I was dismissed from a job. I’ve been applying to other businesses and just found out that when someone calls this company to verify employment, etc., they say that I was dismissed.

Why does that seem wrong/unfair? Or am I being a baby about this? There are two sides to every story but no one wants to hear this garbage.

Just out of curiosity, what did you expect them to say? “Oh, it was all sunshine and roses until Jan left and now we cry ourselves to sleep at night?”

Sorry, my evil side is coming out again. But, seriously, why wouldn’t they say that?

Now, I know a lot of companies won’t do anything more than confirm dates of employment, or perhaps verify a title, for fear of a lawsuit. However, saying you were “dismissed” since you truly were, runs very little risk for them. It’s something they can prove. Now, if they are giving details of why you were dismissed I would be surprised.

What you need to do is be the first to present the information. On your application don’t lie about your reason for leaving. When you are being interviewed and the interviewer asks, “Why did you leave your last job?” have an answer ready that is the truth. Don’t whine about the unfairness of it all and if you say, “every story has two sides to it,” my little manager brain is going to shut right down. “Here’s someone who can’t take feedback,” I think.

This may or may not be true, but it’s what goes through my mind.

I don’t know why you were dismissed, so I can’t help you come up with a good answer, but just make sure it is the truth. What gets you in trouble is unmanaged expectations–they are making this reference check thinking you were a voluntary termination. When they find out you weren’t, bells start ringing and red flags start waving.

Don’t let that happen. They need to know before they ask.

And for the rest of you, let this be a lesson to you. Don’t assume someone (or some company) will give you a positive reference. You need to verify. Too many people have been burned by an unexpected bad reference.

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One thought on “Dismissed

  1. Remember in Driver’s Ed when the PE/History teacher who got stuck teaching it told you a driver’s license is a privilege and not a right? Same thing with a job. If you are a bad employee (and I’m not saying YOU are) or mess around too much it is just like getting too many tickets. It’s called work for a reason. For help on how to spin an involuntary termination in a more positive light check out a recent post by Ask A Manager at http://askamanager.blogspot.com/2008/02/should-you-say-you-were-fired.html.

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