Has anyone here been fired?


#1

I’ve been doing a lot of research on steps to take after being fired, and reading about how hard it is to get another job after being fired.

I was curious if any of you have any experience with that? Is it still possible to have a successful career after being fired? Are you stuck with the jobs no one else wants?

It’s Wednesday and I still have my job. For all I know, I may still have this job a year from now, ten years from now even. I could, though, lose my job any day.

Over a single small lapse in judgement…

This could turn my entire world upside freaking down.


#2

Have been fired one time, did deserve it. Had several jobs since then, good ones, bad ones, career didn’t end, life didn’t end.

If you need some distraction, there’s a good podcast out there, have a look for episode 1.0.1 of “This Developers Life” its called “Getting fired” - love it.


#3

I love your directness. I have listened to that podcast at least twice. I love those guys: Scott Hanselman and Rob Conery. Two cool guys.

I was thinking about listening to it again.

I think I’m getting to a point where I feel like I have control. I have another interview tonight (remote job), and I tapped into my network and got several leads on jobs. They would require a move, but that’s just a matter of convincing my wife that it’s a good idea.


#4

I’ve lost my job twice because the company had to let people go. It wasn’t my fault and I had been on the job for at least 2 years.

You don’t have to mention the reason you changed jobs on your resume.

The first time it happened, when I was asked why I was let go in interviews, I was honest about what had happened and mentioned I had survived the first round of cuts.

Unless you’ve done something really bad like abusing a coworker or going to jail, you should be able compete for new opportunities like anybody else.

It’s not like in the Seinfeld episode when Elaine realized someone had written that she was a difficult patient in her medical chart and all the doctors in NYC suddenly refused to give her care :wink:

Lastly, I really think you should forgive yourself. I think you mentioned in another post that you apologized and tried to patch things up. You have to let it go. It must be hard to show up at work everyday thinking there’s a possibility you’ll get a pink slip. You’re obviously walking on egg shells and that’s tough.

You’re moving forward with that heavy suitcase. Put it down and keep going. Focus on what you control. Do your best to fulfill your job obligations and keep working on your transition plan.


#5

Extremely good point! But the question how to forgive was one of my biggest struggles. I realized ‘forgiveness’ is possible, but it requires looking and working with my own distorted feelings and thoughts. It’s a different kind of ‘forgiveness’ then the one I was expecting to find.

I love that egg shell analogy. If one really messes up things, no matter if at home or at work, one feels bad, most likely anxious which makes things harder as they need to be.


#6

I feel like I’ve said this before, so sorry if I’m repeating myself…
I’ve been fired twice. When asked about it, I say it was a bad fit and the decision was mutual. In your position, I belive that would be an accurate statement as well. If you were fired tomorrow, well, you’re looking to leave - that’s mutual. You might be asked to talk about why the fit wasn’t good, but you’ll have time to prepare an answer for that.

This reminds me if an article I wrote for you guys a while back but never linked. :wink: @muffinman32 I hope this helps you fight some of the guilt you are experiencing!

“Guiltless” https://medium.com/@trusting.me/guiltless-bd2198593a0a

Also, the Feeling Good book is really really helpful for learning to kick guilt.


#7

Thanks. You have all been great support during all of this.

I’m pretty much over it by now. I am chalking it up to it being a learning experience. We all make mistakes, but that shouldn’t dictate who we are.

The prospect of being let go doesn’t bother me a whole lot, because, well, it is a bad fit for me.

My mother told me the other night that I need to stop beating myself up over it. She said that I always did that when I was a kid. I definitely did. My parents never had to punish me because I would punish myself, lol.

So, getting fired sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. I haven’t been fired. So, I think by stressing about what could be, I am not living in the now.

From this point on, I will not dwell on that incident and I will continue my plan of moving on.

Thanks.


#8

Ok, I lied. I have found myself gravitating towards google to search for things like “signs you are going to be fired”. This job is not a good fit for me, but that doesn’t matter. What I am most worried about is, if I were to be fired, what do I tell potential future employers?

Everything I have read says not to blurt out the word “fired” in an interview. In an instance like this, one (though if I were to be fired it wouldn’t be for the reason for the final warning), I would have to spin it somehow. I mean, I guess I would possibly say something like, “the job was a bad fit for me. my manager and i decided it was best that we part ways.” - I guess…not sure on that one.

I wonder if at some level my subconscious is trying to destroy my software development career and make myself unemployable in this field. Granted, it would carry over to any field no matter what.

Maybe that’s why I was being desperate and looking into lower paying jobs like skilled labor.

I have a bunch of applications in, and am in the process of interviewing for one job. I’m not sure I’m going to get it, but I’m at least giving it my best shot.

I have friends in the industry and good references from this job and my last job.

I just hope that if I were to be fired that it doesn’t spell the end of my career.

I did read that Microsoft doesn’t really care if you’ve been fired once - they tend to gauge how you talk about it. If you come off anxious or something, then they think you might be hiding something. You have to come off confident and show that you learned from your past transgressions.

There’s a major university in my state that doesn’t seem to have a problem with hiring someone that was terminated from a job (source : I worked with a guy that was fired at a previous job and got a job at that university within 6 months).

So, yeah - I think it’s possible, and I’m not exactly sure it’s all that hard just as long as I can come to terms with it and put my best face forward. I shouldn’t let being fired define me.

I’m employed right now, and for all I know, I could have that job for as long as I like. I’m being very nice to everyone and am putting my best face forward. I’m going with the flow and acting professional just like I know I should have all along.

One thing that might save me is the fact that they have so much work and are looking to hire a lot of people with no luck. I am the next-to-the-most senior in the group (of 3) and my only hiccup was that email.

