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If you take action before you get a bad performance review, you may be able to steer a different course for yourself and not have to worry about the outcome. If you know your performance has been bad, the author offers six steps to take. Understand what you need to work on by reflecting on your own assumptions. Get your teammates' perspective second. You should invite your manager to have a conversation with you. Put together a plan to improve and own up to your errors. Follow up on that plan with your boss. Show your manager that you want to do better. It may help you realize that your skills, strengths, and interests don't match your current role if you still get a negative review.

Dan began working with me after he was laid off. Dan was put on a performance improvement plan prior to being let go. Dan thought his job was safe and that he would have more time to improve his performance. When he was fired, he was completely unaware.