may not be here much longer'. I see small things break, document them, and correct them, but have little motivation to implement long-term fixes.

I thought about building a case as to why I should stay. But am not sure I want to fight to stay where I am apparently not wanted.

Main Question

  • Has anyone else been in this sort of situation
  • Is there some particular advice on what to do
  • What sort of mindset should I adopt to get me through this sanely
  • How do I 'poke the bear', asking when my job will actually end without being terribly surprised that the answer is 'now'. (Virginia is a right-to-work state)
  • Do I build and present my case as to why I should remain someplace that apparently doesn't want me?

edits and requests for clarification welcome

Update1: Yes, I have been applying for other jobs - and have had quite a number of interviews. No offer letters, though.

Update2: I am debating whether to leave the above details in this question or not.

Updated Question

What might cause a manager to decide to let a report's end-of-employement date silently lapse, and keep the employee working and paid past that date?

What are the implications or what sorts of issues would be expected to arise in such a work environment?

  • 2
    Have you been looking for an applying for other jobs?
    – David K
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 19:17
  • 1
    Most certainly.
    – Matt D.
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 19:18
  • The way your question reads it seams like you have not been looking for work and are just riding it out to see if it blows over. Please clarify if you have been looking or have any interviews coming up. Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 19:19
  • 3
    @MattD. Then keep doing that and leave as soon as you can.
    – David K
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 19:19
  • This may be a side effect of being in a small shop. For them rather than just an employee you are Matt. There is a good chance that they don't really need Matt but are willing to keep him around until he lands something else so long as they are confident that he's trying to do so.
    – Myles
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 20:39

2 Answers 2


You keep applying for jobs and get out of there as soon as you can.

I get it, working in a job you aren't invested in sucks. You have no reason to put in more effort than you need to, so you spend your day looking forward to leaving. You might still be getting a paycheck, and your boss may still have plenty of work for you, but you have no idea how long that will last. There's no point in trying to convince your boss to keep you on. Even if he agrees to keep you, that could change in a few months.

I also wouldn't ask when he expects to actually fire you. As long as you are receiving paychecks, keep your head down and keep working. You don't want to egg on the process and be terminated before you have another job lined up.

It's not fun, but you really just have to suck it up and power through until you can find another job.


There could be a few reason why you have not been told to pack it up and move on just yet.

Sometimes the company has other more pressing matters to attend to then to let go someone who is being productive. Maybe they are giving you extra time to look for work and just have not mentioned it. Or there is paperwork in the process and there has been some hold up on the paperwork.

The fact that they gave you such a big heads up and are willing to give "glowing references" tells me they think highly of you an want you to succeed.

In this situation you should continue to look for work and try to get hired someplace else ASAP. You might not have much time left where you are now.

Asking the boss if your position is still being removed might even result in your departure that much quicker.

I personally would not ask about it and continue looking for another job.

  • 1
    I really like both answers. But can only award one. I do like your possibility that it is paperwork or workload related. It does give some possible insight as to what might be going on.
    – Matt D.
    Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 3:02
  • Sure thing :). The idea is to select the best answer for you and to up vote other good answers if they also apply. If my answer sheds some light on the situation then it has done its job. Commented Jun 24, 2017 at 3:25

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