The following answers are provided by members of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC),, an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
What’s one major NO you suggest people avoid when they learn they’re being let go?
1. Don’t Make a Scene
Take a deep breath and walk out of the office building (if you work in one) to compose yourself. Do not speak to anyone until you feel you can do so in a civil manner. Then, refrain from exhibiting any overt negativity until your last day. You never know when you might have to work with these people again, and you want to keep your reputation intact.
- Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work
Every company, family and marriage has dirty laundry in its closet. Airing the dirty details of inner workings makes you look more like a scorned schoolchild and less like a valiant hero who is graciously stepping aside. Save the closed-door gossip, office politics stories and you-wouldn’t-believe-it moments for your friends over beers; even then, make sure you look around the bar first!
- Kim Kaupe, ‘ZinePak
Things happen, and people get let go all the time. Make your departure a professional one; you never know when you might need a reference or even a job from an old employer.
- Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
That might sound harsh, but don’t let emotions get the better of you. A negative emotional reaction in the workplace never leads to a good thing. Put on a poker face, say your goodbyes and walk out.
- Anson Sowby, Rocket XL
There’s no room for excuses or pointing fingers. Leave in such a way that they talk about your gracious exit just as much — or more — than the actual failure. Andrew Mason is definitely a great example of this.
- Shahzil (Shaz) Amin, Blue Track Media, LLC
No matter the circumstances around your firing, you don’t ever want to burn bridges. This is a matter of pride and common sense. Do everything in your power to ensure that you leave on the best possible terms.
- David Ehrenberg, Early Growth Financial Services
Don’t react in the heat of the moment. Take a step back and make sure you’re composed before reacting. Losing your job is one thing; making it tougher to get a new one over a regrettable action is even worse.
- Nicolas Gremion, Free-eBooks.net
On the day that you are fired, the company is still functioning, and your friends and former colleagues are still devoted to building their vision. You might even retain equity in that vision, especially if you are an executive or have spent considerable time on the team. Focus on protecting your friendships — and your investment — and be as encouraging as possible to the remaining team.
- Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches
While you need to be cautious about how you handle unpopular truths, you’ll have a little more freedom than normal when you’re walking out the door. You’ll most likely have exit interviews and an opportunity to discuss problems that you’ve seen. Be gracious about it, but don’t be afraid to tell the truth as you leave.
- Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting