I was fired, how do deal with it during job search?

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I was fired, how do deal with it during job search?

Postby daphne » Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:15 pm

I was fired from my last job because of attendence. The policy was I could only be absent 9 times and I was absent 10 times. Absence number 10 was due to bronchitis. It was at a call center at a timeshare resort company. I hated the job and was glad to leave. I was miserable. I didn't like the way the company treated its customers at all. I felt like the customers were being overcharged and it was difficult for customers to use the service. I felt like I was giving bad news all day. I was burned out and that is a big reson for the attendence problems. 90 percent of the applications ask me if I was fired and I have to say yes. I am afraid I will be ruled out before I have a chance to explain myself. I am also afraid that this experience brands me as irresponsible when I am not. How do I state this in interviews? There is no positive way to say, "I was fired due to attendence problems, I hated the job, the company was mean to its customers." The job was a bad fit in the first place and I should have left sooner. I have been out of work for 8 months and I am burned out on job searching, interviewing and the idea of an office job in general. Since then, I worked at a temp job for several months and the company gave me a very positive recommendation. Sorry for the whiny novel but I am frustrated. Any feedback would be helpful.
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Re: I was fired, how do deal with it during job search?

Postby katchal » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:17 pm

Try this - "Due to a bout of bronchitis, I exceeded the standard sick day allowance." It would be especially good if you happened to go to the doctor during your illness.
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Re: I was fired, how do deal with it during job search?

Postby MyPasswordIsInvalid » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:42 am

daphne wrote: There is no positive way to say, "I was fired due to attendence problems, I hated the job, the company was mean to its customers." The job was a bad fit in the first place and I should have left sooner.
There is no reason to ever say something like this. Katchal has a good way to handle this. Use her phrase and only if asked.
katchal wrote:Try this - "Due to a bout of bronchitis, I exceeded the standard sick day allowance."
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Re: I was fired, how do deal with it during job search?

Postby Tituba » Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:14 am

Under no circumstances say anything negative about your former company. Not just during the interview, but once you get your new job. I like Katchal's statement. Less is more. Don't volunteer info during the interview. Only answer what is actually asked.
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Re: I was fired, how do deal with it during job search?

Postby treesong » Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:03 pm

I agree. great way to phrase it Katchal and absolutely don't get into any other negatives about the job. Most potential employers will be aware of the kinds of pressures in call center jobs so they will understand more than you suspect but meanwhile you'll get points for being professional and positive. Meanwhile try to build up good offsetting information like your temp job (and temp jobs can sometimes become permanent and in those cases often very little background checking is done because the company feels it already knows you). If you are having trouble getting temp jobs consider adding some volunteer work to your schedule while preserving time for the job hunt. It will provide four practical benefits: it will give you some time when you are feeling on top of your game, helpful and professional, it could lead to a job with the organization you volunteer for, it can be used for references, and it shows potential employers that you like to work and do stick to things.
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Re: I was fired, how do deal with it during job search?

Postby daphne » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:44 pm

Katchal, I like they way you worded that. I never would have thought to put it so simply. Sometimes I need someone else to point out a simple solution. I want to clarify that I don't go out and criticize my former company at interviews. However, that is what I want to say. I just don't like having to say that I was fired due to attendance. I would like to find a job where I want to work with people and not against them. I end up saying that on interviews and feeling like I am inadvertently criticizing my former company. I went on a ton of customer service interviews and ended up feeling like I was trying to talk them into a job I didn't want and was only applying because that is what I am qualified for.
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Re: I was fired, how do deal with it during job search?

Postby katchal » Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:28 pm

You don't have to say anything negative about them. Given the cost of recruiting and training new personnel, any reasonable business person is going to realize that they must be outstandingly stupid not to value their people enough to work out some flexible policies when someone gets sick.
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Re: I was fired, how do deal with it during job search?

Postby daphne » Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:55 pm

Until I started this discussion, I didn't realized how much that getting fired made me lose confidence. I appreciate the feedback. I have never been fired like this before. It makes me realize it isn't as bad as I thought.
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Re: I was fired, how do deal with it during job search?

