PDA

View Full Version : Needing advice



Pages : [1] 2 3 4

ilovepaydays
02-20-2011, 04:59 AM
For three years, I had been working at this company and I have been miserable with a lot of things - my pay, how my boss was towards me (she worked across the country), and some of my co-workers. I started off doing very well, but I felt that I had a target on my back. I won't go into details here because it would take too long.

I had felt that my relationship with my boss had gotten to the point where I was going to either have to find another job or I was to get fired. I had begun looking and started applying for a couple of weeks now.

Well, last Friday she had a teleconference and she terminated me. I can say now that I wasn't totally surprised. Yes, it was turning into a dysfunctional company fast, but it was my fault that I let the situation get to where it was affecting my job performance and my attitude with some of my co-workers.

Now I am trying to figure out what to do. I know it just happened yesterday, but I am relieved that I am not going back to work there. But I hate that I got fired.

A lot of things/ideas are going through my head right now:
1) I told some friends that I should have just quit but they said if I did that, I wouldn't qualify for unemployment. I told them I probably don't qualify now anyway. But they said in Virginia there is a good chance that I might. I guess I can just apply - the worse they can say is no.

2) Finding another job: I am not sure if I want to stay in my field or just try something new. But I am so worried about how I am going to explain that I got terminated. The HR rep there said the company only allowed her to give references for employment and that she was only allowed to give my title, dates of employment, and ending salary. But if prospective employer is going to ask why I left anyway.

3) I looked at my bank account and with no money coming in, I have about 11 months worth of living expenses. But I have enough 9/11 GI Bill time to cover going to school full time starting in September for a school year. The housing amount I get covers my mortgage. I am seriously considering doing some part time work and just finishing my Masters. I could complete the FAFSA and get a student loan to have if August came and I felt I needed the cash. But could I go that long without working full-time? Wouldn't that hurt me after I graduate?

4) Try starting a business from home of some sort?

5) I have thought about taking some time until this semester ends. I am on the 9/11 GI Bill now, so I am currently getting the housing allowance. Some of this is practical: I have a class that starts in the mid-afternoon and a new full-time position may be problematic.

I apologize for rambling, but I am glad that I am no longer working there but I hate that it ended this way. I am also SO worried about this being so bad for me from now on professionally.

Needing any advice from you guys that I can get. I feel like (and I am just hoping) that things can just get better from here.

Marge_Simpson
02-20-2011, 05:47 AM
I live in NY, so my advice about unemployment may not apply where you are. I quit a job in 1993, did not have another job lined up, and went ahead and tried to get unemployment. Like you, I figured the worst they could do was turn me down. They did turn me down, but I had the option to ask for a hearing. I did, explained why I had quit (basically, my supervisor was certifiable and had actually punched an employee), and got my unemployment. So I would apply ASAP, and see if you can get an appeal if it is denied. You have nothing to lose.
I hope things work out for you. :)

Aceon6
02-20-2011, 01:18 PM
ilovepaydays,

It's unfortunate it ended this way, but I think you're going to be VERY OK! My thoughts on your questions shown in bold below.



1) I told some friends that I should have just quit but they said if I did that, I wouldn't qualify for unemployment. I told them I probably don't qualify now anyway. But they said in Virginia there is a good chance that I might. I guess I can just apply - the worse they can say is no.

You probably do qualify. As long as you weren't terminated for a serious cause like stealing, drugs, or assault, you stand a good chance. Whether you want to or not depends on what you decide about #3. Full time students can't collect unzies in most states.

2) Finding another job: I am not sure if I want to stay in my field or just try something new. But I am so worried about how I am going to explain that I got terminated. The HR rep there said the company only allowed her to give references for employment and that she was only allowed to give my title, dates of employment, and ending salary. But if prospective employer is going to ask why I left anyway.

There are a lot of good answers for this situation. Google "why were you terminated." The key is to explain that while your work product was very good, you no longer fit the company's long term direction.

