Tag Archives: fired

8 signs you will be laid off

Another person just told me they think they will be laid off, they aren’t sure. Some layoffs and firings you just can’t avoid.  One smart guy said,

Getting fired is nature’s way of telling you that you had the wrong job in the first place. (Lancaster)

laid off?

Are you going to be laid off?

There are always hints that you are going to be laid off. They are obvious after the fact.

True stories:

Susan is going to be fired. She appears to be clueless. She is a great person but is not getting the job done. She’s in a genteel company where people are expected to take hints. She has not taken the hints. She has been all but told to find a new job. She refuses to accept that. We’ve even read the tea leaves for her after her boss asked us to help get her out of the company. She refuses to accept it. Susan is going to be fired for not being above average. It just makes no sense to her.

My old friend Larry was at a major computer company. Every year his reviews were stellar. Then one year his review changed from “superior” to “needs improvement”. Larry asked, “Is this a hint?” The reply was, “It is what it is. You’ll need to figure that out.” Two weeks later Larry had a new job with a 25% pay raise. He’s still at that new company and still getting superior performance appraisals. Larry was being pushed out because his salary was too high, even though he was worth every penny of it.

The two main reasons for firing or laying off people are that they are not good enough, or they are too expensive. For either problem, some of the signs are the same, such as:

  • Pay raises less than the rate of inflation – particularly NO raise
  • A job review with average or lower ratings
  • Reduction in responsibilities or some of your duties given to others
  • Being on probation (some people actually miss this one!)
  • You are asked to relocate to a place you won’t go
  • Your company, division or location is losing money
  • A competitor just won a big contract you should have won
  • A new boss promises to “revitalize” your group, division or company

If you are wondering about your own situation, take the bull by the horns. Ask your boss two questions:

  1. Are there going to be layoffs?
  2. Should I start looking for a new job?

If you have the guts to ask, he just might tell you the truth. It’s better to know for sure if your boss will tell you. If your boss lies, you’ll still get a feeling for the truth. Find out. It’s better to look for a job while you are still employed rather than when you are jobless.

Do you have even one of the 8 signs in your job? Go talk to your boss. Do you have three or more of the symptoms? Look for a job no matter what the boss says.

Liars, how we catch them

On a call with a candidate I am told,  “I was fired from my last job for lying on my resume.  I put down that I had completed my degree when I was 6 credit hours short.  They caught it 6 months after they hired me.  Now what do I do?”

fraud alert road sign

We catch amazingly smooth liars.

We catch liars on a regular basis.  The most common lie is stretching a job’s hire or fire date so that there is less time between jobs.  Some people make up a job and add it to the resume.  Others remove a significant job that ended disastrously.  Education is always a tempting place to lie.  Certifications make a big difference in getting your resume past screeners, so some people lie.

So, how do we catch liars?  Often they forget they lied to us in the past and they change their lies.  We have resumes and interview notes from two decades ago in our files.  When we compare them we find discrepancies.  We also check references.  When a person talking about you comes up with a different story, we do more research.  Education and certifications are all very easy to check.

A lie is any communication given with intent to deceive. (unkn)

One other way liars are caught is by alternate references.  We network into your old companies without telling you who we are calling.  For instance, we had a candidate who said he interned with a firm that disappeared in the Enron scandals.  That job rounded out his resume nicely.  The only trouble is that the man who had been managing interns still works in this area.  He knew the candidate never worked there.  The job would have been his even without the intern experience.  That lie lost him the job.

We don’t check alternate references to catch liars.  We do it to get fresh information and to keep our networks alive. Right before writing this we checked an alternate reference from a job the person had 12 years ago. It was a great recommendation of that person.  That is what we look for.

Do liars prosper?  Sure, at times. For a while.  But something happens to them. Liars we catch usually tell us, “Everyone lies.  I just got caught.”  Over time they lose the ability to really trust others.  They lose the ability to feel when others are honest or deceptive.  In business that will eventually be fatal. Business really is built on trust. Contracts are merely to put in writing what each side already trusts the other to do.

Something To Do Today

Do you need to correct your resume?  Then do it.  Send the new one to recruiters along with a note that the last one was incorrect.  Most people are willing to let you correct a mistake, even if it was a lie.

If you have been hired based on a lie you may want to correct it now, before you get a promotion that has an automatic background check.  You can submit a corrected resume or ask your boss for help to get that certification you really don’t have. Sure, you might get fired.  What is peace of mind worth to you?

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Coming up:      Poisons

How to work a convention

What to leave out

Persistence

How to resign your job – part 2

The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn. (Russell)

bridge-512086_640-pixabay“Take this job and shove it” – can really hurt YOU

Every week I hear, “I know that candidate from a previous job.  I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole. He was not a team player.”

