Q: My supervisor was just “let go.” I tried to reach out to her, and have not heard back. I am not sure what “let go” that means, but she is no longer in the office. I am worried that I might be “let go.” This is my first job out of college, and I just started this job in June, 2023. I am beyond nervous about this, but not sure what else I can be doing, but get more and more anxious every day! Any advice?
A: Thanks for your question. It sounds like you are in a stressful situation. The phrase “let go” likely means that your supervisor is no longer employed by your company. You may never know the reason. My guess is that the infamous rumor mill is churning out a bit of truth, a bit of embellishment and a dose of drama. Rumors can not be relied upon. Your supervisor may not have been performing up to the company’s expectations, or that maybe she decided she could no longer perform the job satisfactorily. There are many different reasons why someone is separated from a company. I understand why your supervisor did not return your outreach. She may need time, or she may not want to explain the circumstances. She could have also agreed, with your employer, that neither wants to disclose the reason for her separation.
There are some steps you could take to reduce your angst. See below:
- Raise your hand! This change could be an opportunity for you. Maybe you could volunteer to take on some of your supervisor’s tasks. Be willing and open to help with responsibilities outside of your “job description.” You may not be able to take on all of your supervisor’s responsibilities, but you may be able to take on some of her tasks.
- It is an uncertain world. I share one piece of advice with almost every job hunter, employee or student I meet. Always have your resume updated. I live by my own advice! Even though I started my company 22 years ago, I still critique my resume every January. You should think about doing the same. Update your resume. I don’t recommend that to scare you. Instead, I think we live in an uncertain world. It is important to have a current resume vs. one that is several years old. Updating a resume takes time and it is better to be proactive.
- Network. Or as I sometimes suggest: ABN (always be networking). A strong personal and professional network is important. Technology is increasingly critical in a job search, but relationships are often far more valuable.
- It is important to continue to be a strong performer. Produce quality work, be a good team player and jump in to help others, when appropriate.
Finally, it is important assess your stress level. Think about joining a yoga class, taking a walk before work, meditating or kick boxing. It doesn’t really matter what you do, but the goal is to reduce your stress level.
Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Boston.com Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.