3) I looked at my bank account and with no money coming in, I have about 11 months worth of living expenses. But I have enough 9/11 GI Bill time to cover going to school full time starting in September for a school year. The housing amount I get covers my mortgage. I am seriously considering doing some part time work and just finishing my Masters. I could complete the FAFSA and get a student loan to have if August came and I felt I needed the cash. But could I go that long without working full-time? Wouldn't that hurt me after I graduate?

Congratulations on the savings. You're in a very good place relative to most folks. I think working part time while finishing your masters would be a great thing to do. It also gives you a great story for interviews... "Although it was a shock to be terminated, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to return to school and finish. Fortunately, I'm a good saver, so I was able to handle it financially." What's not to love about that?

4) Try starting a business from home of some sort?

Not easy. If it's not something you've been dreaming of, it's probably not for you.

5) I have thought about taking some time until this semester ends. I am on the 9/11 GI Bill now, so I am currently getting the housing allowance. Some of this is practical: I have a class that starts in the mid-afternoon and a new full-time position may be problematic.

See #3. If I'm reading this correctly, I think you're already leaning that way.

I apologize for rambling, but I am glad that I am no longer working there but I hate that it ended this way. I am also SO worried about this being so bad for me from now on professionally.

Needing any advice from you guys that I can get. I feel like (and I am just hoping) that things can just get better from here.

Hannahclear
02-20-2011, 02:31 PM
I think school is a good idea, plus unemployment if you can get it. You paid into the system, there's nothing wrong with asking for your share.

I would also cut my expenses as much as I could if I were you, if you haven't already.

ArtisticFan
02-20-2011, 02:37 PM
You may also qualify for Workforce Investment Act which would pay for some "job retraining" at a local community college or tech school. The one where I work has quite a few participants who already have degrees who come for free to take a refresher computer course, accounting, or even photography.

skatemommy
02-20-2011, 02:48 PM
apply for unemployment, work part time, finish masters, update resume, use the word "downsized", sell some stuff on Ebay and take up excercising! Good luck and keep us posted.

PDilemma
02-20-2011, 04:53 PM
I was in much the same situation as you at my last place of employment. I was not terminated as much as blatantly shown the door until I got the message that if I didn't leave the principal would make my life a living hell.

I am working part time in a field related to education and history while getting a master's in history. If you can find a part time job that relates to the field you want to be in while working on your master's, I think that will serve you well. People in my desired fields have been very encouraging that my resume will be fine when it is time to look for a full time position.

As for unemployment, apply for it. If you get it for awhile, it will help. Just be aware that in most states, you will not qualify once you are in school half time or more for a higher degree.

BigB08822
02-20-2011, 06:12 PM
You should qualify for unemployment. The only way you can't get it is if you voluntarily quit or if you did something really awful to be terminated such as stealing, harming an employee, etc. Basically if you didn't get in trouble with the law while at work and if you didn't quit, you almost always qualify. However, if you decide to go back to school please be aware that you are not able to draw unemployment while enrolled at school. That is not allowed, at least not where I live and I am pretty sure that is a common law. I guess they figure you can get student loans, which the government often pays part of anyway. I can't say if you should go back to school because that is such a personal decision. If you want to then go for it, what better time? You have the money saved, you have the opening in your schedule, the GI Bill can help pay your mortgage. It sounds like you may never get such a chance again.

Garden Kitty
02-20-2011, 07:42 PM
Is there something particular that you'd like to study if you go back to school, and will it help your employment chances? If you have a specific plan about going back to school, that can be a great option. However, I wouldn't do it just because you're not sure what else to do at this point.

As to whether you should stay in the same field, did you enjoy your area of work (even if you didn't like this particular situation) and what is the job situation like?

Good luck, I know it all seems overwhelming now, but I hope this is the start of a great next stage in your life.

ilovepaydays
02-20-2011, 10:14 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone! I feel better today, but maybe it is just the combination of 1) Things can only get better - hopefully, and 2) Although it sucks to get fired, I am glad to not be going back tomorrow.

