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laid off Photo by ColorBlind Images / Getty via Time.com

What would you do if one day your boss walks into your boss office and tells you that you’re being laid-off?

What would you do and say at this life-changing moment?

I will tell what to do – keep your mouth shut and keep your hand away from the pen.

TIME Online took a unusual approach, getting specific with how you should handle yourself in the moment if you’re laid off.

What if you burst into tears?

I think that’s completely normal and natural – but then again it would be damn funny to see some big men cry. 😀

Is there any point in writing down what’s been said to you?

Absolutely! In fact, even if what is being said to you seems inoffensive, if you take that document to an attorney who looks it over and knows what he’s looking for, there could be something buried in that document that can give you leverage for a more significant severance package or even a wrongful-termination suit. 😈

Who do your files belong to? Are you allowed to take them?

No! Your files are company property. If you have extra time, if they give you a couple of weeks to tidy up business, you can probably use your contact list, because those are relationships that you carry with you, a nd also let people know that you’re leaving.

Should you tell everyone in the office what happened, or should you leave quietly?

Personally, it depends upon the company. If you leave under mysterious circumstances, people might think you got fired or arrested! I’m always one for being open and letting people know what happened.

What do you tell your own kids? (For those of us who have kids at home)

Be honest with them at an age-appropriate level. Say good things about your company so that they don’t grow up thinking that employers are monsters – even though it’s true. 👿

FINALLY – What do you tell a prospective employer about your layoff? How honest can you be?

I think you can be completely honest. In fact, in this phase, if you’re not, the employer is probably going to wonder. Don’t lie. This is the era of the no-fault layoff – so hold your head up high player 😎

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