Dear Career Doctor:
I work for a company and love my current position, however I recently was placed on a personal improvement plan. I was told this should have come as no shock to me, but it did. Since then I have been given extra tasks to complete that are almost impossible. My schedule has been changed to nights, and I feel they are trying everything to make me quit. What should I do? Submit my notice or stay and get fired?
This is a clear case of unrequited love. You love the job, but the company doesn’t seem to reciprocate. But before you decide to quit or stay, you should find out more about the case against you.
Talk to someone in Human Resources. Tell them you love your job and thought you were doing well. Ask to see any documentation that shows that your boss or the company was unhappy with your performance. If you have gotten positive reviews, or at least, if your “performance problems” have not been documented, you may wish to ask for a review as to why a loyal, happy employee is being given “impossible” work assignments. Ask Human Resources to help you get your old job back or change to a similar one with a different supervisor. If you have a good record and HR won’t help with this, you might consult a lawyer who specializes in employment issues.
On the other hand, if you see that your performance or problems have been documented, and you simply did not realize how serious the situation was, then the question is: quit or be fired? Since it is usually better to look for a job while you still have one, begin an active job search. It will be easier now that you are not working during the day. If you get fired, at least you will collect unemployment. These days, with all the layoffs, the stigma for getting fired is far less than it used to be.