Unfortunately, in management consulting this is something everyone should plan for. Performance or economic conditions can lead to the up-or-out policy being applied. We have had several requests to help mainly associate (MBA-level) admits. The key thing is not to panic. Not to lose any leverage. Not to make rash decisions and rush off resumes. Not to do anything until this has settled in and a strategy has been developed. The decision should not affect your self worth in any way. In all fairness, consulting firms do treat candidates well during this painful transition. Full disclosure, I was the architect of many such decisions and can understand the difficulty for candidates. Here I present a blue-print to follow which worked very well when I released candidates. With the economy already softening , recruitment down worldwide for 2012 and fees down in several major offices, this podcast is timely.