Postby MyPasswordIsInvalid » Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:01 am

daphne wrote:...I went on a ton of customer service interviews and ended up feeling like I was trying to talk them into a job I didn't want and was only applying because that is what I am qualified for...Until I started this discussion, I didn't realized how much that getting fired made me lose confidence. I appreciate the feedback. I have never been fired like this before. It makes me realize it isn't as bad as I thought.
I recommend that you read the book "Proven Resumes and Confidence Builders" by Regina Pontow. If you haven't read the Barbara Sher books you should start that at the same time. As my mother would say (me too) "darling, you must work on yourself." Do some career research while you are looking for the survival/good enough/next-job-out.
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Re: I was fired, how do deal with it during job search?

Postby YellowRose » Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:42 pm

treesong wrote:I agree. great way to phrase it Katchal and absolutely don't get into any other negatives about the job. Most potential employers will be aware of the kinds of pressures in call center jobs so they will understand more than you suspect but meanwhile you'll get points for being professional and positive. Meanwhile try to build up good offsetting information like your temp job (and temp jobs can sometimes become permanent and in those cases often very little background checking is done because the company feels it already knows you). If you are having trouble getting temp jobs consider adding some volunteer work to your schedule while preserving time for the job hunt. It will provide four practical benefits: it will give you some time when you are feeling on top of your game, helpful and professional, it could lead to a job with the organization you volunteer for, it can be used for references, and it shows potential employers that you like to work and do stick to things.
Treesong, I want to thank you for the idea of doing volunteer work while being unemployed. You're right, it would look good. I have the same problem as Daphne (was fired because I was out with the flu on one job; about to be fired for not meeting a sales quota on another) and finding ways to explain without sounding negative can be difficult. Especially when it's difficult coming up with references. My longest running position can't be used as a reference, so I have to rely on the few temp jobs I've had recently. Luckily all of them are willing to provide great references for me, because before that my reference list looked pretty slim - fired, 2 employers died, another employer out of business/can't be contacted, etc. But doing volunteer work will show potential employers that I do want to work and stick to things, as you said. So thank you for this great advice. :)
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Re: I was fired, how do deal with it during job search?

Postby treesong » Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:03 am

Glad it helped. Sounds like you've had a streak of bad luck so here is hoping for some good luck coming your way soon.
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Re: I was fired, how do deal with it during job search?

Postby YellowRose » Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:03 am

treesong wrote:Glad it helped. Sounds like you've had a streak of bad luck so here is hoping for some good luck coming your way soon.
Thank you. Not sure if I would call it bad luck or bad choices. I found a link to The Five O'Clock Club in another thread (now I forget which one) and I've decided to utilize some of their strategies in my next job search. I think I've figured out how to put a positive spin on some negative situations during interviews, but without references, getting the interview can be hard. When I explain the sales quota one for example, most interviewers laugh at the absurdity of it. I worked for 5 years as a web developer for one company when they decided to start consolidating jobs, meaning I suddenly had a sales quota (with no commission, so my sales took away from the sales team's commissions); I worked the customer service phone lines, assisting customers with any problems; AND I was still expected to meet the same daily quota of web sites in addition to these new duties - three web sites a day plus updates to existing sites, which I was given one hour off the phones to complete. I also explain how I greatly enjoyed many of the customer interactions because I love helping people. I leave out the part where we got yelled at on a daily basis by some customers because we simply weren't able to meet their expectations and do all these other jobs at the same time, and by management wanting to know why quotas aren't being met, or the fact that only half the web development team were put in this predicament. The other half went along happily spending 8 hours to build the same three web sites we were expected to complete within an hour. They chose which developers would be part of the new experiment by pulling names out of a bowl - literally. I may have been chosen anyway if they had picked the new team based on expertise, as any time there was an angry customer, they were sent directly to me for my customer service skills. Sorry for venting. :oops: One could say I was "resistant" to the change in my job. They even showed us the Who Moved My Cheese video. I tried showing them that while great in theory, it was physically impossible for one person to do this job in a typical 8 hour day. I'm still very glad I moved on before I was fired, but keeping work since then in this economy has been a challenge. I'm slowly re-building my reference list. One office has brought me back as a temp consultant multiple times and every time they need someone, they ask for me. Here's that link again if anyone missed it: http://www.fiveoclockclub.com/course1/index.html. There's so much great information on this board, I can't remember where everything is yet, but I'm slowly making my way through it. I'm very glad to have found this board and I look forward to getting to know everyone here. Kat
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Re: I was fired, how do deal with it during job search?