Sometimes that comes from the way the person left a previous team.  Often the comment arises from an incident a decade or more before the comment.  Someone burned bridges as they left a job.  They were rude, bitter, destructive or insufferable.

Your boss may be getting ready to quit too.  He could be your new boss again at your next job, or in 10 years.  A current teammate may be on your future interview team. Leaving in a professional manner makes it possible to work together with members from your old team in the future.

Professionals leave relationships intact.  I have heard it put: “Be wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove.”  Don’t let people take advantage of you, and don’t purposely hurt anyone.

We are back to the right way to quit.  Hand your boss a simple letter that states:

“I have appreciated the opportunity to work for XYZ company.  I am resigning with my last day of work on -date-.”

Then keep your mouth shut.  Say only positive things.  Never brag about where you are going.  Cooperate with your boss and coworkers.  Avoid all questions about where you are going geographically or with which company.

Be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove.

Something To Do Today

Have you got a network list?  People who you are actively cultivating to help your career should be in that network. How many of them would like to work for the same type of company you find ideal?  Count it up.  Really.  Count it up.  Doesn’t it make sense to have them as future allies?

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Tomorrow:     A successful email

Later:              The guy who invented running died

I make the milk every morning, my wife will keep me

Propagating blueberries guerilla style

Great ideas are a dime a dozen

Coyote traps at work – when to gnaw your arm off

Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps. (Phillips)

Coyotes stuck in a trap have been known to gnaw their foot off to escape.  A lot of these three footed coyotes survive for years and do very well. Okay, they do well compared to coyotes that were killed by the trapper.

Scared to leave your job?  Nasty non compete?  Family responsibilities?  Too comfortable?

Are you really going to stay in that job until you retire no matter how you are treated?

If the company starts losing money is the president going to fire himself, or fire YOU? 

Do you have to shoot your boss to get a promotion?

Don’t leave just because you can.  If your job is fulfilling, pays well and gives you a chance to progress to where YOU want to go in your career, STAY.  If you have a history of job skipping, stay awhile even if you don’t like it there.  There are good reasons to stay in your current job.  Fear is not a good reason.

Yesterday I wrote about non competes.  If you are concerned about yours, talk to a lawyer who specializes in employment law.  Many non competes are not enforceable.  That means they are legally unfair or immoral.  You are not morally obligated to do something immoral.  It does not make sense to feel obligated to do what it is not legal to expect of you.

If you have a valid non compete, consider doing whatever you have to do to get out of it.  One good way is to go to your boss and say, “I want a new contract with a more limited non compete.”  Don’t threaten to quit, just ask him to reasonably limit the non compete.  If he says, “No,” you can always start looking for a job.  If he fires you for asking, check with your lawyer.  He may have just voided the non compete.  And last of all, he may realize you are upset and give you a raise or a promotion.

Even if you have to quit and commute 3 hours a day, it is better to quit now rather than later. Do you really think that in 3 years or 10 years you will have LESS obligations and lower expenses than you do now?  Slavery is illegal.  Don’t allow yourself to be a slave.

Don’t let fear paralyze you. Carpe diem. Seize the day.  Carpe jugulum. Grab the day by the throat and make life give you what you deserve.  You CAN change your life.

Something To Do Today

Like your job?  Tell your boss.

Want to leave?  Figure out how.  Don’t be chained to a life of low expectations.

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Later:                          Glass ceilings

The hours game

Confronting your boss

How to leave your job

Job search: what the reality show would look like

There is a natural progression to a job search and how you feel when you have been fired.  Let me give you the key line that would be in the 8 episodes of the reality show, “I Was Fired.”

Episode 1:  Fired?  I’ll have another job before I’m out the door, you slug.

Episode 2: If I call 3 of my friends, I’ll have two job offers by the end of today.

Episode 3: I better file for unemployment checks.  This may take a week or two.

Episode 4: After “Survivor” I’ll try to send out a resume on “CareerBuilder”.

Episode 5: Will the sun ever shine again?  Why don’t the stars twinkle anymore?

Episode 6: The capitalist military industrial complex corrupts and destroys all the slaves forced to toil therein.

Episode 7:  My dog still loves me.  That’s a start.

Episode 8: I can have the job? Really??  The pay is low…but I’ll prove you made a great decision!

The real job search emotional progression includes:

denial,

getting mad,

reconciling with reality,

not knowing what to do next,

getting depressed,

realizing your self worth,

and finding a job.

It’s natural.  Where are you at?

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Later:              What to ask in every interview

Fired! The first 6 things you should do

Fired.  Laid off.  Terminated. Given a severance or pink slip. Let go. Walked to the door.  It’s a terrible, traumatic experience.