My manager does not reply to my emails, though. That’s kind of disconcerting and a sign that a company might be gearing up to fire you - or it could simply mean he’s still miffed and doesn’t want to talk to me.

I figured that if they were going to let me go it would have been yesterday - one of my family members said that if they wanted to let me go they would have done it in that meeting. So, I think I’m okay just as long as I do what I’ve been doing (that is, acting professional and going with the flow - being nice to everyone and getting my job done, etc, etc).

Looking back on all this now, with fresh perspective, I really feel like a dummy. This was supposed to be a job I would have as long as I wanted it. Now I’ve managed to turn it into one in which I have no job security in. I believe it is all my fault. I showed very poor judgement that day and have learned from it, for sure.

In the meantime, I am trying to teach myself Java, Spring, and Hibernate. Most of the jobs in my state are Java jobs. Going from .Net to Java shouldn’t be that big of a deal. I’m just trying to be a good provider for my family.

Whew, okay - lengthy, ranty, post over.


#9

If and when you have to reveal that you were fired, it is entirely about how you say it. Fired is a fact - the comment terminated the employment. What the interviewer wants to know is simply: what happened?

There are many reasons people are terminated: downsizing, financial problems (company can’t make payroll), the company went under, they moved operations to another city/country, yearly culling (not merit-based). Then there are the reasons we feel ashamed to be terminated: bad cultural fit, underperformance, disruptive behavior, hostile work environment, etc.

If your company moved to Canada, would you feel anxious about talking about being fired? Probably not. Because you feel like you are the problem, you believe that if you get fired is your fault. But that’s not true. IF you get fired, is because they are unwilling to work with you, unsupportive of you, rigid, and too narrow-minded to come to a mutually beneficial solution. Now, did you make mistakes? Yes. DID THEY? Yes. How very human of everyone.

So, IF you get fired and have to talk about it, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. You are actively looking for a job right now: that means the termination of employment is, at worst, mutual. You can say that with complete honesty - do you believe that? If not, it’s worth your time to make yourself believe it.
  2. Your interviewer wants to know what happened, but not the details. He wants to know whether you will be a good fit. It is important to present your previous company in a neutral light - otherwise you will look like a problem employee. You may feel like a problem employee right now, but really, how much of your “craziness” is because of the crazy environment you are working in?
  3. “If you can’t say something neutral, don’t say anything at all.” If you can’t speak about your former employer without being negative, say that. “It happened very recently and I can’t speak neutrally about what happened yet. What I can trek you is that it was not a good fit culturally and the decision was mutual.” This isn’t as bad as it seems - it shows you have discretion and choose to not be negative.
  4. You will need to practice answering these questions until you can speak about it in a way that is neutral and doesn’t display either party in a bad light, while acknowledging mistakes and owning them. Practice out loud alone, like when you’re driving somewhere.

Something else to keep in mind: it is not in their best interest to fire you. You could sure for discrimination - that you were wrongfully terminated based on a mental illness, or that it was an abusive environment. People bring lawsuits for this stuff all the time. Not saying you should, but be aware that they need time to create a counter-case, which may be why they’re being so much better suddenly: "It wasn’t us, here’s proof that we changed our ways, once we knew there was a problem!"
All that said, if they’re gong to let you go anytime soon, I would expect it to be a layoff, not a termination. I’m not a lawyer, so that’s not legal advice by any means, but it may behoove you to talk to one if you’re worried.


#10

You are awesome. I didn’t think about the discrimination aspect. And I am interviewing for other jobs right now, so it would be mutual.

They definitely are acting different. My manager will not reply to my emails, but he will get his son to relay his messages to me. That’s kind of weird to me.

I wonder how hard it would be to get ADA protection because of my anxiety.

At the end of the day, the world keeps spinning and we will have a roof over our heads and food to eat.

Thanks again.


#11

@muffinman32: I fully agree with OvercomingMyself, never ever talk negative about your current/former employer in interviews, not even after you got the job.

@OvercomingMyself: great list!


#12

For ADA - talk to your psychologist, he’ll know. When I went through my burnout, I didn’t get the official protection, but I talked to HR and gave them a list from my psychologist about what constituted “reasonable accommodation” for me at the time. (I needed the use of a private space for when I was having panic attacks and the freedom to leave meetings when one started.) Your psychologist will know what you need to do to protect yourself.


#13

I have been fired. In June 2001 I developed schizoaffective disorder due to the stress I was under. I went into short term disability to go to a mental hospital and get treated and find a drug that works. When I returned from short term disability, two weeks later I was fired after having a panic attack at work and not being able to snap out of it.

I tried two other jobs in 2002 and as soon as they found out I was mentally ill they fired me.

HR made up stuff about me, like when I wasn’t at work due to being in a mental hospital they had coworkers of mine sign documents that I was doing all kinds of stuff at work. But they used the dates I was not at work to swear I was at work doing those things. State decided in my for for unemployment because I couldn’t be doing those things at work if I was locked up in a mental hospital at the same time.

I could have filed an EEOC complaint but the problem is courts don’t see mentally ill people as reliable and might claim it was all a delusion to me. Besides first job that fired me was a law firm with the best lawyers in town.

I tried doing my own small business but it was basically a hobby because it didn’t earn much. I eventually ended up on disability in 2003 and have been ever since.

I think I was blackballed in my area because of my mental illness, because when I applied for a job I would get told that I was overqualified or some other rejection letter BS. I couldn’t even get hired at McDonalds or Walmart.

When I got sick, I lost a lot of friends and my father’s side of our family basically shut me out. My father died in 2010 and my mother’s side of the family are too busy working and out of state and other stuff.

So in my area, I feel like my career is ruined.