To Stay or to Leave?
After a few days, make an honest assessment of whether you have a future with the company. If you've decided to try to turn things around, develop an action plan in cooperation with your supervisor. Follow up the evaluation in writing with your own suggestions, and request that your supervisor respond with his or her ideas. Perhaps skills training is in order. If there have been conflicts between you and one or more of your colleagues, a meeting to clear the air may ease tensions. In the weeks and months following the evaluation, maintain open lines of communication. Schedule follow-up meetings to make sure you and your supervisor are on the same page, Dave Willmer suggests.
On the other hand, the tone of the evaluation or your supervisor's actions may lead you to determine that you do not have a viable future with the company. If your review was followed by a demotion, or there are other signs that you are on your way out, begin laying the groundwork to find a new job. Polish up your resume and discreetly reach out to your network. Do not walk out before you find another job if at all possible. Instead, maintain as high a level of performance as possible at work. Interact in a civil manner with your supervisor and coworkers.
Responding to a bad performance review is not easy. Avoid taking any action that could be viewed as retaliatory, even if you believe you are being singled out by your employer. Instead, maintain careful records of your performance and other evidence to support your claims, in case you leave or are dismissed at a later date. If you are fired, you can use your records to dispute an attempt by your employer to prevent you from collecting unemployment by claiming that you were fired for good cause. If you leave because of employer harassment, your records may help you qualify for unemployment benefits, according to Nolo.