Here’s what you do.

First, be nice.  No bridge burning.  No yelling.  Your boss may have been ordered to fire you and is being fired in another week.  You may end up working for him at his new job.  Your future employer may call him for a reference.

Be careful. Do not quit!  If you quit, they can argue against your getting unemployment compensation.  If they say, “You can resign, if you’d like,” tell them, “No. You said you are firing me.  Is this an offer to let me stay?”  Dan Rather’s three writing assistants, who refused to quit, were still getting paid months after they were asked to resign because they would not quit. Then they got a great severance package.

Don’t sign anything unless there is something in it for YOU.  A good phrase to use is, “Let me take this to my lawyer and see if he wants me to sign it.”  You’d be surprised how often they say, “Don’t bother.”   Most things they want you to sign are to protect themselves or keep from giving you money.

If they say, “You have to sign this today without legal counsel,”  get that phrase in writing from them, sign it,  and take all the paperwork to your attorney.  Be careful.

Get your personal belongings.  All of them.  Get your job journal first of all.  If you even get a whiff of layoffs, get copies of your job journal, old job reviews, awards and attaboys to your house.  They’ll help you in your job search.

If someone argues with you about personal stuff you are taking, keep putting it in the box as you talk with them.  Your stuff is your stuff.

You don’t have a right to take client lists, trade secrets, client contracts or other company property.  You can always ask for permission to take it, though.  The guy walking you out of the office often feels so guilty he’ll say, “Just take it.”  If he says you can take it, you have a presumptive right to it that you don’t have without his permission.

Now, go directly to the unemployment office and file for compensation.  Do it today. Even if you are fired you can leave with grace.  All they can do is get you out of the building.  After that, it is all up to you.  Good luck.

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I love this quote

If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm! (Lombardi)

Something To Do Today

No.  Don’t go get fired for practice.  Go back and read:  What to do before you quit.

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Later: Job search progression

What to do about a totally unfair firing

My son was the best checkout clerk in the store.  His checkout speed was consistently the best.  Customers loved his happy personality.  He often had the most “add on” sales at the cash register.  Then one day he was put on probation.  Shortly thereafter he was fired.  It was because he had decided not to double check when the cash register said that a particular coupon had no corresponding product bought by the customer.  Most of the cashiers ignored the warning at least part of the time.  One of the baggers had noticed it and informed the managers.  They checked, asked him, and found out he was guilty.  Probation was a formality.  They fired him as soon as they could get it approved.

I’m proud my son accepted responsibility and never told anyone who the bagger was. When asked, he admitted what he was doing immediately.  He was fired as a warning to the other checkout clerks.  He didn’t have a chance to eat crow and change his ways.

The real question is: What about the other clerks?  The clerks had a chance to get upset at the baggers in general. They could moan and complain on breaks about how unfair it was.  They could become paranoid and follow each rule to complete stupidity. Or they could eat crow and humbly accept the truth, like my son did.  They knew they had been costing the store money by not checking coupons.  They had been breaking the rule all the time, not just when the checkout lanes were jammed.  They had talked about it.  They weren’t listening to the managers about it anymore when the firing occurred.  It was time to eat crow.  And crow is best served warm, when the offense is fresh.

How about you?  What do you do when someone is fired for doing something everyone does?  What about when you are passed over for a job you apply for?

If you blame another person, you are human.  If you blame society, you are human. You are not right.

If you got fired for poor performance, accept it.  If you were the best at a particular job but got passed over for a promotion, there was a reason.  Eat a little crow.  Find out why.  Don’t brag about how smart you are and how stupid the managers are.  There was a reason.

Back to job hunting.  If the job is evil and bad, drop out of the interviews or don’t apply.  If you found out the manager, company or division is full of idiots because they didn’t hire you, thank God you didn’t get that job. No need to ceaselessly murmur about the idiots.  However, you may want to eat crow and find out why you really were not hired. Getting the truth can be difficult.  Still, the time to eat crow is when it is still warm.  Ask what you did, said, or put on paper that disqualified you.  Then decide if you want to fix it.

Something to do today

Ask why you didn’t get the job.  Ask the recruiter.  Ask the company.  Ask the hiring manager.  Don’t worry about offending someone.  They already offended you by not hiring you, didn’t they?  Ask politely, but ask..

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Later:                           Catechism

Your interview questions

How to get more vacation

Moth traps

How to make your boss really happy when he fires you

Make your boss really happy when he fires you.  Tell him, “You can’t fire me, I quit!”  Then sign the papers that say you resigned.  He’ll soberly say, “That really hurts to hear you say that.”  As you leave the building he will take your papers, kiss them and pump his arms in the air in a victory dance.