Postby MyPasswordIsInvalid » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:54 am

YellowRose wrote:I found a link to The Five O'Clock Club in another thread
Probably the link I posted for PLG. Great site, isn't it?
YellowRose wrote:When I explain the sales quota one for example, most interviewers laugh at the absurdity of it. I worked for 5 years as a web developer for one company when ....I suddenly had a sales quota ...three web sites a day plus updates to existing sites, which I was given one hour off the phones to complete...only half the web development team were put in this predicament. The other half went along happily spending 8 hours to build the same three web sites we were expected to complete within an hour. They chose which developers would be part of the new experiment by pulling names out of a bowl - Sorry for venting. :oops:
Interviewers might be laughing at how you were fired. People in HR hear this story all the time. The half that were picked were the ones that were fired; the ones that were not, kept their jobs. Avoid telling this story even if it makes you feel good to vent. Don't bring it up and don't "explain" it or paint your former employers (cheap creeps that they were) in a negative way.
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Re: I was fired, how do deal with it during job search?

Postby YellowRose » Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:58 am

MyPasswordIsInvalid wrote:
YellowRose wrote:I found a link to The Five O'Clock Club in another thread
Probably the link I posted for PLG. Great site, isn't it?
YellowRose wrote:When I explain the sales quota one for example, most interviewers laugh at the absurdity of it. I worked for 5 years as a web developer for one company when ....I suddenly had a sales quota ...three web sites a day plus updates to existing sites, which I was given one hour off the phones to complete...only half the web development team were put in this predicament. The other half went along happily spending 8 hours to build the same three web sites we were expected to complete within an hour. They chose which developers would be part of the new experiment by pulling names out of a bowl - Sorry for venting. :oops:
Interviewers might be laughing at how you were fired. People in HR hear this story all the time. The half that were picked were the ones that were fired; the ones that were not, kept their jobs. Avoid telling this story even if it makes you feel good to vent. Don't bring it up and don't "explain" it or paint your former employers (cheap creeps that they were) in a negative way.
No, I leave that part out too. I simply say "I left the position because it changed from development to sales." Only if they inquire further, I add that our expectations for development remained the same while adding sales and call center duties << this is where interviewers get amused, expecting a web developer to fulfill so many job functions instead of allowing them to focus specifically on development. Most of the interviewers are not HR, but developers themselves and they're amazed that a company would do that, so no further explanation of leaving the position is needed. :oops: And, yes, you're correct, the ones picked to do so many jobs all at the same time were the ones who left the company. We weren't fired (yet) but felt we were forced out. I don't say that in interviews either. I realize it sounds as bitter as it felt. :oops: That site is great. Thank you for posting it. I'm looking forward to trying their techniques and have already ordered some of the books.
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Re: I was fired, how do deal with it during job search?

Postby MyPasswordIsInvalid » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:14 pm

YellowRose wrote:We weren't fired (yet) but felt we were forced out. I don't say that in interviews either. I realize it sounds as bitter as it felt...That site is great. Thank you for posting it. I'm looking forward to trying their techniques and have already ordered some of the books.
You're welcome. I bought a couple of the earlier books long ago; the methodology is still the same and many career coaches use it. All of the books are good but tend to overlap in content; if anyone hasn't bought the books yet, first get copies at your local public library and see which ones you would like to purchase and add to your home resource library. These books work very well with the Barbara Sher books so if you haven't read the Barbara Sher books try them too, they are also in my library. You can't have too much armor when you step outside your front door. LOL. I see you have things in perspective, good for you. There is a lot of info out there. Please share with us any good things that you find. There is always someone here who might be able to use it. Best wishes, Leigh Anne
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