Three Types of Employee Termination

The average employee has 10 jobs by the time they reach age 42. Job termination can occur for three main reasons. Understand the three types of employee termination as you evaluate your career.  

Voluntary Termination

Typically, you can choose to leave your job for any reason at any time. This voluntary termination occurs when you resign from your job.

You may voluntarily terminate employment for many reason, including:

  • Find a new job

  • Get married

  • Move away from the area

  • Go back to school

  • Switch careers

  • Retire

You can also resign because of personnel or professional reasons. Maybe you don’t get along with a boss or co-worker, experience bullying or don’t care for changes in your job responsibilities.

Involuntary Termination

You could lose your job if your employer decides to fire or remove you from your job. An involuntary termination can occur because:

  • Your employer is dissatisfied with your performance.

  • Slow economic times force downsizing.

  • The company is purchased by another organization moves headquarters.

  • The company is overstaffed.

  • You do not mesh with the company culture.

  • The job responsibilities are too advanced.  

You always have the right to know why you are being involuntarily terminated unless you are an at-will employee. In this case, your employer can fire you for any reasons.

Otherwise, know that your supervisor may provide coaching to help you make necessary and beneficial changes. You may receive a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). It outlines the improvements you need to make, documents your response and demonstrates that your employer has made every possible attempt to keep you in their employment.

Mutual Termination

Sometimes, you and your employer agree to part ways. No one is at fault, you simply both agree to move on. Together, you will agree on an exit strategy, which may include training your replacement.

How to Handle a Termination

The steps you take before a termination depend on which type affects you. One thing you should do is ensure you and your employer are following employment laws. For example, you cannot be fired based on a protected status such as your sexual orientation or religion. You also cannot be terminated because you filed harassment charges. If you have questions about the legality of your termination, contact an attorney.

Also, remember that your future hireability may depend in part of the reference you receive from your current employer. When possible, end your employment relationship on a positive note.

An employment termination is part of most people’s working careers. It can allow you to find a job that’s better suited for your talents, skills and interests. Understand the three types of termination as you prepare for job success.
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