Instead, if you can, insist on being fired.  If you quit you could be signing away your rights to unemployment compensation.  At the very least you are guaranteeing that you will have to defend your right to unemployment checks at a hearing.

If you are being fired, don’t resign.  If a prospective employer calls your old company, they will either tell all about why they fired you, or merely give the dates of your employment.  They won’t say, “He resigned right before we fired him.” That wouldn’t help your job search anyway.

There is one situation in which it is better to quit.  That is when you are being offered a sweet severance package and the company guarantees in writing to allow you to receive unemployment checks. That’s it. I suggest in that case you get a lawyer to check the agreement.  It will be $100 well spent.

Get fired with enthusiasm.  It pays better than quitting with enthusiasm.

Something To Do Today

Do you expect to be fired or laid off?  Start searching for a job now.

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Tomorrow:     How to read a book or magazine

Permanent employment DOES exist

The only thing that makes life possible is permanent, intolerable uncertainty, not knowing what comes next.  (LeGuin)

Success isn’t permanent, and failure isn’t fatal.  (Ditka)

I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time. (London)

Here is what happened to me:

Our company made a record profit.  The industry was booming.  The company was sold for an unbelievable amount because its future was so bright.

95% of the employees were laid off by the end of the next month . We were in a boom no one thought was a bubble.  The bubble burst.  The company had to lay off almost everyone. I lasted until the end of the next month.

10 years later I was employed by a huge computer company.  The world was good.  This was a permanent job.  I had been there 9 years. I was safe.

Then I got a letter from a friend at corporate headquarters.  There were going to be layoffs in 3 months.  I asked my bosses. They denied it.  My contact said, “I read the memo.”  I quit for a new job one week before the layoffs were announced.

What has happened to permanent employment?

Permanent employment does exist.  It exists in your skills, networks and planning.

Union negotiations, trade laws and employment contracts are all useless against the tides of change.  Your guarantee of permanent employment comes only through your own efforts and flexibility.  Permanent is what YOU bring to the table.

Even people who have been in the same company for 20 years have switched careers 3, 5 or 10 times.  During my 9 years at EDS I had 4 very different job paths in 9 years.

Look at where you are.  Prepare for the changes that absolutely will come.  Learn new skills.  Pay for your own training if you have to.  Get certifications.  Pay for the tests yourself if your company won’t.  Get trade magazines for your specialty and industry.  Bring ideas to the table where you work.

The world is changing.  You can either benefit from the changes or lose everything you have.

Permanent success means constant change.  Make your job permanent, though your career changes.

Something To Do Today

List what you can do to become a “Permanent” employee.  Meaning you always have a job.

Fired! The first 6 things you should do

If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm! (Lombardi)

Fired!

Fired.  Laid off.  Terminated. Given a severance or pink slip. Let go. Walked to the door.  It is a terrible, traumatic experience.

Here’s what you do.

First, be nice.  No bridge burning.  No yelling.  Your boss may have been ordered to fire you and is being fired in another week.  You may end up working for him at his new job.  Your future employer may call him for a reference.  Be careful.

Do not quit!  If you quit, they can argue against your getting unemployment compensation.  If they say, “You can resign, if you would like,” tell them, “No. You said you are firing me.  Is this an offer to let me stay?”  Dan Rather’s three writing assistants, who refused to quit, were still getting paid months after they were asked to resign because they would not quit. Then they got a great severance package.

Don’t sign anything unless there is something in it for YOU.  A good phrase to use is, “Let me take this to my lawyer and see if he wants me to sign it.”  You would be surprised how often they say, “Don’t bother.”   Most things they want you to sign are to protect themselves or keep from giving you money.  If they say, “You have to sign this today without legal counsel,” get that phrase in writing from them and take all the paperwork to your attorney.  Be careful.

Get your personal belongings.  All of them.  Get your job journal first of all.  If you even get a whiff of layoffs, get copies of your job journal, old job reviews, awards and attaboys to your house.  They will help you in your job search.

If someone argues with you about personal stuff you are taking, keep putting it in the box as you talk with them.  Your stuff is your stuff. 

You don’t have a right to take client lists, trade secrets, client contracts or other company property.  You can always ask for permission to take it, though.  The guy walking you out of the office often feels so guilty he will say, “Just take it.”  If he says you can take it, you have a presumptive right to it that you don’t have without his permission.

Now, go directly to the unemployment office and file for compensation.  Do it today.

Even if you are fired you can leave with grace.  All they can do is get you out of the building.  After that, it is all up to you.  Good luck.

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Something To Do Today

No.  Don’t go get fired for practice.  Go back and read:  What to do before you quit.