How to Navigate a Graceful Exit When Your Position is Eliminated

Losing your job due to position elimination is a challenging experience. However, with the right mindset and proactive steps, you can make a graceful exit and transition to the next phase of your career. Here are some practical strategies to navigate this situation: 

Take Time to Process Your Emotions

Upon receiving the news that your position is being eliminated, take a deep breath and acknowledge your emotions. It’s normal to feel shocked, angry, sad, disappointed, or even anxious. Allow yourself time to process these feelings but avoid dwelling on negativity. Remember that this change is not a reflection of your abilities; it’s a business decision. 

Understand Your Benefits and Severance 

Review the details of your severance package. Understand what benefits you’re entitled to, including severance pay, accrued vacation time, and any other perks. If you have questions, consult with your company’s human resources department. Negotiate, if necessary, especially if you believe you deserve better terms. 

Assess Your Timeline 

Determine how much time you have before your official departure. Use this period wisely. If you have a working notice, focus on wrapping up projects, documenting processes, and transferring knowledge to colleagues. If your notice is shorter, prioritize essential tasks and communicate openly with your team. 

Secure Professional References

While you’re still employed, contact colleagues, supervisors, and clients for professional references. Explain the situation and express your gratitude for working together. Having positive references will be valuable during your job search. 

Explore Career Assistance Programs 

Check if your company offers outplacement or career transition assistance programs. Some organizations provide outplacement services, resume workshops, or networking events to support employees during transitions. Take advantage of these resources—they can help you find new opportunities faster.  Statistics show that a person who receives outplacement services lands 40% faster. 

Maintain Professionalism 

Continue to perform your duties diligently until your last day. Avoid negativity, gossip, or burning bridges. Treat everyone with respect, including coworkers, supervisors, and subordinates. A positive attitude will leave a lasting impression. 

Give Your Job Search Materials a Refresh 

Revise your resume, LinkedIn profile, and cover letter. Highlight your accomplishments, skills, and experiences. Tailor your materials to match the roles you’re interested in. Be honest about your situation—mention that your position was eliminated due to organizational changes. 

Network and Connect

Reach out to your professional network. Inform them about your situation and ask for advice or referrals. Attend industry events, virtual conferences, and networking sessions. Building relationships can open doors to new opportunities. 

Remember, a graceful exit doesn’t mean you’re defeated—it’s an opportunity for growth. Use this transition as a chance to reassess your career goals, learn from the experience, and move forward with resilience. You’ve got this!


For job search and career development needs, Palmer Group is a staffing agency that offers no-cost job seeker services. Our award-winning solutions include temporary and contract staffing, direct hire placements and our client roster includes a range of local and national businesses and Fortune 500 companies.

Author: Lee Johnson, Senior Career Consultant