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PIP Stereotypes

Given the secrecy and consequences of PIPs, you've probably a bunch of stereotypes about PIPs. This is a non-exhaustive list of beliefs that are simply not true:

  • "You must be incompetent or lazy"
  • "Your manager or company must be horrible"
  • "It’s impossible to keep your job on a PIP"
  • "You'll no longer be employable"

This thinking is reductive and will lead to more harm than good. A better way to think about a PIP is not to cast blame on one party or another. Instead, a PIP means there was a mismatch in expectation between employee and employer

The reality is that there are many potential reasons why you may receive a PIP, ranging from lack of support, poor management, lack of motivation, shifting company needs, etc.

Throughout the PIP process, one of the most difficult parts is that you’ll feel zero (or negative) support from key people around you. In order to find success at your job, and more broadly in your career, you need to be an advocate for yourself. Have the confidence that you are valuable. Too many engineers are their own worst critic, which exacerbates the negative spiral of performance.