What to Do if You are Terminated

Written by: Alex Brown
Published on: Nov 25, 2021

Job Termination

A job in healthcare delivery is typically a labor of love, with healthcare professionals in the top 10 industries for career longevity. But job separation can happen, voluntarily or not.

If you’re selected for termination due to cost cutting, reorganization, or committing an offense, it is a disruptive event. So, what should you do if you’re given a “pink slip?”

Here are eight steps you should take if you are about to be terminated.

Right After You Receive Notice

If you just received notice, take these first steps.

Review Your Contract

Check your contract for details regarding termination. Ensure that proper procedures, disclosures, and notifications are being followed. Additionally, you should check the employee manual for any irregularities regarding your termination.

Confirm Your Right to Fair Treatment

Make sure the circumstances surrounding your termination are fairly applied within the organization. Employment laws require adequate explanation of an offense, organizational change, or other reason for termination. As such, in most cases, you have the right to be treated equally under laws. Confirm that you are being treated fairly according to documentation and aren’t being illegally discriminated.

Ask About Other Opportunities

If you are being terminated due to changes beyond your control, ask if there are other available positions you qualify for. Your employer may be able to offer you a role in a new or different department.

As You Leave

You’ve got a couple of things to do if all hope of remaining with your current employer is lost.

Negotiate the Most Favorable Exit Deal Possible

Before you quickly sign any severance package in anger, consider your ability to negotiate a deal. If you’ve been a valuable employee who might be considered in the future, for example, it may be in the interest of the company to leave the door (partially) open by offering a more favorable deal if you request one. In some cases, it is not a take-it-or-leave it proposition.

Discuss Limits for Future References

If it doesn’t end amicably, your termination can harm future opportunities. In most cases, employment laws restrict an employer’s ability to be fully transparent about an employee’s tenure. But that doesn’t mean boundaries are not crossed. Request confirmation that the only information that will be shared are employment dates, last position held, and final compensation. If necessary check with an employment lawyer to understand what you can legally demand.

Terminated Healthcare Professional

After You Leave

Now that you’ve left, it’s time to get ready for a new job in an unfamiliar workplace.

Update Your Resume

If you haven’t needed it for a few years, it might be time to update your resume/CV. Add in the training, skills learned, experience, and continuing education you gained during your employment. If you’ll be seeking a new role, review past jobs to see if you can update skills that will help you qualify.

Improve Hard Skills and Soft Skills

The healthcare profession often changes with new technology, treatment regimens, diseases, etc. Make sure your hard (technical) skills and soft skills are in top form to meet the latest workplace expectations. It can be helpful to research positions you’re interested in as well as reviewing potential employers’ websites for clues about desired skills.

Practice Your Interviewing

If it’s been a while since you’ve applied for a job, take some time to prepare for interviews. Practice Q&A and play both roles, applying a critical lens to your body language, responses, questions for the interviewer, speaking tone and volume, and any additional factors you can improve. If you have employers in mind, take some time to research them so you can ask thoughtful, informed questions during the interview.

Getting terminated is rarely easy. But by taking a strategic approach to the announcement, you’ll be better suited to move on.