Yesterday, I was put on a month-long performance improvement plan.
I’ve only had one other job after college, and it was in a TV newsroom.
The skills I’m working on/learning are related to following through with each task before moving onto the next one, and getting my tasks done completely, even if I don’t get everything I need to done each day. Getting everything done (even with a few mistakes) is more important than completing whole, finished, and correct tasks over a longer period of time.
Overall, I’m nervous, because I’ve never been in this situation before.
I know what my expectations are for the plan, but I really don’t know what else to do.
Should I start looking for another job, in case I don’t improve enough in the next month?
Should I focus all of my attention on getting better, and start a job search only if it doesn’t work out?
I really think I CAN improve, but again, I’ve never been here before, and am scared about not being in control of the situation.
I don’t want to leave my job, both because I’ve only been there since October, and because I want to prove I can do it, move through issues, and really take control and ownership of my assignments.
Okay, here’s the deal with performance improvement plans: They are indeed very often the last thing that happens before you’re let go.
In theory, if you meet the terms of the plan, you’ll preserve your job and be able to move forward, but in practice, by the time you’re on one, it’s often because things aren’t working out and aren’t likely to.
To be clear, that doesn’t mean that PIPs never end in success. But because they so often don’t, it’s smart to be job-searching meanwhile, because they’re so very much the writing on the wall giving you a warning that you might lose your job at the end of the process.