I did apply for unemployment just to see if I can get it. I am wondering if I submitted the initial application too early - maybe I was supposed to wait until I was out of work the whole next week. But it is submitted and hopefully I can see if I can get it.

I am nervous about applying to jobs and telling them about how I left. But I am not applying tomorrow - I think I want to make a list of where/what I want to apply to. If I do the school/part-time time employment option - I can see what I can do that just seems fun.

Plus, I have some papers/mid-terms in the next couple of weeks - maybe I should just focus on that. It is highly unlikely that I am going to be starting something substantial in the next couple of weeks, anyway.

Aceon6
02-20-2011, 11:14 PM
I am nervous about applying to jobs and telling them about how I left. But I am not applying tomorrow - I think I want to make a list of where/what I want to apply to. If I do the school/part-time time employment option - I can see what I can do that just seems fun.

Plus, I have some papers/mid-terms in the next couple of weeks - maybe I should just focus on that. It is highly unlikely that I am going to be starting something substantial in the next couple of weeks, anyway.

One of the most productive times of my life was the 5 months of unemployment following an unexpected and painful layoff. I had the money to do it, so decided to take it slowly and spent a good deal of time making sure I was applying for the right jobs. In retrospect, it was the best decision as I went to my new job refreshed and rid of the pain of my prior employment.

During my interview process, "Tell me why you left XYZ" was a standard question. My answer was that my position no longer fit the long term strategy of the firm. They were going towards A and my position was focused on B. It sounds like you can craft something similar for your situation given that you and your boss weren't co-located and s/he wanted C and you were best at D. Don't stress too much about it though, as long as the answer is fairly honest and professional, the interviewers aren't likely to linger on it.

You sound quite sharp, so a bit of think time might just be the thing you need to get going again.

ilovepaydays
03-12-2011, 07:41 PM
Now, I am nervous about interviews......how would I explain that I was terminated without it sounding so horrible? There is no way to sugar coat "fired". Won't that they think that I wouldn't fit with them, either?

overedge
03-12-2011, 08:16 PM
Now, I am nervous about interviews......how would I explain that I was terminated without it sounding so horrible? There is no way to sugar coat "fired". Won't that they think that I wouldn't fit with them, either?

Most interviewers would understand that sometimes there isn't a fit between the person and the company/job/boss, and sometimes the person gets fired because of that. And not because the person did anything wrong. If they don't understand that, then you probably don't want to work for them.

I think there is some very good advice on this thread about how to frame the situation to help your job search, e.g. that the company was moving in a different strategic direction (you don't have to say that it was a movement into dysfunction :lol:) and your job was not fitting into that direction.

If you are worried about interviewers thinking you wouldn't fit at their company either, another possibility would be to describe (tactfully) what you have learned from the conditions at your previous job and how you would apply that to your next job. E.g. from what you have said it sounds like your boss travelling or being in a different location was part of the problem. So in an interview you could say something like your boss was working in another location and that made it difficult to have a cohesive well-running team, so now you are looking for a workplace with good communication and support for the team members. And how this company appears to have that.

ilovepaydays
03-12-2011, 08:27 PM
But won't a lot of employers dismiss me from the start if I tell them I was terminated? I would hate to start with a downer when I would have had great stuff to say otherwise. Those are hard to recover from in interviews.

genevieve
03-12-2011, 08:41 PM
apply for unemployment, work part time, finish masters, update resume, use the word "downsized"....
Do not use the word "downsized", as from your post you clearly weren't. There is a lot of good advice in how to frame this, but lying isn't one of them and could lead to being fired again.

as others have said, you're in a pretty good position relative to most who lose their jobs - congratulations on your savings! Seems like you've got plenty of options, and if you choose to go to school full time, depending on what your degree is in, the gap in full time employment may not make much of a difference. Good luck.